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Do I need a pan under a water heater in the garage?

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Residential Edition of the Florida Building Code (FBC-P2801.6) states that “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 pan.” The International Residential Code (IRC) is similar.

    The concrete floor of a garage is required to be sloped towards the garage door and any leakage will drain out under it; so, if the water heater is mounted on the floor, leakage will not cause any damage. A water heater mounted on a wood-framed and drywall-sided platform, though, would be damaged by leakage, and a pan and drain is necessary.

    The pan is required to have a drain to the exterior, but an exception is allowed at FBC-P2801.6.1: “where a pan drain was not previously installed, a pan drain shall not be required for a replacement water heater installation."

    A pan and drain is still a good idea in a garage, even if not required, if there is the possiblity that leakage would damage stored items around it. For more on pans, see our blog post When is a water heater drain pan required?

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Here’s links to a collection of more blog posts about WATER HEATERS:

• Are water heaters required to be raised off the floor? 

• Can a Temperature and Pressure Relief (TPR or T&P) valve be mounted to discharge horizontally?

• Where are gas water heaters not allowed to be installed?  

• Is the minimum size water heater inlet pipe 1/2" or 3/4" according to the building code? 

• Can you use a light switch for a water heater disconnect? 

• How can I tell if a water heater is HUD-approved for mobile/manufactured homes?

• Can you wire a 240-volt water heater with 120 volts? 

• Is it alright to have a shut-off valve on both the hot and cold water pipes at a water heater?  

• What is the minimum clearance to doors and windows for an outdoor tankless gas water heater? 

• What is required clearance for access and working space in front of an electric water heater? 

• Why is the water heater older than the house? 

• Does a water heater need a shut-off valve? 

• Why should a tankless water heater have an isolator/service valve kit installed?

• When was a gas water heater first required to be elevated 18 inches above a garage floor?  

• Can the temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve discharge pipe for a mobile/manufactured home water heater terminate under the home? 

• What is the purpose of a thermostatic mixing valve above a water heater? 

• Does a tankless gas water heater still work with no electricity during a power outage?  

•  Why do water heaters have a sacrificial anode? 

• What is the difference between a manufactured/mobile home water heater and a regular water heater? 

• Does a tankless water heater require a pressure relief valve?

• Why is there water in my water heater drain pan?

• What does it mean when a water heater Temperature/Pressure Relief (TPR) discharge pipe is "trapped"? 

• Can I leave a gas water heater in place when remodeling a garage into a family room or bedroom? 

• Where do I find the water heater in a mobile home?

• Does a tankless water heater in an attic require a drain pan? 

• Does an electric water heater require a disconnect? 

• Is a catch pan and drain piping required for a replacement water heater?

• What is the difference between a single element and dual element electric water heater? 

• What is an FVIR water heater?

• What is a heat pump water heater?

• What is a dielectric union?

• What's that powdery crust on the pipe connections at the water heater? 

• What are the most common installation mistakes with water heater replacement?

• Why is my water heater making strange (rumbling, gurgling, knocking or banging) noises? 

• What can I do to make my water heater last longer?

• How can I determine the age of a water heater if the serial number is missing or decoding it is impossible? 

• How does a hydronic heating system work?

• What is the difference between a regular water heater and a direct vent water heater? 

• What is the difference berween a regular water heater and a power vent water heater?

• What is backdrafting at a gas water heater? 

• How do I determine if a water heater is gas or electric?

• What does it mean when a gas appliance (water heater, furnace, or range) has been "red tagged"?  

• What's the valve with the flip-up handle on the water heater for?

• Why is an older water heater an insurance problem?

   Visit our WATER HEATERS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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