3 March

Why Is My Water Heater Leaking?

There unfortunately isn’t a catch all answer we can use to determine why your water heater is leaking. However; we can point you in the right direction. 

No one wants to come home to a leaking water heater! Dripping water isn’t just annoying, it can cause massive damage to your property, and the property around the water heater if not properly corrected. When you talk about leaks from a machine that’s run by electricity, you start to see what a problem this could be. So, what does it mean if your hot water heater is leaking. More importantly, what can you do about it?

Here is a breif list of the most common reasons your water heater is leaking : 

  • There is a much larger problem that may require you to replace the water heater. Usually caused by being unable to idenfity the culprit of the leak. 
  • Built-up sediment that’s caused the tank to crack and start to leak. 
  • Condensation is forming, which may indicate there is no leak. 
  • An expansion tank is needed
  • your fitting or supply piping needs to be replaced
  • your valves need to be replaced, or possibly just tightened. 

Obviously, some of the above-listed problems are much more serious, and cost-prohibitive than others. Unfortunately, negligence plays a big role in the need for repairs. Failing to remedy even the most simple solution may turn into a potential thousand-dollar job. It’s important to always inspect, and hire licensed plumbers to work on your hot water heater. 

Troubleshooting A Hot Water Heater Leak

If you want to try a little at home investigation you’ll need to first try to find the source of your leak. Keep in mind that you should never start messing with a water heater that has power, remember, water and power don’t bode well for you! Before starting, you’ll want to make sure that you cut off the power and gas to the unit. Shutting off power and / or gas is usually pretty simple to do. you can either switch off the valvle on the outside of the water heater, or unplug the water heater. If you can’t access the water heater, there is usually a on/off switch you can press. 

If it’s a relatively small water leak you should be able to just shut off the cold water shut-off valve. Otherwise, for larger leaks you need to really just shut it down completely and call a licensed professional, like https://plumbinghouston.com. 

Once the power has been shut off to the unit, clean up the water heater so no additional water is left on the unit. wait a few minutes, grab a drink, have a sandwhich, then come back. See if there is any water where you cleaned up the leaking water before. If so, you have a good indication of where to start your search! you’ll want to set some paper towels down and let it sit overnight if you don’t notice any leaking! 

When your leak may not be a leak at all

In some cases, homeowners discover that condensation may be the cause of the “leak.” If you set down paper towels and they are still dry after a few hours, the moisture you discovered may be due to condensation. When the water heater is brand new or is just starting to adjust to colder seasons, condensation can be more common.

Homeowners wanting to avoid the potential for water damage due to condensation can keep the air around the water heater warmer. Usually, this means improving ventilation so that the condensed water can dry more quickly. Adjusting the temperature settings of your water heater may also help to reduce condensation. If the problem persists, you may find that you have a bigger problem and need to enlist a professional to resolve the issue.

If you’re determined to move forward on your own and identified the location of your leak, you’re probably now wondering what to do next and what might be wrong with your system. We’ll review the most common leaking parts on a water heater as well as what you can do to address each issue, as well as when a professional’s help is necessary.

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