Solved! How to Fix a Leaking Water Heater and Prevent Future Woes
Image courtesy of istockphoto.com Q: I’m in trouble! My hot water heater is leaking, and I need to fix it. After cleaning up, I see that additional water is beginning to puddle, but I am unable to determine where it is coming from. Is it necessary for me to contact a plumber, or is it feasible for me to repair the leaky water heater myself? A: There are a variety of reasons why water heaters might leak, including faulty valves, high pressure in the tank, and difficulties with the pipes that connect to the unit.
So, while you may eventually need to hire a plumber, depending on the location of the leak, it is possible that a simple DIY remedy is available to you.
Turn off the power to the leaking water heater.
The water heater will have a dial or an On/Off switch near the point where the gas line is connected if it is a gas water heater. If your water heater is electric, locate your home’s electric service panel and turn off the breaker labeled “Hot Water Heater” by switching it to the “Off” position. If your water heater is gas, locate your home’s electric service panel and turn off the breaker labeled “Hot Water Heater” by switching it to the “Off” position.
Next, shut off the water pressure to the tank.
On the top of the water heater, you’ll notice two plumbing pipes that are connected together. One is the hot water pipe, which delivers hot water to your taps, and the other is the cold water supply line, which delivers cold water to your faucets. Only the cold line will have a shutoff valve; you will need to turn that valve to the Off position in order to prevent cold water from entering the tank. OTHER RELATED:10 Plumbing Tips Every Homeowner Should Know
Do some sleuthing to find the water heater’s leak.
Water heater leaks frequently begin slowly, with only a few drips here and there, making it difficult to determine where the water is coming from. In order to check for dampness, run your fingertips or a tissue around the following three possible locations:
- The connectors on the pipes above the water heater
- The drain valve towards the bottom of the tank (the one with the normal garden hose connection)
- And the area around the temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve are all places where you should be cautious. There should be a copper tube that runs out a few inches from the tank and then turns downward to the tank bottom, which should be positioned on the tank’s side. There is an opening at the bottom of the tube, and you should check for dampness there as well
If you have discovered the source of the leak, the following steps will show you how to repair each one. It might be time to call in the professionals. Get free, no-obligation repair estimates from qualified plumbing specialists in your area. +Image courtesy of istockphoto.com
Tighten loose pipe fittings.
If the water is coming from both the cold water supply line and the hot water pipe, you may be able to stop the leak by tightening a loose fitting with a wrench on the cold water supply line. In order for this to happen, you must connect flex pipes, such as this 12-Inch Fluidmaster Braided Stainless Steel Connectors (available on Amazon), between your home’s main cold and hot water lines and the water heater. For many homes, flex pipes are a convenient design since they attach in the same way as a garden hose would—making it a simple do-it-yourself project.
If the water pipes are solid copper, on the other hand, you will need to get a plumber to fix them since copper connections must be soldered in order to be watertight.
Adjust the water temperature if the leak issues from the TPR valve.
A water heater tank’s pressure is determined by two factors: the temperature of the water in the tank and the pressure of the water that is drawn into the tank from the cold water supply line. When the pressure in the tank reaches a hazardous level, the TPR valve, which is also known as a pop-off valve, releases to release the trapped air and relieve the pressure. This valve, which is placed at the bottom of the downturned pipe you saw earlier, is a safety device meant to deflect a scorching jet of water to the ground rather than the face of anybody standing close.
Many manufacturers provide water heaters that are pre-heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, however the Department of Energy (DOE) recommends that 120 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient for most homes.
Test the pressure in the cold water supply.
Even if the water temperature is not excessively high, the pressure in the cold water supply line may be too high. It is controlled at the exterior water meter, and if it is 100 pounds per square inch (psi) or greater, it may be causing excessive pressure in the water heater. Water leaking from the TPR valve might potentially result as a result of this. The Flow Doctor Water Pressure Test Gauge (available on Amazon) is an example of a water pressure gauge that is meant to be attached to an exterior faucet and may be used to check the water pressure in your home.
When you turn on the outside spigot, the gauge will show you how much pressure is in the water.
Replace a leaky drain valve.
If drips are flowing from the area around the drain valve, the valve should be changed as soon as possible. While some may opt to hire a plumber at this stage, those who are devoted to do-it-yourself projects may be able to manage the job. First and foremost, you must drain the water heater by connecting a garden hose to the drain valve and then connecting the other end of the hose to a floor drain or a shower drain, as appropriate. Open the valve using a flathead screwdriver, allowing the water to run out via the hose as it should.
Purchase a precise match at your local hardware shop, and then install the replacement valve by twisting it clockwise into the drain valve hole until it is tight. RELATED: The 6 Most Important Things You Can Do for Your Plumbing System Image courtesy of istockphoto.com
Replace the water heater if the leak is at the bottom of the tank.
If, after doing your investigation, you discovered that the leak was not originating from any of the previously mentioned locations, the problem is located at the bottom of the tank. After a period of time, sediment can accumulate in the bottom of a hot water heater, which can eventually result in rust that consumes the bottom of the tank. Although frequent drainage and cleansing of the water heater can help to reduce the corrosion process, if the bottom of the water heater is already leaking, it’s time to replace the water heater.
However, electric models need direct connecting of the heater into the home’s service panel, which is a job best left to a licensed electrical contractor.
Prevent water damage from future leaks with a leak detector.
Because most water heaters are stashed away in unheard-of places like utility closets, basements, and garages, a leak can cause extensive water damage before it is discovered. Consider installing a leak detector, such as Zircon’s Leak Alert (available on Amazon), on the floor near the water heater to prevent this problem. When the detector detects the first evidence of a leak, it generates a loud sound to inform you. Additionally, the Zircon detector may be integrated with your home’s Wi-Fi system, which will send an alarm to your smartphone or tablet if a leak is detected.
Water Heater Leaking? How To Fix It In 5 Easy Steps
Water leaks in the average home in the United States waste 10,000 gallons of water each year. Even worse, 10 percent of US houses have plumbing problems that are so severe that they waste 32,850 gallons of water every year. So, if you’ve found that your water heater is leaking or dripping, it’s important to address the problem as soon as possible. The sooner you take action, the sooner you will be able to conserve water, money, and even the water tank itself. Water damage can be difficult to fix and can cost a significant amount of money.
