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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    McKinney Texas
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    464

    Default Pan under water heater if installed in garage ?

    I advise the Client whenever a water heater is installed in the garage without a safety pan, if the water heater shares an adjacent wall to a living area. At least one inspector mentioned to me that he only flags a missing fan if the water heater is actually installed inside the living area. Curious to hear your opinions on this.

    Thanks

    Gene

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Pan under water heater if installed in garage ?

    Gene,

    From the 2006 IRC. (underlining is mine)
    - P2801.5 Required pan.
    Where water heaters or hot water storage tanks are installed in locations where leakage of the tanks or connections will cause damage, the tank or water heater shall be installed in a galvanized steel pan having a minimum thickness of 24 gage (0.016 inch) (0.4 mm) or other pans for such use. Listed pans shall comply with CSA LC3.

    Does not state "living space" in there anywhere ... it simply says "where" followed by "will cause damage". That's all inclusive.



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Healdsburg, CA
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    1,741

    Default Re: Pan under water heater if installed in garage ?

    And that includes wooden stands, gypsum cladded platforms and espeically platforms containing a FAU's cold-air-return.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Pan under water heater if installed in garage ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    And that includes wooden stands, gypsum cladded platforms and espeically platforms containing a FAU's cold-air-return.
    Even concrete stands where the water could "cause damage" to anything below or around it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Don Sweet's Avatar
    Don Sweet Guest

    Default Re: Pan under water heater if installed in garage ?

    I require all water heater pans to drain to the exterior of the house, since the good book strongly "suggests" possibility of damage...and who knows?


  6. #6
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Pan under water heater if installed in garage ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Sweet View Post
    I require all water heater pans to drain to the exterior of the house, since the good book strongly "suggests" possibility of damage...and who knows?
    Don,

    That's where the code says it has to drain to anyway if there is not a 'floor drain' (my term, not stated in the code that way, but that's about all it can be) there to drain into.

    From the 2006 IRC.
    - P2801.5.2 Pan drain termination.
    The pan drain shall extend full-size and terminate over a suitably located indirect waste receptor or shall extend to the exterior of the building and terminate not less than 6 inches (152 mm) and not more than 24 inches (610 mm) above the adjacent ground surface.



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    Rick Maday's Avatar
    Rick Maday Guest

    Default Re: Pan under water heater if installed in garage ?

    What about an unfinished basement?


  8. #8
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Pan under water heater if installed in garage ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Maday View Post
    What about an unfinished basement?
    Floor drain or sump pump.

    Aaron


  9. #9
    Rick Maday's Avatar
    Rick Maday Guest

    Default Re: Pan under water heater if installed in garage ?

    Should have clairified - pan required?


  10. #10
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Pan under water heater if installed in garage ?

    Rick:

    Good question. I suppose as long as the unfinished basement remains unfinished and no possibility of damage exists then only the TPR requires a drain or catch basin with sump pump.

    There aren't enough basements in my service area for one inpector to see 10 of them in a career. ECJ knows. I'm sure we'll hear from him.

    Aaron


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Pan under water heater if installed in garage ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Maday View Post
    Should have clairified - pan required?
    If no one ever puts anything in that basement which could get damaged, maybe not, then again, how many times have you seen an empty basement in a house which is lived in.

    Also, don't forget, it says "where leakage of the tanks or connections will cause damage", and anything (virtually "anything") that gets wet will get damaged.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mesa AZ
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    1,181

    Default Re: Pan under water heater if installed in garage ?

    I see a lot of garage installations with a piece sheet of metal under the heater, with a 2" lip bent down the side of the framed /drywalled stand.
    I'm assuming thats being used instead of a drain pan.
    Would that qualifiy as proper protection ??


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    York SC Licensed in NC and SC
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    596

    Default Re: Pan under water heater if installed in garage ?

    Since the code does not state what type of damage or the time frame before the damage occurs you have to consider humidity and mold too. The code does not state that the house has to be occupied either for ongoing damage monitoring purposes.

    High humidity in a house will damage cabinets.
    Water left for a period of time will cause mold which is very expensive to properly correct.

    I saw one the other day where the water heater was on a platform with a pan and pipe in a storage room at the rear of the garage. The pan/pipe stubbed through the interior wall and terminated into the rear of the garage.

    The TPR pipe went to the exterior so they could have put the pan pipe through the same location.


  14. #14
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Pan under water heater if installed in garage ?

    Bruce:

    Even if they install the drain lines properly, often the drywallers, tile setters and cabinet installers will liberally ventilate these lines somewhere between the pans and the terminuses (termini for you Latin lovers). How many of you run water in the pans to see if it actually comes out (only) at the end of the drain line? Ever see weeping sill plates? I mean, other than when they pressure wash new garage floors and the interior floors flood.

    Of course the basement could have been intended by the owner to be like a hot tub. But, that would open a whole other can of worms . . .

    Aaron


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