Everyone enjoys washing their dishes and showering with hot water.
But do you know what to do when water heater leaks? This is a problem many homeowners face, and it can be frustrating.
Water heaters leak due to aging, damaged cold inlets and outlets, or too much pressure on the temperature and pressure relief valve. Once you determine a leak, you should first find the leaking area and turn off the tanks. The next step is closing the main water supply valves and fixing the problem.
If you cannot repair the leaking parts, contact a professional plumber to help. They have better knowledge about correcting the pressure relief valves on water heaters and detecting other problems in your system. Ask your friends to refer you to plumbers they worked with before. You can also get some hot water heater inspiration from the pros at Clover Services on this site.
Signs of a Leaking Water Heater
Homeowners buy water heaters from reputable companies to ensure they last a lengthy period of time. With time, the water heaters age, and the tanks crack. Although you don’t inspect the water heater tanks daily, you can know they are leaking when you notice these signs.
Changes in Water Temperatures
You most likely bought a water heater probably because you do not enjoy taking cold showers in the morning. Some people also want their water scorching hot! However, if you turn on the hot shower and only get lukewarm water, there might be a problem with your water heater.
When your water heater leaks, the amount of water reduces. Therefore, the heating system becomes inefficient and does not heat the water properly. You could also notice that the shower takes too long to produce hot water because of the low water pressure.
Rusty Water Heater Tank
Moisture is a significant cause of rusting. It is unusual for your water heater to rust on the exterior unless there are leaks. The leaking water heater could lead to increased water bills. You should also check the burner units and schedule a replacement.
Puddles of Water Around the Hot Water Heater
One of the obvious signs when determining a leaking water heater is puddles of water around the tank. If there are no puddles, you can look for water damage on the wall or the floor under the tank.
Failure to repair the leaking water heater could lead to more severe problems like mold growth. Other problems associated with water leaking are stains on the walls and damage to electronics and other appliances.
What to Do When Your Water Heater Leaks
Realizing that your water heater is leaking can be frustrating. First, you start worrying about getting a replacement, which is expensive. You could also worry about the water damaging your electronics, wooden floor, and even your walls.
However, as traumatizing and frightening as a water heater leak can look, there is a solution. These steps will help you fix the problem as you wait for a permanent solution from the plumber.
Detect the Source of the Leak
Although your first idea will be to turn off the main water supply, you first need to locate the source of the leak. Knowing the leaking point makes it easier for the plumber to determine a solution, and you could also fix it if it’s a small tear.
Most water heaters leak due to faulty connections or improperly fixed valves. The tank could also have small holes due to aging. Ensure that you take clear, high-quality pictures of the leaking part or use an object to mark them for easy identification.
Turn Off the Water Supply
Once you have identified the leak, you can now turn off the water supply. Look for the two pipes on top of your water heater. The cold water pipe is the main water supply pipe, and it has a shutoff valve, which could either be a ball or a dial valve. You should turn the dial clockwise until it stops to cut the water supply.
Turn Off the Power and Empty the Tank
Once you have stopped the water supply into the tank, you should switch off the water heater. Some water heaters use electricity to run while others use gas. If you have an electric heater, shut off the power supply from the circuit breaker box.
You should be careful when handling electricity near water. First, ensure you are not stepping on the water when the circuit is on because it causes fatal electric shocks.
If your water heater uses gas, it is easier to switch off because you flick a switch. Once the power supply is off, you can drain the tank. An easier way to remove the water is by using a hose. Ensure you catch all the water from the tank to keep the basement dry.
Repair the Leaking Area
Since you already determined the leaking area, check if you can repair it. If you are a plumber or have the required plumbing tools for repairs, you can solve the problem yourself.
Alternatively, call a professional plumber to deal with more complex water heater problems. They know how to fix the leaking parts easier. Besides, working with a qualified plumber ensures you don’t land into problems with your water heater manufacturer.
Manufacturers advise homeowners always to hire professionals to deal with a problem with their appliances to avoid warranty voids. Besides, these plumbers are insured, and the insurance company can refund you if more damage happens to your water heating system.
Now that you know what to do when a water heater leaks, you will undergo less stress when you notice a leak. It is also essential to have a plumber you can contact anytime you suspect a problem with your water heater.
Most homeowners are tempted to do the job themselves, making things worse. Get a quality water heater with high durability and a longer lifespan to avoid frequent water heater leaks.
Knowing What To Do When Hot Water Heater Leaks in Your Home
Congratulations on knowing what to do when hot water heater leaks in your house!
However, even if you know how to address water heater issues, you should hire a professional plumber if you are unsure about repairing the problem. They are trained to detect the causes of the leaks and fix them. The plumber will also advise how to maintain your water heater.