A water heater tank that appears to be leaking may really be preventing its contents from being wasted.
A leak inspection of the entire home should be performed to see if you have a leaky tank (or any other probable leak).
There are numerous houses who have their water meters outside, on the curb in front of their home.
Once you’ve located the meter, instruct everyone in the house to turn off the water while you do the test. Make certain that all faucets, toilets, fixtures, and water appliances are totally stopped off. At this time, your meter should have come to a complete stop.
Confirm If It’s Your Hot Water Heater Leaking
Water leaks in the average home in the United States waste 10,000 gallons of water each year. Even worse, 10 percent of US houses have plumbing problems that are so severe that they waste 32,850 gallons of water every year. So, if you’ve found that your water heater is leaking or dripping, it’s important to address the problem as soon as possible. The sooner you take action, the sooner you will be able to conserve water, money, and even the water tank itself. Water damage can be difficult to fix and can cost a significant amount of money.
- A water heater tank that appears to be leaking may really be preventing its contents from being wasted.
- A leak inspection of the entire home should be performed to see if you have a leaky tank (or any other probable leak).
- There are numerous houses who have their water meters outside, on the curb in front of their home.
- Once you’ve located the meter, instruct everyone in the house to turn off the water while you do the test.
- At this time, your meter should have come to a complete stop.
Close the Tank’s Water Supply Valve (Turn off the water)
Following confirmation that your tank is leaking, the following step is to turn off the valve that controls the leak (shut off the water). This prevents any more cold water from entering the tank. You should turn off the electricity again before working on the shut-off valve if you had to turn on the heater again after turning it off. The shut-off valve is usually located just above the water heater, on the cold water supply line, in the majority of tanks. This may be a gate valve that you need to turn or twist, or it could be a handle that you can quickly pull down and open.
Fix the Leak
Depending on the severity of the leak and the location of the leak, you may be able to complete a few simple DIY repairs. If your water heater is leaking from the top, this may come as welcome news to you and your family. Leaks in water connections are the most straightforward to fix. Prepare yourself, though, since you may need to hire a qualified plumber if the problem is more substantial or severe, such as a tank leak.
Leaking Water Connections
The cold water inlet and hot water exit pipes that are linked to your tank top are the two pipes that supply water to your tank. This is due to the fact that water constantly flows in and out of these lines, causing them to become loose or disconnected over time. If this is the source of your water heater’s leak, you may simply need to tighten the connections that are loose. Make careful to check for leaks at both the intake and output of the appliance.
A pipe wrench should do the work in this case. However, once again, be certain that your water heater is not receiving electricity before securing the connections. The importance of this is magnified if you’re dealing with a hot water outlet problem. The input line for cold water is leaking.
A Leaking Drain Valve
The “drain valve” is a valve that is located towards the bottom of your water heater tank. This is the component that allows you to drain your tank for the purpose of maintenance. Furthermore, you should flush and clean your tank at least once a year to ensure that sediment accumulation is removed from the system. The drain valve, like all other connections, might become loose with time, just like any other part of the system. If you notice that your water heater is leaking from this section, use a pipe wrench to slightly tighten it down.
If the water heater is still leaking, it is possible that the valve has to be replaced.
Leaking Drain Valve on a Water Heater
A Leaking TemperaturePressure Relief Valve
It is standard equipment on your water heater to include a temperature and pressure release valve (T P Valve). It is a mechanism that allows steam or water to escape from a tank in order to prevent the accumulation of excessive temperature or pressure. It should perform its function if the temperature within the tank surpasses 210 degrees Fahrenheit or if the pressure inside the tank exceeds 150 pounds per square inch. Because it is a valve, this component of your water heater is also prone to leaking due to its design.
Eventually, it may become faulty, allowing water to escape from the pipe to which it is connected.
After all, you’re dealing with more than just leaks; you’re also dealing with temperature and pressure.
Leaking from the Pressure Relief Valve on a Water Heater
A Leaking Water Heater
The inside tank of a water heater is protected by insulating materials. After that, an outer skin is wrapped across the entire portion. A leak that emerges from the bottom of the tank would be the most frequent indicator of an inside portion that is beginning to leak. If this is the core cause of your water heater’s problems, you will need to have the water heater repaired or replaced. Due to the fact that leaks are typically an indication of degradation, these leaks are frequently irreparably damaged and cannot be repaired.
You can extend the life of your water heater by doing routine and preventative maintenance on it.
Install a Powered Anode Rod to Prevent Water Heater Leaking
If you have had a water heater leak due to corrosion, or if you don’t want it to happen again, we recommend putting a Corro-Protec driven anode rod in the water heater. This anode makes use of electricity to protect the tank against corrosion and to reduce the formation of limescale inside the tank. This rod is only 12 inches long, and it is simple to install.
It also comes with a 20-year warranty, so you will never have to worry about your water heater rusting again. Since its introduction to the market more than two decades ago, Corro-Protec anodes have helped to preserve over 75,000 water heaters throughout North America.
Replace the Magnesium Anode Rod Before It Completely Corrodes
A sacrificial component known as a “sacrificial anode rod” is located within your water tank. In any instance, an anode rod makes the ultimate sacrifice in order to safeguard the interior of a water heater tank’s interior. Water elements are drawn to it, and these elements can corrode and damage the other metal components of the tank. The anode rod can be thought of as a permanent magnet. It attracts minerals and metal ions that would otherwise corrode and oxidize the heater’s internal components.
The installation of a sacrificial magnesium anode rod is difficult, and it does not survive very long (only last 2 or 3 years).
An anode rod has a shorter life span than the complete tank as a result of the purpose for which it was designed.
Don’t Forget to Maintain Your Water Heater
If you don’t want to have to deal with a leaky water heater in the future, make sure you are doing regular maintenance on it. It is important to thoroughly clean your water heater’s internal components, in addition to emptying and replacing the anode once a year as recommended. Clean the exterior of your tank, as well as the valves and water connections on it. You will be able to get rid of dust and debris accumulation, which can lead to decreased performance.
