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Thread: Water Heater Pan Question

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    Question Water Heater Pan Question

    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. #2
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molo
    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
    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. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    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. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default 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. #5
    Plumber solsacre's Avatar
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    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. #6
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Default 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. #7
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    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. #8
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    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 by Mike50; 01-07-2007 at 05:47 PM.

  9. #9
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking 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. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default 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. #11
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking 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 by master plumber mark; 01-07-2007 at 08:27 PM.

  12. #12

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    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. #13
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default 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. #14

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    I think either they're lasy or it's one of them "roundtuit" things.

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Wink

    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.

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