GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Elevating heat pump water heater to avoid condensate pump

rondeaunotrondo | Posted in General Questions on

Can I elevate a HPWH to let the condensate drain into a tall stand pipe thus avoiding a condensate pump? How do I elevate it while having a drain pan for the auto leak protection?


Back story:
Purchased a Rheem Proterra 65L HPWH with plan to install in a currently open (will finish at some point) basement. It will be sitting near my Washer/HP dryer and thus, I would like to drain the condensate into the stand pipe which sits 55” off the ground (old house, sewage line is not much lower). Heat pump condensate drain sits at 50” off the ground. 

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. evantful | | #1

    Definitely. If it’s unfinished and you dont care about looks you can use 8in cinder blocks under it.

    If it’s finished you could make a platform with 2x10s or 2x12s and then fascia it nicely. I did this for other reasons and it works fine

    1. rondeaunotrondo | | #2

      Great thanks.

  2. _jt | | #3

    I bought a little giant pump for about $20 on Amazon. It works great, I drain up 10 ft, and then across 20, then down into a sink -- it was much simpler than I would have imagined.

  3. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #4

    Large precast patio pavers are good for this too, since you can stack them. You can also pour a small concrete pad (known as a "housekeeping pad" commerically) that the water heater can sit on. You can build a stand from wood, but in my opinion this puts you at a bit more risk for potential issues down the road in case of any leaks.

    The water heater itself doesn't really care where it sits, as long as it's in the proper orientation (vertical, level, etc.) Just make sure it doesn't rock or get unstable on whatever platform you end up using to hold it up.

    BTW, I have two condensate pumps for my two furnaces, and they both have probably 10+ years in operation now with no problems. They're pretty reliable little devices.


    1. rondeaunotrondo | | #6

      Thanks Bill and Jay. It sounds like the pumps aren't that bad...I just wanted to avoid paying for one more thing/running one more thing/breaking one more thing.

      Thanks for the idea regarding precast patio pavers, I'll look into those.

  4. walta100 | | #5

    No need to reinvent the wheel.
    Water heater stands are a commercial product. Code required for gas appliances in a garage.

    The important thing to remember is what would happen should an earth quake shake your water heater. Be sure and strap it firmly to the wall so it is unlikely to fall over.


    1. rondeaunotrondo | | #7

      Well Walter you've made me look like an idiot! A simple search could have found that! Thank you. That's the best options with the least futzing around.

  5. George_7224612 | | #8

    Most people never change the anode rod in their water heaters, so they don't consider overhead clearance. If you're planning to change yours, it'll be easier if you have plenty of overhead clearance.

    1. rondeaunotrondo | | #9

      George, actually that's a good point, but rather than the anode change, I'm thinking about the filter on the top of the Rheem. I don't think I actually have enough clearance to get to the top with one of the hot water stands Walter mentioned.

      1. _jt | | #11

        Yes, you need a foot or two to get into the filter - but it doesn't get that dirty.

        Just FYI: All winter there is basically zero condensate, then in spring I used a bucket I emptied once a week. But by the time we got to summer, we got to one bucket a day so I switched to the condensate pump. Ideally, put the pump in so that it leaks into the base, so if it fails, it trips the leak sensor and you get a text message to fix things.

        1. rondeaunotrondo | | #13

          Thanks Jay, looks like my plumber is recommending a condensate pump over elevating the heater.

    2. Expert Member
      BILL WICHERS | | #10

      You can get segmented anode rods that have flexible links between sections for exactly this reason. The segmented rods allow you to replace the rod with much less available space. Since the old rod will have likely rotted away, it's usually no problem getting the old one out, so you only have to worry about getting the new one in.

      Water heaters will last a LOT longer if you replace the anode rod regularly, with "regularly" being how ever long the rod lasts in your specific water chemistry.


      1. George_7224612 | | #14

        Yes, I used a segmented rod in my old 7 foot basement. The new one is 9 feet, so life should be easier. Which reminds me that I should go loosen up the anode rod and retighten it while it's new to make it easier to change in a couple of years. They can be a struggle to remove.

  6. walta100 | | #12

    Please don’t think less of yourself because you had not seen something before.

    But do strap your water heater to the wall no place is immune form earthquakes.


Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |