If you’re a homeowner, you know that things can happen in your home that are unexpected and often can be very scary. One of the appliances everybody will have to replace (one day) in your home is your water heater. But no one likes to take a cold shower, so it’s important to make sure that it’s working right.
One of the most common problems with a water heater is that it’s leaking. The good news is that this doesn’t always mean you have to replace it. We’ll look at some of the common reasons why a water heater will leak and what you can do to remedy it.
Water Leaks from the Top
When your water heater is leaking at the top, it’s not as critical as if its leaking from its bottom. However, if you notice that you have a leak, there are usually two main reasons.
Loose Fitting of the Pipe – if you’ve found a leak at your water heater’s top, it might mean that your outlet or inlet’s having a problem. The inlet’s where unprocessed or cold water is entering your heater. Check if your tubing’s torn or loose. If your tubes are loose, it’s possible to tighten the tubes with your pipe wrench. If they are torn because of factors like rodents or old age, it’s better to have a professional plumber come to remove and then replace your tubing.
Pressure Valve’s not Watertight – This is found at your water heater’s top. Sometimes it can cause water leakage from the top to the sides. Inspect your valve for any problems or defects. Drain your tank until your water level’s below your valve, and then open up your hot water’s tap so that air comes inside. Then unscrew your valve with channel locks. examine the valve closely and see if there’s corrosion and rust. If there isn’t any, just seal your valve before its returned to your tank.
Water Leaks from the Bottom
If your water tank’s leaking from the bottom, it will look like a puddle of water and it can mean that you have a big problem with your heater. There’s three different reasons why this might happen.
There’s a Leak in the Valve – There’s a valve called the pressure and temperature relief valve which is made to release water if there’s a lot of pressure in your tank. It also works if the water’s too hot. This valve is supposed to regulate automatically so that hazardous explosions are avoided, but sometimes it can lead to leaks. The valve’s equipped with its discharge tube which runs from this valve to your floor. This tube makes water that is leaking go right to your floor instead of outwards, which can be a lot more damaging. if the pressure isn’t the issue and you have a faulty valve, it should be replaced.
Your Drain Valve’s Leaking – Every device that heats water has a device for draining that’s found at your tank’s bottom. This is used for draining your tank and removing any sediments. If this valve’s faulty, it can cause a puddle at your tank’s bottom. Another reason that leaks happen is that your valve’s not tightened enough, which causes water seepage at the tank’s edges. If this is the case, it can simply be tightened.
The Tank Itself may be Leaking – This can because sediments have built up over the years that you have been using it. When sediments collect for a long time, this can cause rust and cracks inside your tank. This will eventually cause leaks. Usually this type of situation means it’s time for you to replace your tank.
These are some of the most common reasons that your water heater will leak. As you can see, there are some times when you can fix it yourself. Other times, it means you’ll need to call someone or you may have to replace the tank. If you aren’t sure what you should do or you aren’t comfortable, it’s always better to call a professional. Otherwise you might make the problem a lot worse and cause a costlier problem. Many homeowners have made regrettable decisions because they were afraid of a high bill and then end up having to pay a lot more.
About our Professional
Rachael Lowe is the owner of Titanz Plumbing, LLC. A native of Southwest Florida, she’s owned Titanz Plumbing in Port Charlotte, FL since 2008. Servicing many areas of Southwest Florida including Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, North Port, Cape Coral and Fort Myers.