My Water Heater Is Leaking What Should I Do?

My Water Heater Is Leaking What Should I Do?

Leaking from the water heater may seem like a minor problem; but, it will soon turn into something big if left untreated. Even a small amount of leakage from your water heater can damage the floor, walls, and sub-floors. Moreover, leakage from your water heater can be a symptom of some underlying bigger problem. In some extreme cases, the leakage might lead to the water heater’s complete and catastrophic failure, which may cause further issues such as damage to your personal property and hefty repair bills.

Irrespective of whether the water heater is leaking from the top or bottom, leaks are not good. With your water heater leaking you will not have access to hot water until the issue is resolved. Leakage from the water heater may also lead to several health concerns. The areas in and around the leak will develop mildew and mold, and because of that, some people may experience asthma, allergic reactions, etc. Also, some mold spores are toxic and may cause severe health problems.

You should not neglect a leak in your water heater as it will not go away on its own and the condition will only worsen over time. In such a scenario, you should take prompt actions, determine its cause and get the problem fixed. This article discusses a few ways in which you can fix your leaking water heater.

Are Water Heater Leaks Dangerous?

Some concerned homeowners often ask this question. Just like a broken appliance is dangerous, leakage in the water heater may pose several dangers to your home. If the heater floods, ankle-deep water will soon accumulate and will soak into your floorboards. Furthermore, the damp area around the leak creates a very favorable environment for the growth of mildew and mold.

Causes Of Water Heater Leaks

  • The temperature and pressure of the relief valve in the water heater is damaged.
  • The cold water inlet pipe or hot water outlet pipe is ill-fitted.
  • The tank storage of your water heater is damaged.
  • The drain valve of your heater is loose.

If you have noticed a leak in your water heater, follow the below mentioned steps to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Determine The Source Of Leak

You will have to locate the part of the water heater where it is leaking. The leak’s location plays a significant role, and it will help you decide whether you will have to undergo a costly repair or if a simple repair will do the job. Generally, a water heater that leaks from the top can be repaired easily, rather than a leak located at the bottom. If any one of the water heater’s components gets dislodged water starts leaking from the pipes. However, it is a minor issue that you can easily fix.

If your water heater is leaking from the bottom, it is a sign that your tank is damaged. In such a scenario, call for plumbing professionals and get it replaced at the earliest opportunity.

Cut Off The Power Supply

This is one of the initial steps you should take as soon as you find a leak in your water heater. Switch off the energy source that leads to your electric water heater. To do so, find the breaker labeled “water heater” in the breaker panel and turn it off. This step will cut the power supply to your unit.

Turn The Water Supply Off

Turn the water supply to your water heater off. To do so, find out the cold water line which leads to the water heater. You will find a valve present on the line. Turning it to the right will shut off the water supply. Make sure that it is completely closed. Once the water supply stops, you can easily move to the next step.

Drain The Water Tank:

If you have a standard tank in your water heater, draining water from the tank is necessary. It is also one of the most critical steps. To drain your water heater tank, follow the below-mentioned steps.

  • Look for a drain valve placed at the bottom of the water heater. Now attach a garden hose to the valve.
  • Run the hose with its mouth either inside a sump pit or floor drain.
  • Open the valve while the hose is attached at this location. If you have an old water heater, the valve will look like an ordinary fixture, but if you have a new system, you will find a drain stem with a slot for the screwdriver. After opening the drain valve, you may notice that the water doesn’t flow at all or is not flowing very well. It generally happens when there is a vacuum created in the water heater.
  • You will now have to break the vacuum. To do this, you will have to open a water faucet that you have at your home. This process will let some air travel into the water tank and allow the water to drain from the hose rapidly.

Repair Or Replace

As mentioned above, leakage from a water heater can become a severe problem if proper actions are not taken. Depending upon the leak’s severity, you will either need to repair or replace the water heater. However, in both cases, you should always call a professional plumber. They are trained and prepared to handle any issue that you might encounter with your water heater.

Final Word

Although water heaters last for a long time, there is no denying the fact that even the best ones may leak due to some reason or the other. Even if a small amount of water is leaking from your water heater, you must not ignore it. Get the situation assessed as soon as possible and get the water heater repair or replacement accordingly.

It is always recommended to have a professional plumber inspect your water heater and look for any leaks as they are well-trained for the job. Follow the steps stated above to prevent further damages. Thus, as soon as you notice a leakage in your water heater, contact professionals immediately and get it fixed.