What to Do if You Notice Your Water Heater Leaking
The possibility of a leaky water heater is one of those possible issues that many homeowners overlook. Because the water heater is frequently placed in a part of the house that is rarely visited, many of us are prone to falling into the “out of sight, out of mind” trap when it comes to maintaining it. Water heater problems are only discovered when it becomes painfully clear that something is wrong with the water heater. The harm to your home may have already been done by that point, and it may be too late to prevent further damage.
This article will shed more light on that often used item, as well as on the steps you can take to ensure that it does not become a cause of troubles in your home or business.
The Reasons Why Your Water Heater Is Leaking
Let’s start with the reasons why water heaters are prone to leaking. There are a variety of factors that contribute to water heaters bursting their seals. This is probably not news to you.
When it comes to aging, water heaters are no different than any other piece of equipment in your house. These water heaters, on the other hand, may be fairly durable when compared to many of the other equipment you use on a daily basis. They have the ability to operate without interruption for up to 10 years, and this is true even if you do nothing to keep them in good working order. Nonetheless, 10 years might pass in a blink of an eye, and you may lose sight of how old your heater actually is.
If this device begins to fail, it may be worthwhile for you to look over your receipt to determine exactly when you acquired it in case the problem was caused by a faulty part. That could provide some insight into why it’s behaving up in the first place.
The Hot and Cold Inlets and Outlets
Because of their location on the water heater, the hot and cold inlets and outlets are more vulnerable to damage when compared to the rest of the unit’s other components. If you’ve observed that your heater is beginning to leak, have a look at these components.
The Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
Several factors might be contributing to the leak, including the temperature and pressure relief valve on your water heater and a clogged drain line. If the valve is subjected to an excessive amount of pressure, it may begin to malfunction. The problem might also be caused by the water heater elevating the temperature of the water to an excessive level. It is possible that the temperature and pressure relief valves will be damaged as a result.
The Drain Valve
Because the drain valve was created to flush out any sediment that may have made its way into the water heater, you should anticipate it to leak at least a little bit during operation. There is, however, a substantial distinction between a frequent trickling and a full-blown leak in this case. Inspect the drain valve to ensure that it is not discharging any more water than it should be, since this might develop into a serious problem sooner rather than later.
The Water Tank
Considering that the tank of your water heater is the source of the leak, you have a significant problem on your hands. That is not something that can be resolved fast, and it may cost a significant amount of money to handle. The only true advantage to this situation is that you will be able to tell straight away if there is a problem with the water tank since you will observe flooding instead of merely leaky water coming out.
The Telltale Signs That Your Water Heater Is About to Leak
If your tank doesn’t have a large hole in it, it’s unlikely that you’ll detect a leak immediately away. Although it is a good idea to inspect your water heater on a regular basis, the great majority of homeowners fail to do so on a regular basis. One advantage of performing a comprehensive check of your water heater on a regular basis is that you won’t have to wait long to discover that it’s damaged. You can keep an eye out for some of the signs of a faulty water heater, which we have included in the section below.
The Water Quality Has Changed
A large number of people prefer to take hot water showers first thing in the morning. Some people are able to tolerate the freezing cold water striking their bodies at such an early hour, but others are unable to do so. If your water heater is leaking, you don’t necessarily have to be concerned about cold water pouring down on you, but you may notice that the water coming out is tepid rather than hot. Most people might dismiss this as a result of a cooler than normal morning, but it could be a sign that your water heater isn’t functioning properly, as seen in the image below.
This is a problem that you may have noticed previously since some of the items you’re washing have developed rust spots on them unexpectedly.
When it is not recommended to do so on purpose, you may notice rusty water while showering if some droplets reach close to your face as a result of the unique smell and flavor of the water.
Rusty water is a symptom that rust is beginning to form within your water heater’s internal components. It may not be leaking at this time, but it may do so in the near future.
The Exterior of the Water Heater Looks Rusty
If we’re talking about rust, you don’t need to find it in the water to know that your heater is likely to experience issues in the near future. Also, check the external heater to determine whether rust has begun to build on the surface of the heater. The presence of rust on the tank is a very reliable indicator that there is a leak someplace. Take the time to inspect the burner units as well; they are susceptible to rust in the same way.
The Water Heater Is Producing Noticeable Noise
It is unavoidable for sediment to accumulate within the water heater. There will be no indication of the sediment’s existence for an extended period of time. At some point, though, the sediment will solidify and begin to make a clicking sound whenever the water heater is turned on or off. You might try listening to the heater to see if you can find out if there is a problem with it.
Puddles of Water Are Forming around the Water Heater
Even though it may seem apparent, if you begin to observe puddles of water developing around the heater, it is a good indication that there is a leak in the system. The majority of the time, the puddle of water that indicates a leak will be located just under the heater.
How to Fix a Broken Water Heater
You are now aware of the signs and symptoms, and you can decide whether your water heater is leaking. So, what do you suggest you do next? In order to deal with the problem of your water heater leaking, you should follow these suggestions.
Detect Precisely Where the Leak Is
Even if you are already aware that your water heater is leaking, it is vital to understand that not all leaks may be repaired in the same manner. In addition to defective connections and valves, the leak might be caused by the tank itself as we discussed above. Prior to making any repairs, concentrate on locating the source of the leak first. Determine where water is collecting and clean it up. Then check again the next day to see if any additional water has accumulated there. This should provide you with an indication of the location of a potential tank leak.
Turn Off the Power and Drain the Tank
As soon as you’ve determined that there is a leak and have pinpointed the location of the leak, you should turn off your water heater. Electric water heaters should be turned off by utilizing the circuit breaker box located near the water heater. Locate the circuit breaker that supplies your water and turn it off. You must be thorough because you never want to find yourself in a situation where you may be standing in water while some electricity is still running through the wire or other components.
Following the successful completion of a complete shutdown of the water heater, you can begin to drain the tank.
Close Off the Water Supply
You may now begin the process of shutting down the water supply because the tank is now empty. First and foremost, locate the cold water shutoff valve. You can turn off the valve yourself as long as you are certain that you will be able to do it securely.
