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A Water Heater Drip Pan Can Prevent Damage


water heater drip panYou've probably been through it. The water heater leaks and ruins the drywall it is surrounded by. Water saturated drywall may sit there for weeks or months until you notice the leak at your water heater. And to think the damage could have been prevented...with a drip pan.

A water heater drip pan catches the water that leaks and diverts it to wherever you pipe the drain. You'll have to figure out whether to repair or replace your water heater, but the pan will at least save your drywall. Incidentally, the best time to install a drip pan is when you are replacing your water heater. Installing a drip pan under an existing water heater is about as much work as installing one when replacing the water heater anyway, since you have to drain and move it.

Many people ask if they can install a drip pan without draining the water heater. A gallon of water weighs just over 8 pounds, so if you have a 40 gallon tank, you are looking at 320 pounds of water plus the weight of the tank. Don't even think about it. You must drain the water heater!

Once you turn off the water heater and drain it, it is safer to disconnect the flexible copper supply lines and remove it off of the stand rather than trying to lift it up and sliding the pan underneath.. Once you have the stand clear, you can set the pan down and place the water heater inside the pan (the pan is approximately 3 inches tall). With the pan down, you can run the drain line to the exterior or wherever is appropriate.


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