a water heater pan is worth its weight in gold! recently a relative of mine who owns a condo that he uses as a second home and rents out called me about replacing the water heater. It was located in an outside storage closet on patio. The inside wall was also the wall to the bedroom. The tank had a decent leak and ran under the shoe plate. It was not noticed until a renter called and said the floor was wet. By now the water had saturated the sub-floor,damaged the floor joist,mildew in the wall and termites for good measure. Items replaced : joist,subfloor,several studs,sheetrock,carpet and re-painted walls. Total price : $12,000 not including new water heater,which I installed for cost. Needless to say we went back with a pan and drain. Local code did not require pan because of location of heater but sometimes it's up to us to go beyond the minimum requirement to avoid such a catastrophe. Pan costs $15.00, brother-in-law for a plumber-PRICELESS!