Inspection Training

How to Inspect the Drip Pan at the Water Heater

While the inspector is at the water heater they should check for the presence of the drip pan. If the water heater is located on a floor that is considered a living space it should have a drip pan with a drain line attached so it doesn’t flood any living spaces. Please review the entire procedure below.


International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection


3.6. Plumbing


I. The inspector shall inspect:

C. The water heating equipment, including the energy source, venting connections, temperature/pressure-relief (TPR) valves, Watts 210 valves, and seismic bracing.


II. The inspector shall describe:



III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:



IV. The inspector is not required to:

B. Measure the capacity, temperature, age, life expectancy or adequacy of the water heater.


Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector should check for the presence of a drip pan whether it has a drain line attached or has any damage/leaking.


Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Drip Pan.



  • While inspecting the water heater you will check for the presence of a drip pan. If there is one present you will want to check if it is damaged, leaking, or has a drain line attached. There are no pictures required for this section and it is not a defect if there is no drip pan present.

Common Defects

  • The drip pan at the water heater is leaking, damaged, or not connected to a drain line.

Common Mistakes

  • Not making sure that a drain line is attached to the drip pan.
  • Not checking if there is any water in the drip pan.
  • Not calling a missing drip pan out if it is located in a living space.

Report / Software


  • The water heater was equipped with a drip pan which had an overflow pipe routed to a proper discharge.


  • N/A


  • The water heater was not equipped with a drip pan. Drip pans are not required on all water heater installations, but are recommended when damage to the property will result from a water heater leak.


  • The water heater drip pan [word 1]. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary.
    • Did not have a drain line attached.
    • Was Damaged
    • Was Leaking