Dee from Toronto, Ontario writes: "We are having a new home built with the laundry room on the second floor. We were told the washing machine would sit in a trough, which was lined with rubber and has a drain. It has been finished with only a drain and we are concerned with the risk of flooding. What is the best way to build a laundry on the second floor?"
Well Dee, your designer was right and your builder missed the boat. Yes you can get trays, of various qualities, specifically made to fit under hot water tanks and washing machines. They have provisions for overflow drains as well. I would simply get one and place it under that washing machine, connecting it to that drain -- the way your builder should have done in the first place.
They are not easy to find on store shelves, but they are made by a company called Oatley. In Quebec, Hydro Quebec will rent you a heater and it comes with a tray.
In addition you could put a the sensor end of a flood detector inside this tray to alert you to any problems.