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  • Water Heater drain line to outside

    I'm thinking of adding a drain/catch pan under my washing machine in case it should ever have a leak/drip. Home Depot sells them and they typically contain an outlet to connect to a drain line.

    I already have a drain line that goes to my water heater and runs through the inside walls to empty outside. It's probably ~35 feet long. I should be able to connect to this water heater drain line for the washing machine, as well.

    Before going forward, I would like to know if the drain line from the water heater is usable. It hasn't been "tested" as I've never had a leaking water heater. If I hire someone to check it, would that be a drain cleaner? How do they check if it's clear ... using a snake or compressed air?

  • #2
    Can't you do a functional test yourself?

    Just find the outlet and put a catch basin of some sort under it. Then go inside to the pan and dump a measured amount of water in the pan. Now go see how much made it to the outlet. You WILL have loss because not everything will drain out of the pan, and there will be some water trapped in the pipe depending on the pitch and if there are any low spots which no matter how slight will trap a little bit of water. If nothing comes out then you know you have a problem. Now if you suspect that there IS a problem, then maybe you want to call in some help before you dump a bunch of water in the wall somewhere. Speaking of which is the drain line visible for all or most of it's length?
    "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" ? Bob D. 2004
    "?ǝɹɐ sɹǝƃuıɟ ɹnoʎ ǝɹǝɥʍ ʍouʞ noʎ op `ʍɐs ǝlqɐʇ ɐ s,ʇı"

    https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute
    http://www.cordlessworkshop.net
    https://youtube.com/@bobd.
    ----

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    • #3
      No, the line is not visible at all. If the water throughput is low and I suspect a blockage, who would I call for help? Does this fall within the scope of a drain cleaner?

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      • #4
        Don’t connect the washing machine drain to the water heater. Needs to be separate. Truthfully, you’re better off investing in a set of automatic water shut off valves that will shut the water if there’s a leak. It will not do anything with a stoppage of the drain, other than to shut off the incoming water.

        The smitty pan for a water heater is suppose to run separate from the relief valve. Same with the laundry pan. Honestly, less than 1% of my customers have a laundry pan drain.

        Rick.
        phoebe it is

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        • #5
          Water heaters' internal tanks can rust and corrode as they age. As a result, the tanks leak and, in some circumstances, break, emptying the water contained therein.

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          • #6
            Agree with Rick on the auto shut off valves. I have not installed them but know other who have.

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            • #7
              The problem with a washing machine drain pan is, How do you pull the machine out from the wall. Lift it out of the pan? Good luck with that.

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              • #8
                All good points, thank you. On further consideration, I'm not going to install a drain pan under the washer. As the previous poster stated, I'm not sure how I was going to lift the washer to get it under there anyway.

                I already have a smart leak sensor on the floor (Amazon link). In addition to an audible alarm if it detects water, it will push an alert notification to my cell phone app via Wifi. It's remarkable how much high tech functionality you can now purchase so inexpensively. I have a clever assortment of smart home devices (a topic for a different forum).

                I'm still considering the auto-shutoff valve which sounds like the best solution. My only concern on this device is if it creates risk with a substandard valve that might leak itself. I would have to ensure it's made by a quality valve company.

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                • #9
                  I use smart leak detectors all around the house. Anyplace there is the possibility of a leak, especially if it's hidden like inside a vanity or a space not visited every day like a basement. I have one next to the well tank, the boiler and water heater, in every vanity directly under the trap, in the kitchen sink base cabinet, and behind the washing machine. The model I use is made by Samsung and has sensors on the top and the bottom. So if you position it under a potential leak point it will alarm on the very first drip.

                  I believe they are made by Aeotec and branded as Samsung. As you can see below they look identical. I use mine with the SmartThings hub. Batteries last over a year. They report temperature too so you could set a freeze alarm using the temperature sensor.

                  Click image for larger version

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                  "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" ? Bob D. 2004
                  "?ǝɹɐ sɹǝƃuıɟ ɹnoʎ ǝɹǝɥʍ ʍouʞ noʎ op `ʍɐs ǝlqɐʇ ɐ s,ʇı"

                  https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute
                  http://www.cordlessworkshop.net
                  https://youtube.com/@bobd.
                  ----

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