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Old 12-05-2009, 12:04 PM   #1
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Installing water heater water catch dilemma

My housing inspector said the water heater to a condo I bought is old, but works fine. He said I should place a leak catch under it though in case it broke so I wouldn't damage my unit, or the unit below.

However, I'm unclear on how to get the tub underneath it. In the picture you can see the heater, and the black tub with a lip next to it. I can't lift the heater though, at least I don't think I can without cracking the stiff metal tubing that runs from the top.

Does anyone know of a product or makeshift approach to me getting some kind of water catch under there? Thx.
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Old 12-05-2009, 12:10 PM   #2
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The tubing on top is flex tubing
Myself I wouldn't touch it
I'd only put a pan in when replacing the WH
They are heavy & bulky

If you want to Drain it, get 3 people to help you lift it just enough to slide the pan under

Ideally you want the WH up off the pan
So that small amounts of water that may leak into the pan will not rust the bottom of the tank out


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Old 12-05-2009, 01:11 PM   #3
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drain the unit. (turn off the electric first). Then place the pan under it. The lines above will flex enough for this process.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:35 PM   #4
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If you put a pan under it, be sure to run a drain pipe outside for the water to go rather than fill the pan and over-flow.

Check with the Condo rules, two straps may be required in case of earthquake/overturn, as they are in townhouses... IRC {2801.7} On page #6 here:

Also add longer flex lines to create heat loops, in the picture above the tank so you are not constantly heating the supply and exiting water pipes.

Notice in the code, your TPRV should be piped outside, not to the floor.

Did your inspector check for a lockable breaker to the unit since there is no switch near the unit? This would be good to know the location if every a problem and a remote switch is somewhere near the panel if not a lockable breaker.

Be safe, Gary
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Last edited by Gary in WA; 12-05-2009 at 01:42 PM.
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