We just bought a major fixer-upper, our gas hot water heater is in an unfinished basement (storm cellar) on a dirt floor with nothing protecting the bottom and providing for runoff. We do have a tube we installed from release valve which extends almost to the floor just in case. We would like to elevate the HWH to protect it from surrounding dirt and provide for runoff. What do you suggest?
You don't necessarily need to elevate it to protect it from the dirt. They make a water heater drain pain http://www.homedepot.com/p/24-in-Plastic-Water-Heater-Drain-Pan-15021/204834496 for this purpose. (I have no affiliation with home depot, they just have a conveniently searchable site). They're 1) cheap 2) solve your problem and 3) have a hose fitting to attach a line to your sump pit or floor drain.