Playmor Bernardo Home Owner Association

Water Heater Leak Tray

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Water Heater Leak Tray

A water heater leak tray is a simple plastic or metal "bowl" with a flat bottom and edges about four inches high. It fits directly underneath your water heater. One of the edges has a connector for one inch PVC pipe.

The purpose of the water heater leak tray is to (a) catch any water that leaks out of your water heater and (b) route it through PVC pipe to a safe location.


Water Heater Leak Tray


Potential Damage

One of the most certain things about home ownership is that someday your water heater will have to be replaced. A common first indication of this is when the tank begins to leak. Typical water heaters hold about forty gallons of water, which would be quite a mess and potentially cause considerable damage if it wound up on your floor as well as that of your neighbor. Worse, remember that your water heater is continually being refilled, so a leak could continue indefinitely.

Partial Solution

Stopping water from flowing into a leaking heater tank is easy. Invest in a water leak detector designed specifically for your water heater. These use a sensor on the floor near the tank that signal the presence of leaking water. This signal goes to a control unit that shuts off more water flowing into the water tank. With a water leak detector, a leaking tank would not be continually refilled. This would limit your leak to the forty gallons in the tank. Forty gallons is still a major mess that can cause damage to your as well as adjoining units. What can you do to prevent this?


Installing the water heater leak tray is extremely easy if you do it while the water heater is being replaced. Installing the PVC pipe is within the capabilities of most handy homeowners.

Draining the pipe varies by where your water heater is located.

Garage Water Heater Drain

If your water heater is inside the garage, a safe location to drain leaking water would be near the garage door. This would minimize damage to all buildings. Remember that a water leak detector would still save you the cost of heating a lot of drained water.

Utility Room Water Heater Drain

If your water heater is inside your utility room, draining becomes more of a challenge. Draining outside is the safest option, but you will have to arrange for the PVC pipe to be routed through the wall in your laundry room. After the drain pipe is routed through the new hole in your wall, the hole will have to be patched and the stucco repaired and painted outside. This would also require submitting an architectural change request to the Board of Directors for approval before the work has begun.

The HOA Board appreciates the benefit of installing a water heater drip tray and is prepared to work with homeowners to assist in getting this done.