Making this adjustment should be sufficient to prevent further water from spilling into the heater. If the cold water shut off valve on the heater is in a difficult to reach location, you might try to locate the main water shut off valve on your home instead.
Address the Problem Areas
It’s now time to get down to business with the actual repairs, which might range from being rather straightforward to being really difficult. If the problem is connected to the cold and hot water inlets and outputs, you may be able to address it on your own by following these steps. Take a look at the connections to check if there are any areas where they are loose or damaged. Make use of your tool to tighten them down even further. If you follow these steps, you should be able to resolve your leak problem.
It’s possible that there’s a problem with the water pressure, but it’s also possible that a valve has malfunctioned.
You might try to do it yourself, but if you don’t have the necessary experience, you can wind up making matters worse instead of better.
Finally, if the tank itself already has a significant hole in it, it is possible that repairs will no longer be effective.
How to Maintain Your Water Heater
Even if you decide to repair or replace your water heater, it is in your best interests to keep it in better condition in the long run. Fortunately, doing appropriate water heater maintenance is not a difficult operation. Maintaining constant eye contact with the anode or sacrificial rod is one of the most important things you can do. This component of the water heater is in charge of collecting any debris that may have accumulated inside the tank. Check up on it on a semi-regular basis to ensure that it is still operational.
If you want to extend the life of your water heater, it is also a good idea to flush the tank with water every now and again.
Once a year will suffice to keep your water heater in excellent working order.
The Benefits of Maintaining Your Water Heater
Maintenance is essential not just for extending the life of your water heater, but also for improving the efficiency with which the device operates. If you put in the effort to keep the appliance in good working order, you’ll receive more value for your money. Making the effort to keep your water heater in good working order might help you avoid damage to your home’s basement. When it comes to leakage-related damage, one of the most frustrating aspects is that it isn’t usually obvious immediately away.
Put in the effort to keep your vehicle in good working order to avoid incurring that unneeded expenditure.
Call the Professionals to Fix Your Water Heater Problems Properly
It is worthwhile to attempt to repair the water heater on your own; but, if the repairs get too complicated, professional assistance may be required to complete them. Get in contact with the plumbing experts at Best San Diego Leak Detection to get all of your water heater problems resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.
You may also contact them if you have any other plumbing-related difficulties that you would want them to take care of. Posted on February 26, 2020 in Categories:
What To Do When Your Water Heater Is Leaking
Water heaters are built to last a long period, but even the greatest ones can develop leaks over time. A leaky water heater does not always indicate that it has to be replaced, but you should address any leaks as soon as they are discovered. The presence of even a tiny amount of water can do significant harm, thus it is critical to assess the situation immediately when it occurs. First and foremost, determine the source of the leak. Even if a little quantity of water is visible below your water heater, it is possible that the water heater is not the source of the leak.
- Are any of the fittings dripping or are there any other symptoms of leakage that you’re aware of?
- Where did you find the water?
- Keeping in mind the laws of gravity, if your floor slopes in any way, it’s possible that water went from another spot to where you discovered it.
- When you return, please The presence of damp towels indicates that there is a problem, and the water heater may be the source of the problem.
NEED IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE?
Water heater leaks should be addressed immediately by shutting down the water supply to the tank. On the cold inlet pipes of your water heater tank, there should be a specific shutdown valve for your water heater tank.
- For agate-style valves (which have a wheel that spins), crank the valve as far clockwise as you possibly can. if the valve is a ball-style valve, turn the handle in the other direction
Please contact us at (866) 264-9642 if you need assistance working through this. If the valve in your home is damaged, you can turn off the water supply to your home. Every home should be equipped with a main water shutoff valve, which would allow the flow of water to be stopped throughout the whole house. We encourage you to phone us if you are unable to locate the shut-off valve on your own and we will plan a time for one of our service specialists to come out to your home to assist you as soon as possible.
Electric Water Heater
To avoid further damage to your electric water heater, we recommend that you first turn off the electricity at the breaker before attempting to repair the tank. Simply turn off the circuit breaker.
Gas Water Heater
The gas supply should be disconnected before working on a leaky gas-powered water heater, according to our recommendations. On the gas line going to the tank, there should be a specific gas shut-off valve to prevent the flow of gas.
See the image below for a visual representation of a gas water heater being turned off. Once your water and electricity have been switched off, you will be able to more accurately analyze the problem and discover where the leak is coming from in more detail.
- Check the input and output connections. Leaks are frequently found at the points where pipes connect to your water heater. Examine the connections for the cold water input and hot water output. Is there a problem with any of the fittings? It’s possible that all they require is to be tightened using a pipe wrench. Make that the pressure release valve is working properly. If there is an excessive buildup of pressure, the pressure relief valve, also known as the T P valve, may be activated to release water as a safety precaution. It is possible that pressure will build up at the valve if your thermostat is set too high or if the water pressure to your home is excessive. Check your thermostat settings to ensure that the temperature is not set too high. A pressure gauge at a hose bib may be used to check the pressure in your home (you can also check the pressure in your car). What temperature should you have your water heater set at in the first place? The Department of Energy suggests that you set your tank-based water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the default setting of 140 degrees Fahrenheit that most manufacturers use. Water flowing from the T P valve indicates that it is doing its function by releasing water as the pressure develops, or that the valve is broken in some way. However, if your thermostat is not set too high and you are still experiencing leakage, the issue may be with the valve itself
- Check your water pressure. Besides checking the pressure and temperature, it’s a good idea to check the humidity. You may check the pressure by attaching a pressure gauge to the hose bib outside your home and running it through it. What should I do if my incoming pressure is excessive? According to the regulations, your inbound water pressure should not be greater than 80 PSI, and if the pressure is greater than 100 PSI, we strongly recommend that you install a pressure lowering valve. Not only might your water pressure be producing a leak, but it could also be causing damage to your fixtures. Look at the bottom of the water heater for leaks. Identifying the cause of a leak might be challenging in some cases, particularly if water is pooling underneath the tank itself. It’s possible that water leaking from a valve will run down the sides of the tank, creating the appearance that it’s coming from the bottom while in fact it’s coming from the top or sides. Alternatively, if the leak is coming from the bottom of the tank, it is possible that the tank itself is damaged, in which case it will need to be replaced. Make that the drain valve is working properly. The drain valve, which is located towards the bottom of the tank, should be entirely closed, so ensure sure there is no water flowing from this place. If it is leaking, it is possible that the washer inside has become worn and has to be replaced. If you are still unable to locate the source of the leak, please contact us and one of our professionals will be able to assist you
- No matter what you discover, it is always recommended that you have a professional evaluate your water heater if you discover any leaks.
