I saw this on an episode of This Old House. Looked like a simple thing...a
pan for underneath the HWH. Then, a small float connected via a chain to a
value that was incorporated into the fill-pipe for the water heater.
If the tank sprung a leak, the water would fill up in the pan, the 'float'
would rise up, and the valve above the water line would trip, shutting off
the flow of water to the heater.
I'll be damned if I can find this item anywhere online....anyone know? I'm
having my 30 gallon tank replaced with a 50 gallon soon and was wondering if
something like this was worthwhile, or not.
I guess if it shuts off the water it doesn't prevent the entire waterheater
from draining, but it keeps the drain from going on I'd guess. Also...since
my unit is gas-fired, I imagine at some point it would snuff out the flame
for the burner........in which case it would be better to have a soaked
basement than a free-flowing gas supply..eh?