Water heater problems

We just installed a new water heater and we have two problems.
We have a small gas leak where the flexible connector connects to the gas valve. We have tried two different flexible connectors and the leak is there with both of them. Is there anything we can do other than replacing the gas valve? If we have to replace the gas valve, is there any way to soften the old pipe dope on the threads?
We bought a Smitty pan to put under the water heater. It came with a white plastic fitting that has a round part, a small slot, a hexagonal part, a smaller round part and a threaded part (picture available). How do we attach the fitting to the pan and what do we attach to the fitting? Thank you in advance for all replies.
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fast until he gets so dizzy that he can't stand up anymore. Then I get him
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Replace the gas valve, use Teflon tape during the connections.

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