When your water heater specialist arrives to begin work, they will drain your tank. However, if your tank is leaking excessively, you may want to drain it promptly to avoid water damage to your property. The following actions should be followed if you need to empty your water heater before a professional arrives: After you’ve shut off the water and electricity, follow these steps:
- Connect a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and run it outside on the ground to remove the water. Make certain that the tank is drained to an appropriate area, such as a gutter drain or a sink. It is not recommended to discharge the water onto your lawn or driveway since the silt and rust from the tank might hurt your grass and discolor your driveway. Activate the drain valve that is connected to the hose. Pulling up on the pressure release valve on the tank’s top will allow it to be opened. Allowing the water in the tank to drain is recommended.
Again, unless you are concerned about catastrophic damage to your home, you do not need to be concerned about draining your water heater. If you need assistance, our professionals would be pleased to assist you. Following these initial procedures after discovering a leak can be quite beneficial in preventing water damage from accumulating. Any inquiries or concerns you may have should be sent to (866) 264-9642, which is our toll free number.
Loose Drain Valve:
Lagging drain valves in water heaters are one of the most prevalent causes of water heater leaking. Try tightening the valve with a wrench until it is snug, but be cautious not to over-tighten it if water appears to be flowing out.
Too Much Pressure:
It is possible for a water heater tank to build up excessive pressure, which might result in leaks. This can happen if the water temperature is adjusted too high or if the water pressure from the outer water source is too high for the tank to handle.
Cracked Storage Tank:
Hot water heaters are constructed using a storage tank that is coated with glass. Over time, the natural minerals in the water might calcify and deposit on the interior of the tank, causing it to get clogged. These have the potential to fracture the glass lining of your water heater, causing it to leak. Additionally, water expands when it is heated. Over time, this expansion places stress on the heater’s glass lining, which might eventually lead it to crack and break. Unfortunately, if this occurs, your hot water heater will need to be replaced since the breaks in the glass liner are irreparable and cannot be repaired.
Providing the leaking water does not cause damage, this is OK, but the unit will need to be replaced at some point in the future.
Your water heater may be leaking for a variety of reasons, including broken fittings, poor draining, and just old age. Performing some troubleshooting on your own is always a good idea, but calling in a professional will always be the safest and most effective method to avoid any long-term and expensive damage to your property.
Your Water Heater Isn’t Producing Hot Water
If your hot water heater is no longer supplying hot water and the tank is supplied by electricity, check to see if the fuse at the breaker has blown and that the breaker has not been reset. Whether you have a gas hot water heater, you may also check to see if the pilot light is still lit to see if the heater is still operational.
If neither of these basic solutions are successful, contact to schedule a service call with a skilled technician to come to your house and assess the situation.
My Gas is Leaking – I Smell Gas!
If you suspect a gas leak at the water heater, you can shut off the gas at the dedicated gas shut off valve located on the gas line leading to the water heater and turn off the water heater. If you suspect that you have a gas leak concern that has not been resolved, you can contact Fast for service at (866) 264-9642. It is usually recommended to notify your energy company as soon as possible in the event of a significant gas leak or emergency.
After an Earthquake, Protect Your Home
If you think you smell gas, call 911 immediately.
- Locate the meter on the street outside your house. Turn the gas valve 14 times from the ON position to the OFF position. Make contact with your natural gas business.
Having to deal with a leaky water heater first thing in the morning is not the best way to start the day. It is possible to avoid an emergency from turning into a disaster, though, by following these procedures.
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You may either follow the directions below or watch our video below on “How to Turn Off a Leaking Water Heater” to find out how to fix the problem. Also, you may reach our water heater professionals by phone at (619) 222-3814, who can assist you through the process of shutting off your water heater.
1. TURN OFF THE GAS ORELECTRICITY:
Turn off the gas by turning the thermostat dial on the top of the unit from the “on” to the “off” position. The gas at the water heater will be turned off as a result of this action. If you ever smell gas, get out of your house as soon as possible and call the gas company. For electric water heaters, locate your breaker box and turn off the breaker that serves your water heater; alternatively, if your water heater is equipped with a disconnect switch that is located near the water heater, just turn off the switch to cut off the electricity to the water heater.
2. TURN OFF THE WATER SUPPLY:
Track down and disconnect the cold-side water pipe that is attached to the water heater, then return the water line to its source or the wall, where you should find a water shutoff valve. If you have an old-fashioned turn faucet handle, spin the handle clockwise until the faucet comes to a complete stop. The water should be turned off as a result of this. Ball Valve: If you have a modern lever style ball valve, crank the handle or push it in a quarter turn to switch off the water flow.
3. DRAIN THE WATER HEATER: (optional)
In order to minimize any damage to the water heater, it is recommended that you drain it by attaching a garden hose to the bottom drain valve on the water heater. Make your way down to a lower position where hot or rusty water will not cause damage (hot water can damage grass and plants). Activate the hot side faucet in the sink that is nearest to the water heater — doing so will allow the vacuum seal to be released, allowing the water to drain from the water heater. Allow between 10 and 30 minutes for the water heater to drain completely.
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Reasons for Water Heater Leaks
It is common for a home’s water heater to leak, with the resulting consequences being rather severe. If the leak continues to leak for an extended length of time, water damage can occur, causing flooring, walls, and other things to be destroyed. Homeowners want to remedy leaks as soon as possible, but they aren’t always sure where the leaks are coming from or why they are occurring. This information, on the other hand, saves homeowners both money and time. Fortunately, if you know where to search for leaks, they are easy to locate.
The leakage of water heaters in some regions may be quite harmful, thus it’s important to treat any leaks with caution.
