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I have a water heater drain pan installed and I'd like to terminate it as close to code as is possible. The pan/water heater is currently in a closet that barely fits the pan. So unfortunately, there is no way I can fit an indirect waste receptor. The water heater is also at ground level, so I don't know how I can get it to terminate outside above 6 inches.

Currently, it goes into the crawlspace. I could either tap it into the bathtub drain before the p-trap or terminate it outside but it'd basically be at ground level. Which of these is best to implement and why/why not? I'm also open to other ideas if anyone has any.

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What kind of house is it? You mentioned the crawlspace...If it's a modular you could tie it into the main waste line down there as long as you built a trap in between the pan and the waste line. If that's not an option, going into the bath drain is viable if you can easily access it.... Nothing there would violate code. Also, they make small automatic water pumps that will trigger and pump water up to 20' or higher, in that case route it into your laundry drain.

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