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.

  • Can you attach some pictures? They might help in getting a good answer. Commented Sep 8, 2021 at 17:17

1 Answer 1


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.

  • Laundry pumps don't provide enough flow rate for a water heater drain pan. That's why code allows simply directing the water outside onto the ground. It does not need to go into the waste/sewer. Commented Jan 1, 2023 at 14:12
  • Big lake didn't say laundry pump, @JeffWheeler. My condensing furnace drains into a small pump which periodically sends the water up six feet, across the basement, and into an existing washing-machine drain. It's just a matter of getting a pump (and dump container, if separate) rated for the volume, pressure head, and duty cycle needed. Preferably overrated a bit. Yes, gravity drain to outside is often acceptable, but not always optimal
    – keshlam
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 1:06

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