We’ll go through the various reasons why water heater leaks occur in this section. We also discuss the reasons for the occurrence of such causes in the first place. Homeowners may use this information to distinguish between small leaks and those that require repair or replacement.
What Are the Causes of Water Heater Leaks?
Some factors influence the occurrence of water heater leaks. These are listed below. Some issues are minor in nature, making them simple for homeowners to resolve on their own. However, there are some issues that are significant enough to need the purchase of a whole new water heater. In general, it’s a good idea to engage a plumber to assist you in diagnosing problems so that you can be confident that the proper course of action is taken. Here are the most prevalent causes of water heater leaks, as reported by experts.
- It’s an old tank. Tank-style water heaters that are more than 15 years old leak at a higher rate than more recent heaters. As the unit ages, the components begin to wear down, the water begins to lose its temperature, and leaks become more common. Water heater leaks that occur as a result of old age are occasionally caused by rust forming in the tank. The corrosion caused as a result of this allows water to escape via fissures. Drain valve is the only thing that can be done when a water heater approaches the end of its useful life. The drain valve is used to empty the tank during maintenance visits and replacements, which is convenient for both plumbers and homeowners. Drain valves are also used by homeowners when it is necessary to clean the tank. The tightening of this valve occurs over time, allowing water to seep through. Despite this, leaks from the bottom of the valve suggest that the component isn’t completely waterproof. In this instance, a new drain valve will need to be installed. Fortunately, householders are capable of completing this replacement
- Nevertheless, it is essential to first consult with a plumber before proceeding. There is too much pressure. Water heaters, like every other plumbing appliance, must contend with naturally occurring water pressure. Pressure builds up in water heaters as a result of the hot water creating steam, which fills the available space. When this steam has nowhere to go, the pressure builds up to an unbearable level. Water seeps through any cracks in the heater, allowing some of the pressure to be relieved. In situations when the water temperature has been set too high, or when water enters the system at excessively high pressures, the heater pressure rises. Temperature and pressure relief valves that are not working properly. It is also possible for water heater leaks to be caused by the temperature and pressure relief valve, often known as the T P valve. This valve is responsible for releasing pressure within the tank. When this valve is not functioning properly, the pressure in the tank increases. Occasionally, the valve is just too loose and has to be retightened. If, on the other hand, the component is defective, the component must be replaced. Reduce the pressure in the tank before attempting to resolve T P valve difficulties
- Inlet and outlet connection concerns are also addressed. Water heaters have two connections: an inlet connection that allows cold water to enter and an outlet connection that allows hot water to exit. These connections allow hot water to be delivered to your water fixtures through your plumbing system. Over time, they become loose and allow leaks to occur. The presence of any other problem with the inlet and outflow connections
- Internal tank is extremely unusual. Tank water heaters finish their procedures with the help of two shells. The exterior shell acts as an insulating layer for the inside shell, which is responsible for holding the water. Both shells are protected by a final layer of metal. Water heater leaks in the inside shell are difficult to detect, although they most often occur as a result of the heater’s age and degradation. This sort of leak is not visible from the exterior of the tank
- It is part of the sediment collection system. As water heaters age, silt accumulates at the bottom of the tank, causing the tank to overflow. Homeowners who clean the water out of the tank on a regular basis are less likely to suffer this problem. Those that do not empty their tanks to clean them, on the other hand, will see silt build up until fractures appear. These flaws allow water to seep through and cause flooding. Tank leaks necessitate the purchase of a new water heater, which is an expensive proposition, so be sure to clean the tank on a semi-regular basis
- Cracked storage tank. Some water heaters are equipped with an auxiliary tank, which allows them to retain a greater volume of water. Glass is occasionally used to line the inside of these tanks. Minerals accumulate and calcify on the surface of the glass over time. As a result, the glass cracks and begins to leak water. Additionally, as the water heats up, it expands, putting stress on the glass and causing microscopic cracks to appear. The replacement of the anode rod is required in both situations. The anode rodacts in the water heater act as a sacrificial component of the system. It draws corrosive chemicals, ensuring that the water heater itself is not contaminated. Water heater leaks, on the other hand, occur when the anode rod becomes almost non-existent as a result of the extensive corrosion. It has been discovered that water is leaking through the gap where the anode rod used to be. Any possible leaks are taken care of as soon as they occur.
Water Heater Leaks: Where Does the Water Come From?
When a water heater leaks, the position of the leak provides a great deal of information to the plumber concerning the reason. Because of the location of the leak, the plumber can rule out some problems as being physically impossible due to the nature of the leak. Furthermore, it is beneficial for homeowners to have a general awareness of what the different leak sites represent. As a result, the repair procedure is made more simpler because homeowners are better able to inform plumbers of the location of the problem when they arrive.
- Condensation. First and foremost, assess if the water you’re witnessing is condensation or whether there is a genuine leak. Homeowners sometimes become too concerned about seemingly insignificant issues, so it is wise to double-check before calling a plumber. Condensation happens when the temperature in the room differs significantly from the temperature in the tank. Condensation can occur, for example, if the tank is extremely hot while the environment is quite chilly. Condensation does not suggest that there is an issue with the water heater
- Rather, its position is unknown. Water heater leaks appear to emerge out of nowhere from time to time. You will most likely observe pools of water under the unit in these situations. The most likely reason is an excessive amount of pressure. When pressure leaks develop, the water seeks for any little breach through which it may escape, and the leak is stopped when the pressure is reduced. Bottom leaks are particularly difficult to find unless the leak is discovered as it occurs
- This makes it difficult to trace the source. Water leaks from the bottom of the water heater are either minimal or need the replacement of the water heater. These water heater leaks are caused by either a faulty drain valve or a leak in the tank itself. Drain valves are frequently loose, but if the tank is leaking, the whole thing has to be replaced. This is a costly, but essential, replacement
- Yet, Leaks from the top. It is generally the input and outlet connections that are to blame when water spills from the top of the tank. Tank cracks on the top of the tank are extremely unusual, although they do happen occasionally. Other factors that contribute to corrosion include loose T P valves and anode rod corrosion. In most cases, however, homeowners are just need to make minor repairs, replacements, or tightening of the components in order to address this sort of leak. Only a fracture necessitates the replacement of a water heater
- Leaks in the tank. Finally, water heater leaks that occur inside the tank are difficult to detect from the exterior of the tank. While it is common for water to collect in the bottom of the unit, this does not always imply that the leak originates there. It’s possible that the break in the interior tank is located anywhere. It is believed that age and degeneration are the primary reasons of this leak.
