How to Insulate a Washing Machine

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During the winter months, your washing machine’s drain line is susceptible to freezing, no matter how warm you keep your home. This is especially true during periods of severely cold temperatures or if you experience a power outage, which causes the water to sit and freeze inside the drain line. Prevent your washer’s drain line from freezing with the proper insulating material, which you can find at your local hardware store or home improvement center.

Things You'll Need

  • Foam pipe insulation sleeve
  • Sharp knife or scissors
  • Acrylic tape
  • Pull the washing machine away from the wall a few inches to give yourself easy access to the drain pipe. Measure the length of the drain pipe and jot down the number. Bring this number with you to the hardware store or home improvement center.

  • Locate a piece of foam pipe insulation sleeve that closely matches your measurement. Don’t worry if the pipe insulation sleeve is too long.

  • Cut the piece of foam pipe insulation to fit the drain pipe, using a sharp knife or scissors. Wrap the pipe insulation sleeve over the drain pipe, with the seam facing down.

  • Wrap both ends of the insulated drain pipe with acrylic tape. Place additional pieces of acrylic tape around the insulated pipe every 3 to 4 inches.

Tips & Warnings

  • Prevent your washing machine from freezing by turning off the water to the unit during power outages or periods of severely cold weather or below-zero temperatures.
  • Place a space heater near the washing machine during cold weather to prevent the drain pipe from freezing. Keep the space heater at least 3 to 4 feet away from the unit to protect it against accidental water exposure.

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References

  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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