Do I Need A Drain Pan Under My Water Heater?


water heater is essential to any home. However, the amount of water it holds can pose a threat to your home in case of a leak. There are some steps you can take to minimize the risk of water damage, and one of them is using a drain pan. Most homeowners do not think of installing a drain pan until it’s too late. Something as simple as a drain pan can give you peace of mind when it comes to water damage to your home.

Jump to: 

  1. What is a water heater drain pan?
  2. Is a water heater drain pan required for your water heater?
  3. How can I find the right drain pan for my water heater?
  4. Hiring a plumber to install a water heater drain pan.
1 water heater repair in stafford va


A water heater drip pan is a pan that sits comfortably under your water heater. It is wider than your water heater and has a small opening where a drain fitting is placed. This drain fitting is routed to a nearby drain where the excess water can be discharged safely.

In plain terms, a drain pan is a safety tool designed to protect your home from water leaks from the water heater. It offers a mechanism for your water heater to drain out water if it starts to leak. While water heater leaks start small, they often go unnoticed. These pans hold the excess water and remove the water till you discover the leaks and are able to call a reliable plumber near you to fix them. Make sure you call a plumber if you notice water in pan under water heater or if the water heater drain pan is full.


In some areas, a drain pan is required to be installed by law. If you are not sure if you need a drain pan for your water heater, it is best to check the local plumbing codes or call a local Stafford plumber. Whether you will need a drain pan or not will depend on where your water heater is located.

Some of the common situations when installing a drain pain is when the water heater is located 

  • Above the Ground or Inside an Attic – A drain pan is essential if the water heater is installed above your home’s ground floor. In case there is a leak, and there is no drain pan in place, your house may suffer structural damage. Leaking water will drip through the ceilings and walls of the home and cause mold.
  • In the Interior Living Area – Many people do not have the luxury to install their water heater in the basement. If the water heater is located in an area that you use for any activities, installing a drain pan ensures your belongings are not damaged in case of a leak. It is especially important if there are costly electronics or electrical outlets that can create a fire hazard.


There are a number of water heater drain pans available in the market. You need to consider the right material and the right size when picking one for your home. Steel and aluminum pans are durable and long-lasting but a little expensive. Ensure that the pan is at least two inches wider than your water heater so that it can prevent water damage caused by slow leaks.

Once you have purchased a drain pan, ensure it is installed correctly. While these tasks are best left to professionals, you can install them yourself to save some money. Installing it is pretty straightforward and should not take more than half an hour to get it up and running.

If you’d like to learn more about Do I Need To Replace My Water Heater If It Takes A Long Time For My Water To Get Hot.Click here, if you’d like to learn more about our water heater repair and replacement services.If you’d like to learn more about Workhouse Plumbing, click here.

Contact an Experienced Stafford Plumber Near You

Workhouse Plumbing is a family owned, veteran operated company. We offer a wide range of affordable plumbing & gas services to meet all of your residential or commercial needs. Our commitment is to provide upfront ethical pricing, quality, and reliable service, in a timely manner. We’re licensed, bonded, and insured to cover any project you might have. Our service areas include Northern Virginia and surrounding areas.


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