Prevention of Water Heater Leaks
The majority of water heater leaks may be avoided by homeowners. These operations are often quick and simple, and they eliminate the possibility of leakage completely. Though there are instances in which leaking is unavoidable, homeowners may often exert more control over leaks than they realize. The response time is the most critical aspect of leak discovery. It is more probable that homeowners will face severe water damage if they discover a leak as soon as possible. Preventative methods, on the other hand, ensure that homeowners do not have leaks in the first place.
- Tighten any loose components. First and foremost, make certain that all of the components on the water heater are securely fastened. Water can seep through loose pieces, so tighten them as often as required to prevent leaks. All you need is a wrench
- Preventative maintenance is all that is required. Regular maintenance performed by a plumber guarantees that the water heater does not encounter any leaks at any point in the future. Plumbers may inspect the complete plumbing system during maintenance inspections, which means they can inspect the water heater, as well. Then check to see if there are any ongoing leaks, and they examine all of the components to determine if any of them have the potential to generate leaks in the near future. Drain and thoroughly clean the tank. A clean water heater tank has a lower risk of cracking as a result of sediment accumulation. Homeowners have the ability to clean their own septic tanks. To remove away any mold and mildew growth, first drain the water through the drain valve and then use a bleach-water solution to clean the area. Not only does this enhance the water quality, but it also ensures that the sediment collecting system does not cause harm to the tank. Respond as soon as possible. Homeowners who respond quickly to any water heater leaks are less likely to suffer negative consequences. Flooding is more likely to occur if leaks are allowed to continue for an extended length of time. Furthermore, if pressure builds up in the tank for an extended period of time without release, the heater has the potential to explode. Take immediate action to prevent leaks from occurring, and inspect the water heater on a regular basis to guarantee that these scenarios do not occur. Finally, in addition to doing routine maintenance, homeowners should verify the condition of their water heaters. Check to see if any pieces are loose, look for fractures, and deal with any silt accumulation you may come across. Homeowners must maintain a close check on their water heaters in order to be aware of any problems or breakdowns that may arise.
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Water heater leaks in Cincinnati, OH are difficult to deal with on your own, but ThomasGalbraith can assist you. Call us today to find out more about our products and services!
Water Heater Leaking? Don’t Panic: Follow These Steps!
It is simple to prevent your home from flooding if your water heater is leaking. Simply follow the procedures below to resolve the situation. As part of this piece, we’ll look at the problem of leaky water heaters from a variety of perspectives, including preventative methods.
What To Do When Your Water Heater Is Leaking
Everyone is aware that electricity and water are incompatible. When your hot water heater starts leaking, the situation is no different. The fact that you have a gas water heater does not necessarily shield you from this danger. Many gas heaters rely on electricity to maintain the pilot light’s illumination. Furthermore, merely checking for a plug connecting the heater to an outlet will not necessarily reveal whether or not this is the case; some gas heaters that utilize electricity do not rely on the mains power to operate at all.
If your water heater is an electrical appliance, all you have to do is turn off the breaker that controls the electrical supply to it.
If you have a gas heater, make sure the “OFF” switch, which is normally located towards the bottom of the tank, is turned off. Although it is recommended, you do not always need to turn off the gas supply. It is actually suggested that you do not do so since these valves are prone to harm.
Step Two: Avoid Coming Into Contact With The Water
In reality, this is more of an important precaution to bear in mind while you deal with your hot water heater, which is now leaking. Water heaters, in contrast to water softeners (you can learn more about water softener leaks here), heat the water that is passed through them. The majority of water heaters in Phoenix are set to a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit by default. If you’ve ever had your system tuned up by a professional, it’s probable that they just reduced the temperature to 120 degrees, which is the recommended setting.
If the heater is set to its maximum temperature for any reason (typically 160 degrees or above), even indirect contact with the heater might result in significant harm.
If your hot water heater tank is leaking significantly and there is no way to repair it without coming into touch with the water, you should contact a professional for help right once.
Step Three: Disconnect The Water Supply
The next step, if you’ve been successful in disconnecting the power and are confident in your ability to proceed without coming into contact with the water that is leaking from your heater, is to turn off the water supply. In most cases, the shutdown valve for the heater is situated above it in the shape of a handle or dial. If you are unable to reach the water shutoff located near your heater, you can turn off the main water supply to your home. The goal of turning off the water supply is to give the leak more time to develop.
Step Four: Figure Out Where The Leak Is Coming From
The following are examples of common diagnoses:
- An overflowing hot water heater
- A water heater that is leaking from the top
- A water heater that is leaking from the bottom
- An overflowing hot water heater
- A water heater that is leaking from the relief valve
- An overflowing hot water heater tank
Even if you aren’t taught, you should be able to identify the first two items. The others, on the other hand, can be more difficult to distinguish for inexperienced eyes, so let’s go through them briefly now.
Water Heater Leaking From The Relief Valve
If a temperature or pressure buildup occurs inside the tank of your water heater, a relief valve is installed to direct the water away from the heater. This valve is normally found on the tank’s side, protruding from the tank in the shape of a pipe that is connected to it. This indicates that your water heater’s pressure valve is broken and will need to be replaced. If your pressure valve is leaking when the valve is closed, this indicates that the valve needs to be replaced. If the valve is open and leaking, this indicates that there is too much pressure or heat in the tank for it to manage.
Water Heater Leaking From The Overflow Pipe
When working correctly, the overflow pipe in your water heater works in combination with the relief valve to discharge excess pressure. The pipe is directly attached to the valve and is angled downward toward the ground. Instead, if your water heater overflow pipe is leaking, it may actually be doing its job by preventing the building of pressure in the tank, which would eventually result in an explosion if the line were not repaired. It is possible, however, that the overflow pipe will leak due to a fault.
