Hot water is an essential part of any home, but when you need water heater repair you need it fast. If your water heater is leaking, you should get it repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid any larger issues.
Experiencing problems with your water heater can be a massive headache, but don’t worry – Elmer’s Home Services is here to help with your hot water heater repair.
Let’s cover what to do if you spot a water heater leaking, what causes leaks, and how to prevent water heater leaks.
Electric water heaters can last anywhere from 10-15 years with proper care and preventative maintenance. It’s important to know what to do if you start seeing signs of a leak.
This post will cover the following key points to ensure that you know what to do when your hot water heater is leaking.
- Identifying a heater leaking water.
- What to do if you spot a water heater leaking.
- How to prevent hot water heater leaks.
- What causes a leaking water heater?
- What is the best option for repairing or replacing your water heater?
Identifying a heater leaking water.
If you are experiencing problems with your water heater, it is important to be able to identify if the issue is a leak. There are a few common signs that your water heater may be leaking water.
Some of these signs include water pooling around the base of the heater, water dripping from the tank, rusty, discolored, or cold water, and unusual sounds coming from the tank.
Here are a few things to check.
At the bottom of the tank is your drain valve, which is used for draining water from your water tank.
If it’s dry, then that is not the issue – but if there’s any cold water or moisture surrounding the drain valve, we recommend calling a plumber.
If you decide to attempt to tighten the drain valve, make sure you attach a garden hose first, because messing with a drain valve that is damaged can cause it to break and empty the water tank.
To tighten the drain valve slightly, simply turn the valve clockwise so that it is completely closed.
Dry off the area with some paper towels and come back to check later to see if there is any more water leaking.
Temperature and pressure relief valve
If you notice that water isn’t coming from the bottom of your water heater, it might be leaking from the T&P Valve – temperature and pressure relief valve, this is used to regulate excessive pressure.
This valve is also a potential source of leakage on your heater. The T&P Valve is located on the side of your hot water heater near the top.
It usually has a spigot or pipe with a directional pull – DO NOT PULL THIS.
To check if this valve is leaking, simply locate it and place your finger at the bottom of the open valve. If there’s water present, then the problem is coming from this valve.
If not, then it might be time to double-check the drain valve – on the bottom of your heater.
Cold water inlet and hot water outlet
These two pipes are located on top of your hot water heater.
The cold-water inlet pipe or cold-water supply line brings water to the internal tank. Feel around this area and see if there is a leak.
If there is moisture, it’s recommended that you call a plumber that will use a pipe wrench to tighten the pipe.
Doing this yourself could result in breakage and a more serious leak due to the inbound water pressure.
What to do if you spot a water heater leaking.
If you spot a water heater leaking, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. Leaks can cause extensive damage to your home and can be dangerous.
Here are a few things you can do to minimize the damage caused by a leaking water heater.
Turn off the hot water tank
If you have an electric water heater this can be done at the circuit breaker or electrical panel.
If you have a gas water heater, locate the gas shutoff valve, and turn it to “Off” or “Pilot”
Turning the shut-off valve will stop the water heater from heating when there is no water in the tank
Turn off the water supply line
The first thing you should do if you spot a water heater leak is to turn off the water supply valve.
This will stop any more cold water from coming into the tank and causing more leaks.
Drain the tank
Once the water supply has been turned off, you can begin draining the tank by opening the drain valve at the bottom of your hot water heater.
Attach a hose to the drain valve to empty the water into the drain or outside.
If the leak is coming from the pressure relief valve, do not attempt to drain the tank as this could cause serious injury.
Call a professional
Once you have taken these steps, it’s important to call a professional to assess the damage and repair or replace your water heater.
Elmer’s Home Services has been in business for over 18 years and offers options to fit our customer’s budgets ranging from a band aid fix, up to total replacement. Whatever the cause Elmer’s can help when your water heater is leaking.
How to prevent hot water heater leaks
There are a few things you can do to prevent a leaky water heater.
Proper maintenance is the best way to avoid a heater leaking water. Check the temperature and pressure relief valve for leaks, and make sure the drain valve is closed tight.
Another way to prevent leaks is to keep an eye on the anode rod. The anode rod is a metal rod that helps to prevent corrosion in the tank.
Over time, the anode rod can become corroded, cause internal tank leaks, and need to be replaced. This can require special tools such as a socket and pipe wrench.
Be sure that the water temperature or thermostat is set to the manufacturer’s recommended setting. The thermostat regulates the water heater’s temperature and prevents it from overheating.
For gas water heaters, make sure the vent pipe is clear and unobstructed. A blocked vent pipe can cause pressure to build up in the tank, leading to leaks.
If you have a gas water heater it’s recommended that you check it more frequently as there are more serious issues that can arise besides a leaky water heater tank. For example, there could be a gas line or gas supply issue.
If you suspect there is a gas issue it’s best to call a nearby plumber.
What causes a leaking water heater?
There are a few things that can cause a water heater to leak. One of the most common reasons is the corrosion of the tank.
This can be caused by hard water or improper maintenance.
Another common reason for leaks is a faulty pressure relief valve. This valve is designed to release excess pressure from the tank, but if it’s not working properly, it can cause leaks due to the pressure inside the tank being incorrect.
Another potential cause of leaks is a blocked vent pipe. This can happen if the flue gas from a gas water heater is not able to escape properly.
This can create pressure build-up in the tank, leading to leaks.
A faulty tank can be the cause of many different types of leaks. If you have a water heater that is more than 10 years old, it’s important to regularly check it for any signs of wear and tear.
One common issue with old water heater tanks is a cracked storage tank or faulty seams where the tank is welded.
A crack can be caused by corrosion or too much pressure and will generally require a total water heater replacement.
What is the best option for repairing or replacing your water heater?
If you have tried all the steps above you still see your water heater leaking, it’s time to call a local plumber for water heater repair.
Elmer’s Home Services is a local plumbing company in San Antonio, Tx that has been in business for over 18 years. We provide options to fit our customer’s budgets ranging from a bandaid fix, up to total replacement.
If you are experiencing a heater leaking water, don’t hesitate to give us a call for all your water heater repair needs in the San Antonio area.
We can help you assess the damage and find the best solution for your needs. We’ll work with you to find a solution for your water heater repair that fits your needs. Call us today!