Question: Water heater drain pan

I’m in Miami & home inspected has a exterior water heater in a attached laundry room with no drain pan. I noted it on my report, but just wanted to know if/where I can get information stating it’s required or not?
It’s preventing the buying from getting a loan from the bank.
Thanks in advance.

International Plumbing Code
Chapter 5 Water Heaters

504.7 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, or other pans approved for such use.

Do you have a year of the water heater?

504.7 Required pan. Where water heaters or hot water storage tanks are installed above the ground floor space, in attics or ceiling areas, or within the habitable space, the tank or water heater shall be installed in a galvanized steel or other metal pan of equal corrosion resistance having a minimum thickness of 24 gage, 0.0276 inch (0.70 mm). Electric water heaters shall be installed in a metal pan as herein required or in a high-impact plastic pan of at least 0.0625 inch (1.59 mm) thickness.


504.7.1 Pan size and drain.** The pan shall be not less than 1.5 inches (38 mm) deep and shall be of sufficient size and shape to receive all dripping or condensate from the tank or water heater. The pan shall be drained by an indirect waste pipe having a minimum diameter of 0.75 inch (19 mm). Piping for safety pan drains shall be of those materials listed in Table 605.4.**


504.7.2 Pan drain termination. The pan drain shall extend full-size and terminate over a suitably located indirect waste receptor or floor drain or 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.

This is the 2007 code with the 2009 supplement

Same code I posted Russ.

Note that the rule says “damage”, not “structural damage”. If baseboards, carpets or other floor coverings would be damaged, a pan should be there.

Thank you for the quick replies & input, greatly appreciated!

What about the damage the pan does to the water heater? The water heater sits in a pan of water, which won’t drain until the water is high enough to drain, then it can rust the water heater. So now you have to raise it up so that if water is sitting in the pan it won’t damage the water heater, and make sure the supports can not be damaged by the water. Most people will not empty the pan. IMHO, it is a stupid code.

Drain pans are supposed to be connected to a drain -hense the term Drain Pan.

I know that, but the drain pan has to fill about an inch before it will drain. So the heater needs to be raised on a material that will not be damaged by the water, like bricks, which eventually will be damaged. It just seems like a dumb code to me. I have seen about 3 WH in the last 2 months that are rusted at the bottom due to the drain pan having water in them. I understand the thought behind it, but homeowners just do not check on the water heater until they can’t get hot water.

If the pan is getting water then they have a bigger problem.

Would you suggest simply putting it on bricks in a $2,000,000 condo unit utility closet?

Can I get more information on how the drain piping coming off the water heater’s drain pan should be assembled into a indirect waste.