How to Lift Water Heater into Pan

If you have a water heater or tankless water heater in your home, it is a good idea to have a drain pan underneath. Water heaters in basements are most likely sitting on top of a floor drain, which can catch any leaks.

But a water heater tank that is situated on higher-up floors should have a water heater pan installed before any serious damage takes place.

A drip pan that is efficiently installed will be connected to a drain pipe and will catch any of your water heater leaks – no matter how severe it gets. It’s an added security for preventing any water damage to your floor, walls, or any part of your precious home.

You can either hire a plumber to install a water heater pan or install the water heater pan yourself.

There are a few ways to lift a water heater into a pan by yourself. You can either do a traditional bear hug – with some extra hands of course – but this might cause injuries to your back. Or you can invest in a hand truck that is specifically made to lift water heaters.

Whether you need a water heater replacement or simply installing a new drain pan, keep reading to learn how to lift a water heater into pan with a step-by-step guide and answers to some frequently asked questions!

How to Lift Water Heater into Pan: Step-by-Step Guide

Man Carrying A Water Heater

1. Turn off any water line that leads to and from your water heater

Make sure the cold water supply and hot water pipe are all shut off. Turn on the hot water faucet to make sure the water is off. If you want to be more cautious, then you can disconnect all the lines until you’re done.

2. Turn off the main water supply

If you have an electric water heater, before you start any lifting, you need to turn it off. This is to make sure there is no water pressure while you’re working.

3. Drain all the water from the storage tank

Open the relief valve to fully drain the tank. It can be time-consuming so it may be tempting to try and lift the water tank while it’s full, but moving the tank before draining all the water is dangerous. Water weighs a lot in a hot water storage tank so don’t underestimate and break your back in the process.

4. Enlist some assistance

Having a second person to assist you will relieve any stress you may have if it’s your first time and it’s always safer!

5. With your assistant, bear hug and lift the water tank together

An empty tank shouldn’t be too heavy to carry. But if your water heater tank is bigger than an average one, you should look into purchasing a tool that will assist you in carrying a water heater like a professional plumber!

6. Lift the water heater with a hand truck

Investing in a hand truck and strap kit will help you lift and lower water heaters from platforms and in and out of pans with ease. It’s specifically designed to cradle water heaters and includes a strap kit that allows you to secure and handle even the heaviest heaters effortlessly! It may be slightly expensive, but it’s worth the investment and your back will be thanking you!

7. Place drain pan under it

Make sure to point the discharge hole in the direction your drain pipes are in.

8. Lower the heater into the pan

Whichever method you’ve decided to go with, lower the water heater tank inside the drip pan drain and begin reattaching the water lines.

9. Firmly close the pressure relief valve and the drain valve

You can choose to use pipe dope, which is a sealant, to help make PVC pipe joints leak-proof before continuing. A hot plumbing tip: place a paper towel over all your connections, valves, and heat pump to check for any leaks before proceeding.

10. Reconnect the supply lines

If you have an electrical heater, you can now turn the main power back on. If you have a gas water heater, you can now safely rekindle the burner.

11. Securely attach drain pipe to the drain pan’s discharge pipe

This pipe will remove any water from the pan into the drain line so that it doesn’t cause an overflow. Use a tubing cutter to ensure the proper length.

How to Lift Water Heater into Pan

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you put a pan under a water heater?

To put a drain pan under it, you must first fully drain the water heater. If the tank is connected to the water supply pipes with flexible hoses and it’s not copper, then you can slowly raise the tank to slide the pan underneath it. If you have a big water heater or don’t have flexible wires, you may have to call in some professional help to install a water heater drain pan. Or, consider an expansion tank if problems reoccur.

Can you transport water heater laying down?

You can transport a hot water heater laying down on its side. But if it’s not properly moved while in this position, be warned that the metal casing could be damaged or the glass lining could potentially crack.

How do you pick up a water heater?

To remove the water heater from the stand, first, make sure that it is empty and disconnected from the house plumbing and any gas or electrical lines. When you are ready, grab the water connections on the top of the heater and tilt it towards you as you move backward.

It will eventually slide off the stand and you can set it down onto a hand truck to transport it. You can attempt to bearhug the water heater to pick it up, but it’s not advised by professional plumbers, as it may cause serious bodily injuries over time.

Why is there water in pan under water heater?

The reason for water in the pan under a water heater is most likely a leakage. Check for leaks at the vent pipe fittings and tighten the cold water pipe connections, if you need to.

Consider that leakage can also be caused by corrosion and sediment built up inside the tank. You may need to engage the shut off valve and replace the drain valve and anode rod if that’s the case. Note that the same is true for a washing machine pan.

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