Is Your Water Heater Leaking? Here Are A Few Solutions
The water heater is one of the most important appliances at home as it provides hot water for cooking, showering, cleaning, and more. Water heaters usually have a long warranty as they last long without malfunctioning. However, even the best water heaters are prone to water leakage.
A leaky heater can cause serious damage to your home if not fixed immediately, so you must know what to do when you find leakage. If the heater is trickling water, it might not seem like a big problem, but this problem can get bigger if it is not fixed. Following these next steps will ensure that you fix your heater before it gets worse.
Conduct a Test
In some cases, the water condenses around the water heater and drips on the floor, which doesn’t mean there is a leakage. You can determine if the heater is leaking by two methods. The first method is to stop using water all over the house and check your water meter. At this point, it should have stopped, but if it didn’t, this means there is a leakage.
The second method is to dry the area underneath the water heater and place a rag or a paper towel to catch the drips. Check this area regularly for the next couple of days; if you found a pool forming, there is a leak; if not, there is nothing to worry about.
Getting Ready for Repairs
Before fixing anything or even checking where the leakage is coming from, you need to turn off the power. We all know that electricity and water are a lethal combination, so if you have an electric water heater, find its breaker in the circuit breaker and switch it off. Likewise, if you have a gas water heater, you should find a switch or a dial on the tank’s exterior to shut it down.
Next, you will need to turn off the water supply if the leaks are significant. You can find the cold water shut-off valve located at the top in most cases, and it will be either a handle, gate, or pull-down valve. However, don’t reach the valve if you will have contact with water. Alternatively, you can shut off the water to your entire home to prevent the heater from leaking.
Make Sure Loose Pipe Fittings Are Tightened
If the water leaks from the pipe that gives off hot water and the supply line for cold water, the leakage can be stopped easily by a wrench. The pipes are easy to find as they are located between the heater and the main hot and cold water lines. Anyone can easily tighten them with a wrench, but if they are made of copper, you may need a plumber to do this job as they will solder the connections to seal them.
Keep an eye for rust in this area because if the pipe is corroding, you will need to replace it, and you should call a technician to do the replacement.
The Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve is Leaking
The TPR valve lets steam or water exit the tank to relieve it from excessive temperature or pressure. It will work once the temperature rises above 210 degrees or the pressure exceed 150 psi. If the water is coming from the lower end of the pipe or out of the valve, it might indicate that the temperature is scorching inside the tank.
Turn the temperature down and check if the leakage continues, but the professionals at waterheaterleakinginfo.com say that if the leaking persists, you will have to replace the valve itself. First, however, you will need to call a professional to replace the malfunctioning valve. Dealing with hot temperatures and high pressure can lead to severe health and safety hazards if not handled properly.
Leaking Drain Valve
The drain valve is usually located near the bottom of the water heater, and it is used in maintenance to drain the tank from water. You should do this process at least once a year to remove sediment buildup. Like other valves, it can get loose over time, so if the water is leaking from this part, you should tighten it slightly with a wrench.
However, don’t over-tighten the drain valve, as it can make the leakage problem worse. If the water is still coming out of the valve, it is a sign that it needs to be replaced. You need to drain the water from the tank to avoid flooding your floor. To do this properly, you’ll want to have a good grip on the valve to turn it counter-clockwise, and the best way to do this is by using an adjustable wrench.
Replace it with a perfect match from the hardware store and install it by twisting it clockwise.
The Tank Itself is Leaking
If you don’t clean your water heater regularly, salt and other chemical residues will oxidize the insulation materials covering the internal tank. It will lead to holes in the tank, which will leak water from the lower half of the heater. As time progresses, the pressure inside the heater will push the water out of these holes, making them bigger.
Unfortunately, there are no fixes for this problem, as you will be forced to replace the water heater. It would be better to buy a new model as they are more reliable than older models. Even if you know how to replace a water heater, it is better to call a technician to replace it to ensure that everything is installed correctly.
It is essential to maintain your water heater regularly to extend its life span. In addition, flush your tank at least once per year to remove sediment buildup in the tank, which can cause a lot of problems.
Replace the magnesium anode rod before it gets eroded completely once a year. However, they can stay functional for up to 3 years, as they attract minerals and metal ions in the water that can damage other parts of the heater. Clean the exterior of your tank regularly along with its valves and water connections to remove dust and debris buildup.
Finally, you can install a leak detector that will alert you to any leakage from the water heater, and it can be connected to your home’s Wi-Fi to get the alerts on your phone.
Thank you for reading!