A expert can assist you in determining the difference between the two. Because a buildup of pressure in your tank may be quite dangerous, you’ll want to contact them rather than attempting to resolve the problem on your own unless you’re completely confident in your abilities to do so.
Hot Water Heater Tank Leaking
It is also possible for the hot water heater tank to leak. This tank is made up of two layers: insulation and an exterior layer. Most of the time, when a water heater leaks from the bottom, it’s because the insulating layer has gotten perforated. The water then leaks down between the insulation and outer layer, finally making its way out through the bottom of the insulation and outer layer. Unfortunately, this is a problem that frequently occurs with older water heater tanks. It will be necessary to completely replace the water heater.
Water Heater Leaking From The Top
We’ve saved the finest for the very end. As you can see, if you detect a water heater leaking from the top in time, it is arguably the best-case situation possible. A malfunctioning cold water entry valve, a broken corded pipe fitting, or a damaged relief valve are the most common causes of leaks from the top of the water heater. Although you are already aware of what to do in regards to the latter (see the preceding section on that subject), let’s have a look at the first two. The cold water input valve is equipped with some type of device (either a ball valve or a gate valve) that allows you to switch off the water.
- To correct this, you must first tighten the screw that is not linked to the handle.
- A leaking corded pipe fitting caused by a loose or broken cable is commonly referred to as a dielectric nipple by industry specialists since it occurs exactly where the pipe in issue joins to its fittings.
- You may need to replace the nipples in this case if they do not function properly.
- Occasionally, the area around the fittings will be extensively rusted.
- You should replace your water heater if you see this happening.
Step Five: Fix Or Replace Your Water Heater
We’ve provided you with a plethora of actionable instructions for repairing a leak in the sections above. In other circumstances, however, we have just provided you with a description of the procedure to be followed. In this part, we’ll walk you through some of the more difficult actions you’ll need to do to repair your leaky water heater, such as replacing the thermostat.
Replacing A Relief Valve
Specifically, the component in question is referred to as a temperature and pressure relief valve. It is available at the majority of hardware stores. Even if the valve is leaking, it is critical that you do not operate it for an extended length of time. The valve is essential for the safe operation of your heater. Even momentarily plugging it in can result in an explosion, which can be dangerous if not done properly. Instead, follow the instructions outlined below. In our post on cleaning water heaters, you may find extremely extensive instructions on how to go about doing this.
It is not necessary to drain the tank fully in order to replace the relief valve. All you have to do is make sure that the water level is below the valve.
Do not pry open the valve or attempt to flush it out with water. This will cause damage to your tank, necessitating a far more involved and expensive repair. Because the valve is screwed in, you may easily remove it by simply rotating the valve counter-clockwise. Typically, just 4 to 5 wraps around the pipe are required to provide adequate insulation against any leaks.
- Install the replacement valve with the help of your channel locks.
Screw the valve in counter-clockwise until it is snugly in place. You may do a portion of the job by hand, but you must use your channel locks to guarantee a correct fit. In the article on cleaning water heaters that we referred to above, we also explain the process of returning the heater to its operating condition. For more information, please go to that article. It boils down to this: open the cold water valve and wait for it to replenish with water before re-connecting the electricity and connecting an overflow/discharge line to the water valve.
This is a more significant problem, and it necessitates the replacement of the complete tank.
With the assistance of an expert, you may resolve this issue by changing the water pressure.
Replacing An Overflow Pipe
The presence of a leaking overflow pipe is directly associated with the presence of a faulty pressure valve or a buildup of pressure in your tank, as previously stated. If you’ve determined that the pipe is the source of the problem, you can replace it by following these procedures.
- Disconnect your tank and drain it according to the instructions we provided above and linked to
- Remove the overflow pipe from the pressure relief valve and set it aside.
Depending on how the pipe is attached to the valve, you may be able to complete this task with your bare hands. It will be obvious if you are looking at the overflow pipe if it is pointing directly at the floor or into a drainage system. It is almost guaranteed that you will never see the pipe attached to something at the bottom of the pipe. The ability of the pipe to alleviate pressure would be impaired as a result of this.
- Connect your new overflow pipe to the pressure relief valve
- This will prevent overpressure. Keep an eye out for any leaks.
If you observe a similar leak persisting even after you’ve replaced the overflow pipe, it’s possible that your initial diagnosis of the problem was erroneous. It’s possible that the problem is a leaking pressure relief valve, in which case you should refer to the section above on how to deal with it.
How To Replace A Drain Valve
If your heater is leaking from the bottom and it is not due to an internal problem as detailed above, it might be due to a leaky drain valve. Due to the fact that the valve is located on the outside of your water heater, any leaks that occur as a result of it will be readily apparent. Replace the defective drain valve by following the instructions outlined below. Open the valve by placing a bucket underneath it.
The power of the water pouring out will generally dislodge and remove any debris that may be present. It’s important to remember that this water is incredibly hot. If this is successful in stopping the leak, congratulations! You are not required to take any further action.
- If the leak persists, drain the tank fully
- Otherwise, call a plumber.
As a result, the tank will be ready for you to replace the valve. Once the tank has been drained, the procedure for replacing the valve is quite identical to that for changing the relief valve in your home.
- Remove the old drain valve with a wrench by rotating it in the opposite direction of the clock
- Tape the threads of your new drain valve with Teflon tape to prevent corrosion. Then, using your wrench, screw the new drain valve into place in a clockwise direction. Repair or replace the water heater so that it is once again working.
Remember that we provide thorough instructions on how to accomplish this in the article that we referred to above, specifically in the part titled “Replacing A Relief Valve.”
Last Word Of Precaution: Consult Your Heater’s Manual and Warranty
The tips that we’ve provided above are excellent for general use and may be found here. In fact, the vast majority of modern water heaters function in such a way that you should have no problems following these instructions. Nonetheless, we urge that you consult the owner’s handbook for your water heater to ensure that everything is in the location that we have specified based on our recommendations. While our specialists are capable of identifying and working with any aberrant settings, for the purpose of brevity, this post will only cover the most typical scenarios that we see.
Replacing the drain valve, pressure valve, or other components of the system normally has no effect on your warranty, although there may be some exceptions in select cases.