5 Best Water Drain Pans

water heater drain

5 Best Water Drain Pans

If you are looking out for the best water heater drain pans, then we’ve got you all covered. While most people do not even consider buying drain pans, it is an important (and often overlooked) aspect of water heater maintenance. 

There are few different types of water heater drain pans to choose from. This article will provide information about buying the right water heater drain pan for your house, and discussing the important factors like the size and the material of drain pans. 

We have reviewed each water heater drain pan diligently so that your work becomes easier. So let’s get right to it!

In a Rush? Here’s Our Top Pick

Our Criteria

Size of the Pan

A water heater drain pan will basically collect the water that may leak from your water heater.  So, before buying the pan, it is important that you measure the space where the water heater will be fitted as well as the diameter of the water heater. 

Select a pan that is approximately 2” to 4” wider than the diameter of the water heater. But, it should be smaller than the designated area where the water heater will be fixed. This will enable the pan to collect the leaking water effectively.

So, for instance, if your water heater is 32” in size, then ideally, you should select a drain pan that is 34” to 36” in diameter. 

Also, the depth of the water heater drain pan should be a minimum of 1” to 1.5”. This is as per the recommendations provided by the IPC (International Plumbing Code). This depth will allow the drain pan to collect the leaking water more efficiently.  

Material of the Pan  

Selecting the appropriate material is essential, as it can affect the overall cost and the durability of the drain pan.        

There are mainly three material choices when it comes to a water heater pan

Plastic 

These are the least expensive water pans, but do not expect them to be durable. They may crack or become brittle from the heat and the sudden environmental changes.  

Hence, if you are looking for cheaper water heater drain pans, then you can select the plastic pans. Considering their durability, plastic pans can be used for emergency purposes, but for regular use, it is better to avoid plastic pans.  

The plastic pans usually cost around $20 to $30 depending upon their size.

  1. Aluminum  

Aluminum pans are much more durable if we compare them to plastic pans. And, they are less expensive as compared to the steel pans. Hence, due to these factors, aluminum pans are highly preferred.  

You can get an aluminum water heater pan at around $30 to $40, depending upon the size.

  1. Steel

If you do not mind shelling out a bit more money, then the steel water heater pans are highly durable and should be your preferred option.

A highly durable steel water pan will cost you $90 or more, as per the size. 

Best Water Heater Drain Pans

Camco Water Heater Drain Pan: Best Overall

Camco Water Heater Drain Pan
227 Reviews
Camco Water Heater Drain Pan
  • For electric or gas water heaters
  • Top of the pan measures 32.25" x 32.25"
  • Bottom of the pan measures 30" x 30" x 4" Deep
  • Included PVC drain fitting will fit 1" or 1.5" drain pipe
  • Zinc plated steel construction

If we talk about the size, then the Camco pan measures 30” x 30” at the bottom and 32.25” x 32.25” at the top. It is square in shape that makes it compatible with other appliances too like a washing machine or a dishwasher. 

Its 4” depth is better than average water heater pans with a 2” depth and gives plenty of room for any accidental leaks. 

The Camco 20932 Water Heater Drain Pan is versatile and it can be used with gas and electric water heaters.      

It provides great durability since it is made of steel core plated in zinc. This provides additional durability and helps prevent rust as it follows the galvanization process. So, even if you have placed your water pan outdoors, with extreme changes in the temperature, you can expect durability.

The PVC drain fitting is compatible with 1” and 1.5” drain pipes. Along with this, you will also get a gasket and retaining nut which will ensure a secure connection. 

Thus, a highly durable material, the ability to work with gas as well as electric water heaters, and a good depth of 4” make it our best overall. 

What we like:

  • Works with gas and electric geysers 
  • Strong rust-free material 
  • Decent depth for accidental leaks
  • Can be used with other appliances like a dishwasher or washing machine, due to its square shape

What we don’t like:

  • Not suitable for constraint spaces

Best Suited For: 

If you have a hybrid water heater installed and want a durable pan, then this water heater drain pan should be your choice.  

Eastman Water Heater Pan: Best for Gas Water Heaters

Eastman Water Heater Pan
67 Reviews
Eastman Water Heater Pan
  • The drain pan has an outer diameter (OD) of 22 inches with an inner...
  • Constructed of heavy-duty aluminum for extra strength and durability
  • Compatible with gas water heaters
  • Protects nearby fixtures and floors from water runoffs
  • Includes (1) drain pain and (1) 1 inch PVC fitting for a drain pipe...

Eastman Water Heater Pan is designed for gas water heaters. It has an outer diameter of 24” and an inner diameter of 22”. You can consider it as a pie pan-shaped water heater drain pan.  

So, this water heater pan would be a great fit for the Bradford Gas Water Heater, with a 20” diameter.  

While the 2” depth of the pan is enough to hold a good amount of water in case of any accidental leaks, it could have been a bit better. Our best choice drain pan has a depth of 4”, and hence can hold almost double the leaked water. 

The Eastman water heater pan is made of aluminum, which makes it durable and cost-efficient. It comes with drain fittings to make installation quick and easy. 

The low cost and above-average quality make it a great fit for people looking for a standard water heater pan.     

