Thursday, December 7, 2023
HomeWaterWater Heater Drain Pan Installation

Water Heater Drain Pan Installation

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Drain Pan Installed On A Hot Water Heater

How to Install Drain Piping to DRIP PAN on Water Heater

Installing a drip pan on a hot water heater isnât a difficult or expensive task. Depending on the type you buy, the pan can cost anywhere from $10 to $100. Why such a large swing in the price?

The materials and shape determine how much youâll spend. Just remember, you get what you pay for, and this isnât an area where you want to go by lowest price alone!

If youâre hiring a professional plumber, the total cost of a properly installed drain pan can be anywhere from $150 to $300 or more. While the drip pan itself doesnât add much to your bill, labor is where youâll see the biggest expenditure.

Attempting to DIY this sort of project can take a full day for a novice, where hiring a professional could cut that timeframe down to a couple of hours.

A Properly Installed Drain Pan Can Prevent Damaging Leaks

A leak from a water heater or a washing machines can lead to significant damage to drywall or flooring and can even cause flooding in the area and surrounding rooms. The damage from a leak can be prevented or at the very least lessened with proper installation of a drain pan under the water heater or washing machine. A drain pan provides an easy and inexpensive way to prevent water damage. Drain pans slide under the water heater or washing machine and catch water from leaks, spillage or drips. A drain pan can also help to protect flooring from condensation. Drain pans are especially recommended for washing machines that are upstairs in a home or building.

A drain pan that is not properly installed, however, will only help to delay the damage. Drain pans must be connected to a drainpipe in order to move the water out. A drain pan that is not setup correctly will just buy you a few minutes of time before the water overflows and begins to cause damage.

Drain pans work by collecting water from a leak and then channeling the water out of the pan by way of a drain line on either the bottom or the side and into a floor drain. A drain pan that is properly installed with a functioning drain line will work efficiently to drain water out of the pan rather than letting it overflow. Having a drain pan without an installed drain line is practically pointless so make sure to double check.

Safe Waste Pans For Water Heaters And Storage Tanks

Board PolicySafe Waste Pans for Water Heaters and Storage TanksEnacted Nov. 28, 2011

In 248 CMR, Section 10.12 Safe Waste Required, it states:

Safe Waste Required.

1. A safe waste pan shall be installed under water heaters or hot water storage tanks that are six gallons in capacity or larger and are installed in a position elevated above any occupied space.

2. The safe waste pan shall be installed under water heaters and hot water storage tanks where there is occupancy below and shall be piped indirectly to a properly trapped and vented fixture.

When installing a replacement water heater or hot water storage tank that is in a position elevated above any occupied space, it may not be practical to install a safe waste pan.


When installing a replacement water heater or hot water storage tank and it is not practical to install a safe waste pan and related safe waste drain piping, an acceptable alternate method to satisfy the requirements of 248 CMR 10.12 may be to install a product approved automatic water heater shut off device and a safe waste pan without the related drain piping.

If this method is used, the water heater temperature and pressure relief valve shall discharge into the water heater safe waste pan.

You May Like: Kenmore Elite Washer Won’t Drain

Hot Water Heater Drain Pan Requirements

What requirements are there for having a hot water heater drain pan? First, we are talking about traditional storage tank units. While the requirements largely depend on the rules of the area you live in and the location it is installed, most follow a similar set of guidelines.

For example, if your hot water heater is in an interior room or in an attic, you are likely already required to have a drip pan. This is also true if your unit is above ground level.

If your gas water heater is located in a garage or outbuilding, you likely have no drip pan requirement. However, it is still a good idea to have one in case of a leak, as weâve already mentioned above.

The type and style of your water heater drain pan is generally up to you. A galvanized steel pan is heavier and far more durable than other alternatives, and it costs the most. A metal pan made from aluminum is fine, but donât generally last as long.

A plastic pan costs the least, but it will break after only a few years and need replacement. However, they wonât create rust from corrosion.

In most cases, a licensed plumber will generally suggest a steel or aluminum pan.

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Drip Pan For A Water Heater

Top 10 Water

If your water heater doesnt have a drip pan, or if the drip pan is old and corroded, its a good idea to install a new one. A drip pan catches drips from the water heater and prevents them from hitting the floor and causing water damage. Drip pans for water heaters typically cost between $20 and $50. The exact cost will depend on the size and material of the pan. Installation costs will also vary depending on the type of water heater you have and whether you need to install any new piping. If youre handy with tools and feel comfortable working with plumbing, you may be able to install a drip pan yourself. However, its always a good idea to consult a professional before undertaking any major plumbing projects.

See also: Installing Kitchen Cabinets Over Baseboard Heaters

Don’t Miss: Cost Of French Drain Installation In Yard

Cost Of Water Heater Drain Pan

If you only need a drain pan, you can get it for roughly $40. It will cost considerably extra if you need to pay anyone to set up this for you. Nevertheless, the work is usually straightforward, and it shouldnt require more than just an hour to complete a drain pan is typically included in the entire implementation of the technology water heater. Thats the easiest way because the tank does not have to be drained. The plumber would merely place the pan, connect the water heater, then click the PVC pipes.

Drain Pan Under Your Water Heater Requirements

It can be confusing whether you need a drain pan under your water heater.

There are different requirements when you do a drain pan, and there are some scenarios where you arent required to have a drain pan either.

Below we have put the plumbing code and explained the rules when a drain pan is required.

Don’t Miss: How To Keep Drains Clear

When A Water Heater Is Above The Ground Floor Or Inside An Attic

Installation of a drain pan becomes especially important if your water heater is located above your homes ground floor. If a leak happens and you dont have a drain pan in place, you could be looking at a lot of costly structural damage.

Leaking water in a multi-level home will drip through your walls and ceiling, which can cause an outbreak of mold or even harm the structural integrity of your house.

If you do sustain a major leak from a water heater on the upper level of your house, youll need to make sure the water damage isnt affecting any of the load-bearing walls in your home.

Failure to do this could damage these walls, which can result in a partial or total collapse of your house. As such, I highly recommend placing your water heater in the basement, as leaks down there wont run the risk of major structural damage.

When Is A Water Heater Drain Pan Required

How to install a water heater drain pan without crushing it

Sunday, July 1, 2018

According to the International Residential Code and Florida Building Code at section P2801.5, a drain pan is required for a water heater in any of these areas of a home:

  • Any level above the ground floor,
  • Or in attics or ceiling areas,
  • Or within the habitable space.

The pan must be a corrosion-resistant metal of minimum 24-gauge or other rated material, with sides at least 1-1/2 deep. A drain pan is not required for a water heater in a garage.

A drain pipe should be connected to the side of the pan, made of material rated for water supply pipe, which means that PVC is not acceptable. The pipe has to be at least the same diameter as the cold water supply pipe to the water heater, and it must terminate outside within 6 to 24 of the ground or into an indirect waste receptor. See our blog post What is an indirect waste receptor? for more about that alternative.

Heres some photos of typical defects we find with water heater pan installation:

Unrated pipe used for part of pan drain piping

Drain pan not connected to drain piping at wall

Damaged drain pan Comments or questions to

Also Check: How To Drain Pool Water

When A Water Heater Is Inside A Living Area

While most water heaters are tucked away in a basement corner, some families dont have the luxury of an out-of-the-way water heater.

If your water heater is located in an area that you and your family use for activities, installing a water heater pan is a pretty inexpensive way to ensure a leak doesnt damage your belongings or make the room unusable.

This is especially true if the room contains expensive electronics or live electrical outlets, as even small water heater leaks can destroy your equipment or even create a fire hazard.

Water Heater Drain Pan: Worth It Installation Guide

The primary function of a water heater drain pan is to catch any residual water from the water heater.

The water heater drain pan is also necessary to preventflooding in your home. If the residual water from the water heater doesnt get trapped in the pan, it can overflow and cause water damage to the walls and ceiling of your home.

The water heater drain pan is installed between the water heater and the floor drain of your home. It is an alternativeto installing a drain that connects to your water heater. The advantage of a pan is that it also catches water that leaks from under your tank.

Recommended Reading: How To Drain Lymph Nodes In Neck

Water Heater Drain Pan: What You Should Know

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Learn More.

Many homeowners don’t consider using a water heater drain pan until their water heater is actually leaking. At that point, it’s often too late. These handy additions, when properly installed, can provide the added peace-of-mind when it comes to prevent serious water damage.

Water heater drain pans are inexpensive to purchase, relatively easy to install, and offer protection to your home from a potential disaster. This article will give you the information you need to know about buying and installing a water heater pan, and we’ll even show you a couple of our favorites.

Should You Choose A Plastic Or Aluminum Water Heater Drain Pan

Water Heater Drip Pans and Relief Valves

As mentioned above, you get what you pay for when it comes to choosing a hot water heater drain pan. While zinc-coated steel is always the best option, this isnât always a choice if your local home improvement store is sold out. Thatâs when youâll need to decide between plastic or aluminum.

With aluminum, you can trust that the catch pan is prime to stay in good condition for many years to come. Plastic offers a lower price point, but likely needs replacement much sooner. You also run the risk of more easily damaging the plastic catch basin during installation.

Since the process of installing a drain pan is on the difficult side, and both options are relatively inexpensive, it is usually better to go with the higher-quality aluminum drip pan option.

