Is a replacement water heater required to have a pan with a drain?
Monday, September 17, 2018
The Florida Plumbing Code (507.4) and the International Plumbing Code both require a catch pan with a drain “where a storage tank-type water heater or a hot water storage tank is installed in a location where leakage from the tank will cause damage.” The pan drain has to “terminate over a suitably located indirect waste receptor or floor drain or extend to the exterior of a building and terminate not less than 6-inches and not more than 24-inches above the adjacent ground surface.”
Because extending the drain to one of the listed termination locations can be difficult and expensive when replacing a water heater that does not already have a pan and drain under it, the code allows that “where a pan was not previously installed, a pan drain shall not be required for a replacement water heater installation." But the pan is still required.
We recommend plugging the drain opening of the pan and putting a battery-powered leak alarm device in the pan if your are not going to run a drain line to the exterior or one of the alternate termination locations. It’s cheap flood insurance.
Also, see our blog post Why is there water in my water heater drain pan?
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