What it is:
Water heater drip pans are required in most states, especially for water heaters located above ground level, in attics, or in an interior living space. The drip/drain pan is a metal pan that fits under your water heater with a pipe attached to the bottom that routes leaking water to a nearby drain.
What it means:
Often when a water heater develops a leak, it starts out small and can go unnoticed for days or weeks. Even a small leak, however, can cause water damage to your home if the water is allowed to pool or drift. Water heater pans catch any leaking water and remove it safely before it causes further damage.
How to fix it:
The drip pan itself costs somewhere around $30. If you hire someone to install it for you, it’s going to cost more. Installing a pan yourself is very much an option as well. If you choose to tackle it yourself, you’ll need to completely disconnect the water heater, drain it, and lift it up high enough to put the pan underneath. More detailed instructions can be found here. We should also note that water heater pans are usually included anytime you have a new heater installed.
7.4% of home inspections report a missing water heater drip pan.
Average repair cost: