Best Water Heater Drain Pan? (2021 Review)

Last Updated On October 19, 2021
best water heater drain pan

In a perfect world, showers never run out of hot water, water heaters last forever, and water heaters never experience leaks. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. 

When your water heater leaks, you need a place for the water to go, known as a water heater drain pan (aka water heater drip pan). 

In this PlumbingNav guide, we will cover: 

  • How does a water heater drip pan work?
  • What are the different types of water heater drain pans?
  • What should you look for in a water heater drain pan? 
  • Review of the top 5 drip pans on the market

ImageProduct
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Water Heater Pan, 24-Inch, Black
  • Large 24” diameter and 2” depth
  • Easy to install
  • No corrosion
  • Large 24” diameter and 2” depth
  • Easy to install
  • No corrosion
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Eastman 60076, Black Water PanWater Heater Drain Pan, 20” x 22”
  • Plug included
  • Inexpensive 
  • Resistant to cracking 
  • Plug included
  • Inexpensive 
  • Resistant to cracking 
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The Square Water Heater Pan with Detachable Front (24″ x 24″ x 2-1/2″)

  • Sole IAMOP-Certified pan
  • Square shape
  • Removable edge

  • Sole IAMOP-Certified pan
  • Square shape
  • Removable edge

View on Amazon
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Everflow PWHP22 Plastic Water Heater Drain Pan, 26 in.
  • Versatile uses
  • Large (26” circumference)
  • Compatible with water heater stands
  • Versatile uses
  • Large (26” circumference)
  • Compatible with water heater stands
View on Amazon
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Wall Mounted Tankless Water Heater Drain Pan – 20 x 13 x 2.5
  • Attractive
  • Mounts to the wall
  • Suitable for tankless water heaters
  • Attractive
  • Mounts to the wall
  • Suitable for tankless water heaters
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On May 21, 2021

Oatey 34063 Hot Water Heater Pan, 24-Inch, Black

This black, circular drip pan is made out of a plastic polymer that will never corrode, and it has a 2” depth. You won’t have any trouble placing the pan under any storage-tank water heater, and you can use it for other appliances as well. 

You may not want to use this product for commercial use or extremely hot temperatures. 

Oatey offers a 1-year limited warranty, and it adheres to all building codes. 

Our Top # Water Heater Drain Pans?

  1. Oatey 34063 Hot Water Heater Pan, 24-Inch, Black (Our Top Pick)
  2. Eastman 60076, Black Water PanWater Heater Drain Pan, 20” x 22”  (Best Budget)
  3. The Square Water Heater Pan with Detachable Front  (Best High End)
  4. Everflow PWHP22 Plastic Water Heater Drain Pan, 26 in.  (Best Multipurpose)
  5. Wall Mounted Tankless Water Heater Drain Pan – 20 x 13 x 2.5  (Best tankless)

What's In This Guide?

      How Does A Water Heater Drain Pan Work?

      A drain pan is a container that fits underneath your water heater to collect water that comes from your water heater as a result of condensation, water heater leak, or the pressure relief valve opening. 

      Not only do water heater drain pans eliminate water damage in your home, but they are also required as part of residential building codes in most metropolitan areas. 

      Ideally, you will install the drain pan when you get a new water heater installed. Otherwise, you may need to lift your existing water heater in order to install the drip pan. To lift the water heater, you can use water heater straps or a water heater jack. 

      You will attach a garden hose or drain pipe to the drip pan at a drain fitting on the side of the pan. The hose will lead the excess water to a nearby drain or outside. 

      Some people will use the drain pan for other appliances as well, such as a washing machine.

      did you know water heater drain pan

      What Are The Different Types Of Water Heater Drain Pans?

      Round Water Heater Drain Pan vs Square Water Heater Drain Pan 

      You will notice that you can choose between round drip pans and square drip pans. 

      Most water heater tanks come in a round shape, so you may want to pick a shape that matches your water heater. 

      However, square water pans can work with a larger range of appliances that may have a square shape. 

      Plastic Drain Pan vs Metal Drain Pan

      You will find drip pans made out of either plastic and metal. 

      Plastic drain pans cost less and don’t experience corrosion. However, they don’t last as long. They may also crack during the installation process and may not be able to withstand extreme temperatures

      Metal drip pans are either aluminum or steel. An aluminum pan doesn’t experience corrosion, but it is not not as sturdy. Metal drip pans last the longest, but they cost the most. 

      Wall-Mount Drip Pan

      If you have a tankless water heater, a drip pan with a wall mount is the best option. The wall mount allows the pan to rest immediately underneath the tankless unit. 

      What Do You Look For In The Best Water Heater Drain Pan?

      Drip Pan Size

      This is a situation when size definitely matters. The water heater must fit in the pan comfortably. 

      To measure for a round pan, always use the measurement of the inside diameter instead of the outside diameter. 

      Don’t forget to consider the height of the drain pan as well. You will need to know how much space you need under your water heater to ensure it fits. 

      Drain Pan Brand 

      Many brands make water heater accessories. Picking a reliable brand means you can rely on the product. If something goes wrong, you can trust the brand to make it right with a reasonable warranty program. 

      Some brand names you can depend on include:

      • Oatey
      • Eastman
      • Everflow

      Top 5 Best Water Heater Drain Pans Reviewed

      Now let’s explore our favorite units so you can decide on the perfect choice for your situation.

      Our #1 Rated Pick: Oatey 34063 Hot Water Heater Pan, 24-Inch, Black

      Water Heater Pan, 24-Inch, Black

      Our Top Pick

      This black, circular drip pan is made out of a plastic polymer that will never corrode, and it has a 2” depth. You won’t have any trouble placing the pan under any storage-tank water heater, and you can use it for other appliances as well. 

      You may not want to use this product for commercial use or extremely hot temperatures. 

      Oatey offers a 1-year limited warranty, and it adheres to all building codes.

      Pros

      • Large 24” diameter and 2” depth
      • Easy to install
      • No corrosion

      Cons

      • Plastic
      • Can possibly crack during installation
      • Thin

      Our #2 Rated Pick: Eastman 60076, Black Water PanWater Heater Drain Pan, 20” x 22”

      Eastman 60076, Black Water PanWater Heater Drain Pan, 20” x 22”

      Best Budget

      If you have a strict budget, consider this 20” diameter circular plastic pan with a depth of 2.5” (larger models are also available). 

      The item comes with a plug to help you to place it under your water heater right away. 

      Pros

      • Plug included
      • Inexpensive 
      • Resistant to cracking 

      Cons

      Our #3 Rated Pick: The Square Water Heater Pan with Detachable Front (24″ x 24″ x 2-1/2″)

      The Square Water Heater Pan with Detachable Front (24″ x 24″ x 2-1/2″)

      Best High End

      This top-of-the-line square drip pan uses galvanized steel to ensure durability and longevity. You get the pan, male PVC fitting, rubber gasket, and plastic nut. 

      You can remove the front edge of the pan to make installation easier than any other option available. 

      Pros

      • Sole IAMOP-Certified pan
      • Square shape
      • Removable edge

      Cons

      • Expensive 
      • Requires silicon waterproofing 
      • Corrosive

      Our #4 Rated Pick: Everflow PWHP22 Plastic Water Heater Drain Pan, 26 in.

      Everflow PWHP22 Plastic Water Heater Drain Pan, 26 in.

      Best Multipurpose

      This round 26” drip pan has a flexible design to minimize cracking in the heavy-duty plastic material. 

      The water pan works with either an electric water heater or gas water heater with a 24” circumference water heater tank, and it is compatible with most water heater stands.. 

      Pros

      • Versatile uses
      • Large (26” circumference)
      • Compatible with water heater stands

      Cons

      • Plastic
      • No warranty 
      • Not sturdy

      Our #5 Rated Pick: Wall Mounted Tankless Water Heater Drain Pan – 20 x 13 x 2.5

      Wall Mounted Tankless Water Heater Drain Pan – 20 x 13 x 2.5

      Best Tankless

      You can mount this water heater drain pan on the wall, making it appropriate for tankless water heaters also mounted on the wall. 

      The aesthetically pleasing galvanized steel pan also has hemmed edges to increase durability.

      Pros

      • Attractive
      • Mounts to the wall
      • Suitable for tankless water heaters

      Cons

      • More in-depth installation
      • Expensive
      • Smaller size

      Final Thoughts On Best Water Heater Drain Pan

      You can save yourself from frustrating and costly repairs from water heater leaks with a water heater drain pan. You have many options, but you can’t go wrong with any of the 5 water heater drain pans we’ve reviewed. 

      FAQs for Water Heater Drain Pans

      Do you recommend a drip pan for the water heater?

      Yes! We absolutely recommend a drain pan for all water heaters. 

      Can I drain a water heater into the drain pan?

      The water exits the drain pan through a pipe or hose to a floor drain or outside. 

      How much does it cost to install a drip pan for a water heater?

      It can cost hundreds of dollars for professional installation with a plumber. 

      You can install the drip pan yourself with the help of water heater lifting straps or a jack. 

      How do you install a hot water heater drain pan?

      You install a water heater drain pan by lifting the water heater and placing the pan underneath the water heater before gently placing the water heater on top of it.

      Meet Your Plumbing Expert

      Brant

      I'm passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, "how-to", and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

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      Brant

      Brant

      I'm passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, "how-to", and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

      About Plumbing Navigator

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