I'm confused about how to pipe the water heater drain pan. According to the 2018 IPC, which I fall under, PVC is not an approved material, but I can't find a drain pan with anything other than a 1" PVC connection. Is this something that inspectors just look over since everybody runs PVC or is there a solution that would comply with the code? I could jerry-rig an adapter from PVC to CPVC, PEX, or something, but that still leaves the PVC connection and seems a little goofy.

Here's the section of code I'm looking at:

504.7.1 Pan Size and Drain
The pan shall be not less than 1-1/2 inches (38 mm) in depth and shall be of sufficient size and shape to receive all dripping or condensate from the tank or water heater. The pan shall be drained by an indirect waste pipe having a diameter of not less than 3/4 inch (19 mm). Piping for safety pan drains shall be of those materials listed in Table 605.4.

Table 605.4 is "water distribution pipe" and does not list PVC as an approved material.

1 Answer 1


I think the "code-correct" way is to buy drain pan with CPVC connector, such as this one.

enter image description here

Another option is to replace the connector from PVC to CPVC.

The fact that you bought something that doesn't conforms to the code means you have to work around.

  • That makes sense. It's frustrating that the CPVC fitting is not in any big box stores in the area and appears to only be available in a very few places online. I'm assuming the majority of people aren't installing them to code.
    – pwnate
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 19:49
  • PVC is rated to 140F, CPVC rated to 200F. However, water heaters keep water around 120-140F, so PVC should be OK. Code doesnt like PVC because it can melt and leach poison into water supply, but you are not using it for water supply... Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 19:58
  • I just don't want to have that dinged by the inspector.
    – pwnate
    Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 20:15
  • 1
    in my locale you can email inspector with a specific question. that's how i learned i can't use air admittance valve Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 23:47
  • 1
    One might also argue that a fitting is not "piping."
    – Huesmann
    Commented Jun 22, 2023 at 13:39

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