Water Heater Pan Question

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by molo, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. molo

    molo New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Location:
    cold new york
    I'm placing an electric hot water tank in a closet next to the kitchen.
    1. How important is it that I have a water heater pan underneath it?
    2. How important is it that the pan be connected to the drain system of the home?

    TIA,
    Molo
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    How severe is the result WHEN it leaks? If you put in a pan, where does the water go WHEN it leaks?

    You could put in an alarm to warn you when it gets wet, if you are at home to respond.

    You get to make the decisions.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    There are 2 problems that will cause a wh to leak. The TP valve and the tank failing. Neither is likely to cause a huge flood all at once, but no leak is a good leak. The pan will catch the water that leaks in whatever amount. You do need a place for the pan to drain. It does not have to be into you home drainage system however. It can be piped to the outside either above or below the floor, whatever is best for the situtation. No matter what causes the leak or how large or small it is, the pan is just a temporary safeguard for a fairly short time against damaging your home.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,285
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pan

    Whether the heater needs a pan or not depends on how much damage would be caused if the heater started to leak. If the pan does not drain to a safe location, (and you never want to connect it to the drain system), it will cause the same damage as if it were not there. The pan is not a proper receiver for the discharge from a T&P valve. That valve would overflow the pan in a very short time if it opens and discharges water.
  5. solsacre

    solsacre Plumber

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Arkansas
    kitchen? probably first floor? don't worry about a pan...


    If you want it won't hurt... pipe it outside independently... and the T&P, pipe it on it's own.

    good luck

    dance-with-pumps
  6. a plastic pan $$

    for only 5-12 bucks you can put the heater in a pan....

    even if you dont drain it anywhere its better than

    not having one.....

    if you can figure out a way to pipe it to a floor drain

    all the better

    or if you are on a crawl space ,

    simply pipe it into the crawl ...


    you might regret it some day....

    .if the t+p valve ever lets go...


    if you dont spend the 12 bucks today
  7. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Out here a pan is code unless the heater is 20' from a finished basement area and must be piped to a drain or to the outside of the house unless it is not possible to. In that case it must be in a pan with a hose connection on the drain line stub. In all cases the T&P must be run to a 3" X 1" coupling facing up connected to the drain line coming from the pan with a 2" air gap.
  8. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Do it. Best common sense 15 bucks you can spend. Just installed one a week ago with new heater.
    Mine holds quite a bit of water..
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2007
  9. floor drains

    it has been my experience that the
    floor drain that is only 3 feet away from
    the water heater is ALWAYS the highest
    point in the whole concrete floor....

    it always goes everywhere else first,

    when the t+p leaks or heater leaks...
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,285
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pan

    What earthly good is a pan if it is just going to dump the water on the floor, the same as the heater would if it started leaking?
  11. it cant hurt

    for the money a plastic pan is only 5 bucks.

    it cant hurt and it really depends on how

    fast the heater starts to leak....

    and at the very least you can contain and direct the water



    HJ on another note

    It also can keep you out of insurance claim troubles a
    year down the road if one decides to do some major damage.

    hearing the customer crying something like

    why didnt you at least put it in a pan for me ???
    I might have noticed it leaking before it did all this
    hidden damage

    IS YOUR insurance company going to cover my
    new floating hardwood flooor ???

    at the very least you can claim that you
    did all you could even if their is not a drain
    to be found anywhere....


    I have been there and done that.......
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2007
  12. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    Funny that I've seen countless t&p's and pans installed with either no plumbing or just a pipe down to the floor...not going anywhere and virtually useless.
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,285
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pans

    Maybe they think the pans are magical and just having one under the heater will keep any water from damaging the house. If there is enough water to notice it in a pan, because the pan's drain is not exactly at the bottom, there will be enough to notice without the pan also.
  14. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    I think either they're lasy or it's one of them "roundtuit" things.
  15. Mike50

    Mike50 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    699
    Location:
    Southern California
    Mine...appears to have had a slow long term leak which could have prevented the now powdery *permanent cement slab damage* with a pan.

    Get one.
  16. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I have seen plastic pans that the plastic was cut when the heater was installed and leaked. I only use the metal pans.
  17. whatever...makes you all happy

    if it is code, its code..

    the Oaty plastic ones seem to work ok.....

    if their is a drain nearby, all the better...

    if you are in business you should at
    least offer one to the customer......or make them sign off
    on it in your work order........

    or you could be shelling out some bucks 6 months from now
    if you get a bad one...because they will certainly bring it up...


    the water pressure around here runs anywhere from
    90 to 155psi

    so wehnever I get the chance, I ALWAYS
    pipe the t+p valve to the nearest drain....

    if the laundry is near by I usually will take the
    time to run some 3/4 cpvc into the laundry box


    I just sleep better that way......
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2007
  18. I'm replacing a water heater tomorrow that has a pre-built galvanized pan that was designed for the condo units they are in.

    I'm getting a rash of these replacements all of a sudden and it has to be the weather. I have one tomorrow, saturday, tuesday and not counting this great sump $$$ pump weather that is going to be here starting tonight.


    I'm slowly approaching burnout stage if I don't start saying no to working on weekends.
  19. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Metal pans are required on gas heaters.
  20. nu2plumbingsf

    nu2plumbingsf New Member

    Messages:
    2
    new water heater installation

    Cass states that metal water pans are required for gas heaters but the ones I've seen here in the San Francisco Bay area are tinny aluminum Oatey brand; not very st urdy being just a bit thicker than a turkey pan and I'm worried it will puncture or tear on installation, especially since I will be placing 20" diameter short boy 40 gallon water heater on a 18" stand by myself with stand.

    I'm using an extra wide dolly to lay water heater down on styrofoam sheet pulling heater up so as to clear and then positioning stand and water heater pan on dolly and then just truck whole unit to site.

    Sound like a good plan, anyone? Water pan though worries me. I would think a heavy duty plastic pan is stronger or even better a good solid metal pan, the kind used to catch automobile oil but they don't come in larger than 20".
Similar Threads: Water Heater
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Bacteria in water heater Jun 29, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Split/Merged Supply to Water Heater? Jun 20, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Should I flush my new AO Smith GCV-50 water heater every 6-12 months? May 30, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Hot water heater as a water source for ice maker? May 7, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & water heater nightmare. Apr 26, 2014

Share This Page