Water heater failure - ruined flooring

Finishing my basement. Regardless of whether I put carpet or engineered hardwood, I don't want the flooring to be ruined (or be a bed for mold growth) if the water heater decides to go, which will eventually happen (10 years old now). I've heard horror stories of several inches of water flooding the basement when these systems fail. My water heater and furnace are going to be in a separate 10x14' room as I finish the basement, so is there anything I can do to mitigate the risk of ruining the flooring in the main room should the water heater fail after the basement project is complete? I was thinking along the lines of some caulk or sealant along the floor plate to isolate the mechanical room somewhat - although a long enough leak before noticing it would still rise above the floor plate and into the adjacent room. Any ideas? How do others deal with this? Proactively replace the water heater? Deal with the wetness and just try to dry out wet carpets/wood flooring? Thanks
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

10 year old heater?? Replace it now.
And install a pan: http://doitbest.com/Water+Heaters-Oatey-model-34061-doitbest-sku-486914.dib under it if you have a floor drain.
I would also consider some form of flood alarm that will detect excess mositure on the floor in the mechanical room (burst pipes, etc.).
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

eh, maybe not. Mine is about 18 years old and the anode when I pulled it was probably good for another year or two, but I replaced it anyway "while I was in there."

Or even if you don't. Better to contain the flood than have it spread over a large floor area, if you can shut 'er down in time.

Absolutely. It is possible to tie one into a solenoid valve that will shut off the water to the house if it detects moisture, so no more than 50 gallons or so (assuming a 40 gal. tank and 10 gal. of water in the pipes) could ever leak and flood your basement.
I would also consider a raised threshold in the doorway into this room, combined with vinyl baseboard, well caulked. Thus if you do get a full 50 gal. dump it will still be contained.
Along the same lines, anyone have any recommendations for a moisture alarm/solenoid valve? I've got a similar issue to the OP where I do not have a floor drain in my basement, and I've already had one flooding incident due to a failed T&P valve. Last time I left for more than a day I completely shut the water off, but even so, a lot of water can dump in a day with a real catastrophic failure.
All of the kits I've seen recommend placing the solenoid valve at the inlet to the HWH but I was thinking it would simply be safer to mount it remotely and shut the whole house off just past the stop valve where the line enters the house.
(my shop vac got a workout after I discovered the mess...)
nate
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
As I recall Water Cop is one brand http://www.watercop.com /
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Mine in furnace room next to finished family room in basement just failed but it is next to French drain which would have taken up water although not a flood and I do not have and do not need sump pump. Thirty plus years in this house with probably 5 water heater failures due to slightly acidic water but none have been catastrophic. Tray or dam with some place for water to go is what you need. I would worry more about storm water.
Frank
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I use these on water heaters, dishwashers, ice makers and washers in my rental units:
http://www.plumbingsupply.com/floodstopsystems.html
Remember to replace the back-up batteries once a year.
Michael Thomas Paragon Property Services Inc / Home Inspections http://paragoninspects.com 847-475-0468
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Dec 13, 1:18 pm, "Michael Thomas, Paragon Property Services,

tray that goes under the tank you connect a hose to and run it to a drain.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

According to State Farm, failure of washing machine hoses is one of the common causes of insurance claims.
Replace those rubber hoses with good quality steel braided hoses -- inspect them regularly and replace at the first sign of impending failure.
Consider drip pans, alarms, automatic shut-offs and more depending upon the situation and how much damage is likely to result from a failure and leak.
--
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
shutting off all the water in a home might be a bad idea.
a fire occurs, you spot it and get out the garden hose, the detector reports leak and shuts down the garden hose when you need it the most.
isolate room with a shower pan type arrangement and solenoid valve on heater is worthwhile idea.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Dec 13, 3:12 pm, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

http://www.safehomeproducts.com/shp2/sm/flood-chek.asp?dir=SHP2
Michael Thomas Paragon Property Services Inc / Home Inspections http://www/paragoninspects.com 847-475-0468
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The floodstop valves are installed upstream of the hoses.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you decide to use a pan, DON'T use a plastic pan under a gas water heater. They dry out and crack after a few years. I know, the pan didn't last as long as my heater. Luckily I caught it when it was only a small leak. Our area now requires a metal pan (easy to find, about $20) now. Also might want to check the main shutoff valve now, just in case.
On Dec 13, 9:40 pm, "Michael Thomas, Paragon Property Services,

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 13 Dec 2007 08:38:37 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I have a water tank pan under the water tank. I ran a PVC pipe to the outside and into the downspout. You could put a battery-operated moisture alarm in the pan.
Still, it is a good idea to caulk the flooring-shoe molding interface. This will help stop moisture and insects and make it easier to keep the floor clean. A better option for the basement is vinyl flooring.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My gas fired tank is 30 years old & working fine.
Put a pan under the tank. There are special pans just for this at hardware stores. They have a drain outlet in them; hopefully your tank is close to a floor drain so you can hook up some PVC pipe from the pan to the drain. Mine happens to be right over the drain so I don't bother with the pan. :-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<My Whirlpool 52 gallon, 12 year guaranteed heater, failed after 3 years, so age sometimes doesn't count.The original Rheem copper lined tank lasted 20 years, that was installed in the house when built 1955
I get about 6 years out of my tanks. They rust out on the bottom. The Whirlpool that just failed, had a broken weld joint at the cold water inlet. I'm on a municipal water system.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My basement has two drains in the unfinished part. Still, I replaced my WH after 12 years as a precautionary measure.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.