Inspection Training

How to Inspect the Washer Drain

While the inspector is in the laundry area the washer drain should be marked in the report as “Not Inspected” due to most of the drain being located behind the wall and not being able to evaluate that drain. Please review the entire procedure below.




International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection


3.6. Plumbing


I. The inspector shall inspect:

G. The drain, waste and vent system.


II. The inspector shall describe:



III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:



IV. The inspector is not required to:

G. Inspect clothes washing machines or their connections.
L. Determine whether there are sufficient cleanouts for effective cleaning of drains.


Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will check for the presence of a washer drain and determine the material if it is visible.


Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the washer drain.



  • While inspecting the laundry room we will want to check the washer drain if it is visible and accessible. Most of the time the majority of the washer drain will be hidden behind finished walls so we will want to just observe what we can and try to determine the type of drain being used. We DO NOT remove the washer drain line. There is one picture required for this section and it should show the top of the washer drain and from that picture we should be able to determine the type of piping material. We will always want to use the “Not Inspected” instead of the “Inspected” comment because we are unable to see the entire washer drain. If the drain is not present we will use the “Not Present” comment and if there is any visible damage, we will use the “Repair/Replace” comment.
  • The floor drain issue is still a question mark and still under discussion as to the current code or upcoming codes. Adopting new IBC standards or not, Denver does not require floor drains on upper floors, but plumbers are installing them because the codes are about to change.


Common Defects

  • The washer drain is clogged, damaged, double trapped, missing, leaks, or drains slowly.
  • The washer drain has an old trap that’s been discontinued or has been repaired improperly.
  • The washer drain uses a S-Trap and should be upgraded to P-Trap.
  • The washer drain is rusted and deteriorated at the P-trap. The washer drain still has a plastic housing cap in place.


Common Mistakes

  • Not checking for the presence of a washer drain.
  • Not determining the right type of washer drain pipe or size.
  • Not checking all of the features of a laundry sink if there is a sink present.
  • Pulling the washer drain line out of the washer drain.
  • Not using the “Not Inspected” comment in the program.


Report / Software


  • N/A


  • No Access: The washer drain material appeared to be [word 1]. The majority of the washer drain system was not visible and could not be inspected for proper operation. Inspection of the washing machine is beyond the scope of this inspection. The washing machine was not operated and the inspector is unable to determine if there are any deficiencies with the washer drain.
  • ABS (1.5″)
  • ABS (2″)
  • Laundry Sink
  • Metal (1.5″)
  • PVC (1.5″)
  • PVC (2″)
  • Water Not On: The water was not on at the time of the inspection. The inspector could not inspect condition of faucets, fixtures, plumbing, pressure or volume. Once water is restored to the property a qualified contractor should fully evaluate the plumbing system and repair or replace all areas as necessary.


  • The laundry area did not have a drain for the washing machine at the time of the inspection.


  • The [word 1] washer drain line [word 2]. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary.
  • Material:

-ABS (1.5”)
-ABS (2”)
-Laundry Sink
-Metal (1.5”)
-PVC (1.5”)
-PVC (2”)

  • Defect:

-Drains Slowly
-Has an old trap that’s been discontinued. -Has been repaired improperly.

-Is a S trap and needs upgrade to P trap. -Is Clogged
-Is Damaged
-Is Double Trapped

-Is Missing
-Rusted and deteriorated at P-trap. -Still has plastic housing cap in place.