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Thread: HWH Drain Pan

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member dcw's Avatar
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    Default HWH Drain Pan

    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!

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    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    Why not put a screen over it?

    John

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    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.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    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.
    Boy is that over kill.

    John

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnjh2o1 View Post
    Boy is that over kill.

    John
    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.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    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.
    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 by johnjh2o1; 07-31-2011 at 04:43 PM.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Stick a brass "Chore Girl" pot scrubber in the opening. It will let water out but keep critters out of the house.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Junior Member dcw's Avatar
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    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. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    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.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member Ichabod's Avatar
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    Default 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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