HWH Drain Pan

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by dcw, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. dcw

    dcw New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    lakeland, fl
    Hello,
    I'm trying to take a proactive approach here for possible water heater leaks and am looking for a bit of guidance. I currently have a 30 gallon low boy type water heater sitting in a plastic drip pan which leads no where. It's on an outside wall and I was hoping to pipe the drain directly outside where I would quickly notice any potential leaks. My only concern would be critters crawling pack through the pipe and into my house. Would putting a check valve on the line keep any intruders out or is there a better solution here? Thanks!
  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    Why not put a screen over it?

    John
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,324
    Location:
    New England
    If it's out of sight, consider something like www.wagsvalve.com. To get the warranty, it needs to be installed by a certified installer. It will work on an electric WH as well.
  4. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    Boy is that over kill.

    John
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,324
    Location:
    New England
    Overkill? It will shut both the gas (control) and the water off if it detects a leak big enough to get some standing water in the pan. Might be really handy if it happened while you were out of the house. Much better than just an alarm, and more reliable than electronic shutoffs. It's the same technology that inflates the vests on airplanes.
  6. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,143
    Location:
    South*East
    Gee jadnashua all he was looking to do was to stop critters from crawling pack through the pipe and into his home. It's not a defense industry job. Everything doesn't have to be over engineered. Oh bye the way it's a electric water heater.

    John
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,263
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Stick a brass "Chore Girl" pot scrubber in the opening. It will let water out but keep critters out of the house.
  8. dcw

    dcw New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    lakeland, fl
    thanks for the input guys. the scrubbing pad idea sounds like the way i will probably end up going. the wags valve sounds like a good idea as well but going just by the web, i'm not entirely sure how to install it and the price plus need for pro install seems to put it out of the ball park for me.
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,324
    Location:
    New England
    Installation of a WAGS valve is straightforward...run the supply line down to the valve sitting in the pan, then back up again to the inlet of the WH. On an electric, that's it. If it was a gas fired WH, you'd use the built-in switch to disable the burner (depends on the model, how to best do that). If you don't care about the warranty, it's only cost (other than the valve) is a few more feet of supply tubing and a couple of fittings. If the tank empties and the elements are uncovered, they'll burn out quickly. It's not particularly catastrophic, as the tank is shot at that point anyway. On a gas-fired one, it's nice to disable the burner. They typically have a high-limit that would be tripped, shutting them down, but a secondary safety feature is always nice with gas.
  10. Ichabod

    Ichabod New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Statesboro, GA
    Water heater pan

    I just bought some water alarms from Amazon for about $10 each. Mine are made by First Alert. Do your pan drain with the copper wool stuff and put the alarm in the pan and you should be good to go.
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