Yes. A washer and a sink will share a drain as long as they’re both on the same floor. Plumbing code has rules in place to prevent problems like back-up and flooding, but with standard requirements such as minimum distances between fixtures, it’s perfectly okay to have them share a pipe. You can even put a washer and sink in the same room if you plan for them to have separate drain pipes. Doing this reduces costs by cutting down on the amount of piping needed, but also gives you an excellent opportunity to design your laundry space so that everything is convenient and easy to use. Here are some tips for mixing a washer and sink in the same space:
Determine the location of each pipe
First, you’ll need to decide where each pipe will run from the washer and from the sink. Start with the main drain line. You’ll run that alongside the wall in order to get it outside. If there’s not enough space to do this, it’s better to run the pipe up through the ceiling and out through the roof. For the water supply line, you have some flexibility. You can run it alongside the main drain, or you can run it separately to anywhere that’s easy to get to. With the water line, you have some flexibility as long as it can be shut off quickly in the event of an emergency.
Install the sink drain first
Many home improvement stores sell reducers that will make the sink drain smaller so that it will fit into the washer drain pipe. Once you have the reducer in place, you need to attach the sink drain to the pipe. You’ll probably need a plumber to do this, or you can get a kit from a hardware store that will help you make the connection.
Install the washer drain second
Once the sink is attached to the washer drain, you can connect the washer drain to the main drain. Some washers have a built-in trap, but most models need an external trap. You can buy a trap at a hardware store, and it will fit right into the washer drain pipe.
Add a drying rack at the end of the pipe
You can install a drying rack or a clothesline at the end of the pipe where the water will drip out. You could even install two racks if you have a two-person family and want to do more laundry at once.
Install a hook-up for a water softener
If you’ve chosen to put a washer and sink in the same room, you probably want to use both appliances often. But you may also find that your clothes come out of the washer feeling stiff and scratchy. This problem is often caused by hard water, which contains minerals like calcium and iron that cause soap to build up and leave clothes feeling stiff. If you connect a water softener to the washer drain pipe, you’ll have a convenient way to reduce the hardness of the water that the washer uses.
Don’t forget to add ventilation
You’ll want to use a 4-inch dryer vent to vent the washer. You can attach the vent to the end of the pipe where the water drips. You’ll also want to add a trap for the sink drain. The trap will allow air to flow in but prevent water from flowing out.
If you want to combine a washer and sink in the same room, you can do so as long as you follow the rules and use common sense. Depending on your setup, you may want to add some extra plumbing to make it all work smoothly, but the two can share a drain as long as they’re both on the same floor. And these two appliances can make your laundry experience more convenient and efficient. With water and time savings, they are worth the investment.