Don’t Miss: Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover

Improper Pressure Relief Valve Setup

The pressure relief valve is a safety feature responsible for controlling the temperature and pressure of the water heater. So what happens when its not installed properly? The water heater will likely burst or explode if the pressure or temperature gets too high. Anyone and anything within a few feet of the water tank will be drenched in scalding water.

Proper installation is paramount to ensure the safety and longevity of your water heater. This means installing the valve 6 inches above the floor and placing it at the side of the tank to allow for automatic opening when the tank needs to relieve some pressure. Connecting a threaded drain tube to the valve outlet provides an extra layer of protection. This is a job best handled by a trained water heater replacement professional.

Reasons Why Your Water Heater Should Have A Water Heater Pan

If you take a moment to think about the concept, your hot water heater holds hundreds of gallons of liquid throughout any given day. Should a malfunction occur causing a leak, that water has to go somewhere, and that place is inside your home. Yikes!

Having a water heater pan ensures that any accidental liquid coming from the drain pipe is funneled to the nearest drain. This is incredibly effective for slow leaks, which is what most homeowners experience when they have a problem with their unit. Because, letâs face it, who is really keeping tabs on their water heater on a daily or weekly basis?

If a leak goes undetected for a long period of time, the drain pan ensures that water goes where it needs to without causing damage.

In certain states, having a drain tray under your hot water heater is a code requirement. So, even if you donât have one right now, you might need to have one installed in order to bring your residence up to inspection requirements if you ever plan on selling.

Read Also: How To Keep Drain Flies Away

Choosing The Right Pan Size

Finding the right size of a water heater drain pan can be a daunting process. To figure out the optimal size for your water heater pan, you can follow this step-by-step process:

  • Get some measuring tape.
  • Figure out how wide the water heater is. You can do this by placing the tape measure at one of the heaters top edges and measuring the distance to the opposite edge.
  • Once you have the width measured, you can start looking for a water heater pan. Make sure the pan is at least two inches wider than your water heater. So if your heater is 30 inches wide, youll need a pan that is at least 32 inches wide.
  • After youve figured out how wide of a pan you need, you need to decide on a depth. While you might initially think that a deeper pan is automatically better, this isnt always the case.

    Drain pans are only meant to prevent water damage caused by slow, steady leaks. A leaking water heater can fill a shallow pan and cant drain it fast enough, youre probably going to end up dealing with water damage no matter how deep your pan is.

    The pipes that drain pans direct water can only handle so much liquid at once. A deeper pan will only delay the inevitable if your heater ever springs a leak too large for your pan to deal with.

    Choosing The Wrong Size


    One of the most common mistakes during water heater replacement is choosing a tank thats wrongly sized for your home. Water heater tanks range in size from 30 to 80 gallons. The right size for your home depends on the number of people and hot water usage in your household.

    If you choose an undersized tank, you may frequently run out of hot water. On the other hand, an oversize water heater tank will result in higher energy bills because you heat more water than the household needs.

    Don’t Miss: How To Drain Your Ear

    Using Incompatible Metal Connections

    Many homeowners underestimate the importance of metal connections in the water heater. Even a small difference in the diameter of two pipes can create a faulty connection that accelerates the corrosion process. This translates to water leaks, property damage, and a shorter lifespan for your water heater.

    Using compatible metal connections is one of the most effective ways to avoid this problem. For instance, use copper or brass connectors when working with copper pipes. Using galvanized steel connectors with copper pipes can create a dielectric union fitting that compromises your water heaters strength. Dont hesitate to call a water heater replacement service in Rockville, MD for assistance.

    When The International Plumbing Code Requires Drain Pans

    504.7 Required pan Where a storage tank-type water heater or a hot water storage tank is installed in a location where water leakage from the tank will cause damage, the tank shall be installed in a galvanized steel pan having a material thickness of not less than 0.0236 inch , or other pans approved for such use.

    504.7.1 Pan size and drain the pan shall be not less than 11/2 inches in-depth and shall be of sufficient size and shape to receive all dripping or condensate from the tank or water heater. The pan shall be drained by an indirect waste pipe having a diameter of not less than 3/4 inch . Piping for safety pan drains shall be of those materials listed in Table 605.4.

    504.7.2 Pan drain termination. The pan drain shall extend full size and terminate over a suitably located indirect waste receptor or floor drain or extend to the exterior of the building and terminate not less than 6 inches and not more than 24 inches above the adjacent ground surface. Where a pan drain was not previously installed, a pan drain shall not be required for a replacement water heater installation.

    Here are a few of the more common scenarios in which you might be required to use a water heater pan:

    • Anytime your water heater is located above the ground level
    • Anytime your water heater is located in an attic or ceiling location
    • When your water heater is located in an interior living space

    You May Like: How To Drain Dog Anus Glands


    Most Popular