What we like:

  • Easy and quick installation
  • Low cost

What we don’t like:

  • The aluminum is not sturdy enough. Hence, the drain pan can get deformed during the installation 
  • The depth of the pan is average  

Best Suited For:

It is a good choice for those looking for a standard water heater drain pan at a low price.

Camco Aluminum Tankless Water Heater Drain Pan: Best for Tankless Water Heater

Camco Aluminum Tankless Water Heater Drain Pan
67 Reviews
Camco Aluminum Tankless Water Heater Drain Pan
  • The drain pan has an outer diameter (OD) of 22 inches with an inner...
  • Constructed of heavy-duty aluminum for extra strength and durability
  • Compatible with gas water heaters
  • Protects nearby fixtures and floors from water runoffs
  • Includes (1) drain pain and (1) 1 inch PVC fitting for a drain pipe...

This Camco drain pan model is made for tankless water heaters, both gas and electric heaters. It fits most tankless water heaters with a 20.5” width and a maximum of 13” depth.

The size of this pan measures around 21.72” in width and 14.17” in height. It has a depth of 11.62”, which is higher than most water heater drain pans. It is compatible with both a 1” and a 1.5” PVC drain fitting. 

The pan is made of aluminum which is long-lasting and resistant to corrosion, rust, and cracking.

With its solid aluminum built and the large area, it works great for large on-demand water heaters like Ecosmart water heater or the RecPro water heater.

What we like: 

  • Easy to mount on the wall
  • Compatible with almost every tankless water heater

What we don’t like:

  • Since the drain fitting is raised by half an inch, it can result in standing water
  • Pricey

Best Suited For: 

This water heater drain pan is suitable for tankless water heaters.

Oatey Water Heater Pan: Best Value for Money

Oatey Water Heater Pan
3,128 Reviews
Oatey Water Heater Pan
  • Provides reliable floor protection from electric water heater overflow or...
  • Premium semi-flexible 0.0625-in. plastic polymer for long-lasting...
  • Easy to install by sliding under a water heater or appliance
  • Features an integrated 1 to 1.5 in. PVC adapter for easy water drainage
  • Variety of applications including washing machines, refrigerators, AC...

The Oatey water heater pan provides reliable floor protection from electric water heater leakages. 

The size of the pan measures 24” with a depth of 2.5”. The pans are pre-drilled to accommodate 1” and 1.5” PVC drain fittings.

The pan is made up of premium semi-flexible plastic polymer that provides long-lasting durability without any rust or corrosion. It can easily be installed by sliding it under the water heater.

It is a multiple-use water heater pan that can be attached to washing machines, refrigerators, and AC.

What we like:

  • Multiple-use for various appliances
  • Pre-drilled for drain fittings
  • Affordable range

What we don’t like:

  • Since the pan is made of plastic, the durability will be less in comparison to the steel and aluminum water heater drain pans

Best Suited For: 

If you are looking for a cheap water heater drain pan that works with electric water heaters, then you can buy this one.

Rheem Plastic Water Heater Drain Pan: Plastic Water Heater

Rheem Plastic Water Heater Drain Pan
28 Reviews
Rheem Plastic Water Heater Drain Pan
  • For best results, use only Rheem replacement parts for repairing your Rheem...
  • Material: Plastic, Shape: Round, Diameter - Bottom (in.): 20, Diameter -...
  • Kits which contain this part: SP12934
  • Height (in.): 2-3/4, Drain Hole Size (in.): 1, PVC Drain Fitting: Glue-in...

The Rheem Plastic water heater drain pan is recommended if you use the 19” Rheem Water Heater for better results. It is specifically made for electric water heaters.

It measures 20” at the bottom and 22” at the top which is a standard size and works well with 19” water heaters. It has a height of 2.75” which is a standard size for most water pans. 

It comes with a 1” drain fitting hole for a 1” pipe. So, even though this pan cannot hold as much water as a 4” height water pan, you can easily connect a PVC pipe, to redirect the excess water to the drainage area. 

However, since it is a plastic water heater pan, it may break or become brittle with time due to the heat.  

What we like:

  • Can be squeezed to fit into small spaces without breaking
  • Easy installation

What we don’t like:

  • It is not durable 

Best Suited For:

It works best with the 19” Rheem Water Heater because of its size or any other water heater of 19” for that matter. It can be molded to fit into smaller spaces as well.

Is a Drain Pan Needed With An Automatic Shut-Off Valve?

An automatic shut-off valve uses a sensor to detect a leak and shuts off the flow of incoming water. But that does not mean that you will not need a drain pan. 

Even if the shut-off valve takes off, there is some residual water that may drip onto the floor. For that reason, you should have a drain pan even if you have an automatic shut-off valve installed to protect your floors. 

Conclusion  

By installing a water heater drain pan, you can be assured that accidental water leakage is directed to the nearby drain and your floor will be protected.  

While the Camco Water Heater Drain Pan is our top choice, if you have a tankless water heater, then the Camco Aluminum Tankless Water Heater Drain Pan should be your pick. Both of these water heater drain pans have great depth as compared to the other products, making them suitable to collect any accidental water leakage.

However, it is also important to note that while the drain pans work fine for smaller leaks, if you encounter a big water leak, you might need plumbing assistance.

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