WATER HEATER LEAKING? TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS
JAN 02, 2018
Whether it is a few drops or an all-out gush of water, water heater leaking should not be ignored. While some leaks that are caught early can be easily fixed, others can lead to serious damage to the water heater and even create a dangerous situation in your home. Read on so that you can learn exactly what to do when you find out that your water heater is leaking.
WHY IS MY WATER HEATER LEAKING?
The first step to understanding why your water heater might be leaking is to quickly evaluate the nature of the leak to decide on your immediate next steps. Also, you will want to turn off the fuel supply, whether it be by turning off the gas or electricity to the unit. Next, turn off the water supply to the water heater using the inlet valve. If the valve is broken or not working, you could alternatively shut off the water to your house. Doing this will stop the leaking until you are able to properly address the issue. Below are the main areas that the water could be leaking from and the potential scenarios that you could run into.
WATER HEATER LEAKING WATER FROM THE TOP
If your water heater is leaking from the top, count your blessings. This is by far the best-case-scenario when it comes to water heater leaks, because it is likely to be a loose pipe fitting or valve. In most cases, this can easily be repaired by a professional or competent homeowner. However, it is critical you make sure that this leak was caught before the excess water had a chance to damage any electrical components in the water heater. That being said, a water heater leaking water from the top is much preferred to other alternatives when considering the potential to repair, rather than replace, the water heater in question.
WATER HEATER LEAKING WATER FROM THE BOTTOM
Unfortunately when a water heater is leaking water leaking from the bottom, it could be a simple fix, or something more serious. First, take a close look to determine if the leak is coming from the drain valve or from the tank. If it is the drain valve, a plumber should be able to repair it and have the system working as good as new in a short amount of time.
On the other hand, a leaking tank almost always indicates that a water heater replacement will be the more practical option as corrosion or a crack may be to blame. In this case you will need to call a plumber as well. While it will take longer to install a new water heater than to simply repair a valve, you will feel much better having the peace of mind knowing that your water heater is working properly. Furthermore, a trusted plumber could also evaluate your household needs, and recommend upgrading your water heater to a bigger or more energy-efficient system.
WHAT WOULD CAUSE A PRESSURE RELIEF VALVE TO LEAK?
If you notice that the leak is coming from the pressure relief valve, take a deep breath. This tends to scare many people who are unsure of what is causing this type of leak. It may be that the valve is just not closed all the way. If this is the case, then follow these steps: After turning off the water and power to the water heater as indicated in the introduction to this article, open the valve for a minute to drain some water out of the tank and relieve any pressure. Then close tightly to see if that does the trick.
If the leak continues, then it may be time to call a plumber for a professional opinion — especially if the water heater is near the end of its expected lifespan.
CAN GAS LEAK FROM MY WATER HEATER?
Last, but certainly not least, if you have a gas-powered water heater, there is a possibility that gas will leak from your water heater. First, make sure that you have shut off the gas to the water heater as mentioned earlier. Next, consider turning off the gas to your home as an additional precautionary measure. Before you go any further, because gas leaks can be so dangerous, do not try to address this problem yourself. Contact a professional plumber in Phoenix or the surrounding area. Make sure that the gas is not turned on until an expert has gotten to the bottom of the problem.
Do you have a water heater that is leaking and could use some help? We have same-day appointments and our technicians are prepared to handle any water heater repair or replacement. Give us a call with any questions, we are available 24 hours per day to take care of you!