How to Protect a Washer & Dryer From a Flood

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If you live in area that's prone to flooding, prevention is the first step to protection. Whether your washer and dryer are on an upper floor or the basement, take precautionary measures to protect the washer and dryer motors from water damage and flooding. With a few simple methods as well as some specialty items, any homeowner can protect her washer and dryer against flooding.

Install a Clean, Working Sump Pump

  • If you have a basement, you need a sump pump to deal with water overflow and drainage. Check it regularly to ensure it's operating properly and without any blockage or obstructions. If you don't have a basement in your home, a small, portable water pump will help in the event of a small flood or water leak.

Check All Floor Drains

  • If you have floor drains, regularly check them for obstructions and clear the flow. If you want to test them, pour a small amount of water directly into the drain and observe how it drains. Check the location where the floor drain empties, if it's accessible, and look for obstructions as another person pours water into the drain. To prevent the floor drain from backing up, install a simple floating drain plug available at hardware stores. You can also protect a washer's dedicated wall drain by having a plumber install a backflow valve.

Keep Outlets Up High

  • Ensure that all outlets, breaker boxes and wiring for your washer and dryer are set at least 12 inches above the projected flood levels for your area. This greatly helps to prevent the risk of electrical shock in the case of a flood or water leak. Always be aware of where your main breaker boxes are so you can access them safely to switch off power to the washer and dryer. In the even that your breaker box does need relocating, seek the help of a qualified professional electrician.

Elevate the Washer and Dryer

  • To ensure your washer and dryer are not damaged in the event of a flood or water leak, elevate the machines 12 inches above the projected flood level for your area. You can use simple cement blocks available at your local home and garden center. Simply lay a series of them in a square a few inches larger than the bases of your washer and dryer. Another method is to use a base of framing lumber covered in plywood that then sits on top of a few masonry slabs to allow drainage under the platform.

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