Last Updated on December 29, 2022 by Hammad Hassan
A water heater, in very simple terms, heats water. You use water as a part of your daily life in various ways; to wash your hands, to cook etc. What the water heater does is that it takes the cold water and warms it up. It pumps this water throughout your house whenever you need to use it. They warm water which is safe and useable for cooking and other purposes at home.
Water damage, a very dangerous situation, can also be caused by leaky water heaters. Water heaters can leak because of various reasons and you can conduct water heater repair by an expert or if it’s a minor damage, then you can do it by yourself, too. Before dwelling into how to repair a leaky water heater, let’s discuss about what causes it to leak.
Here are a few causes of why a water heater can get leaky:
1) An old tank: Tanks older than 15 years are more vulnerable towards leaks.
2) Drain valve: The drain valve can get loose over time which can allow for a leak to form.
3) A lot of pressure: Naturally occurring water pressure can become too much and lead to cracks.
4) Faulty T&P valve: The T&P valve (temperature and pressure relief valve) helps in relieving the pressure from inside the tank, but sometimes it doesn’t work correctly which can lead to a lot of pressure.
5) Anode rod: It attracts corrosive substances towards itself so that no damage can occur to the heater. But, when the corrosion exceeds in amount, the anode rod can’t work anymore which leads to leaks.
Fixing machines and appliances which are a very important part of your house is something which people with experience and the correct equipment should do; so, if your leak isn’t minor and is causing you to get overwhelmed, get the water heater repaired by an expert. If you are sure you have what it takes, not just the gusto but also the required equipment, here’s what you can do –
1) Find the source of leakage: Just because water is leaking form the heater, doesn’t mean it is to always be blamed. Leaks could be due to condensation of the pipes, exterior body problems or your home’s plumbing, too. So, check all the pipes and appliances around the heater to investigate thoroughly for the cause.
2) Disconnect the Power Supply: If the temperatures are high, even indirect heat contact can lead to serious burns and electrocution, so make sure the power supply is disconnected.
3) Disconnect the water supply: If you have a serious leak, turn off the cold water supply with the help of the shut-off valve. If you can’t find or reach it, then turn off the main water supply valve of the house itself.
4) Locate the leak and diagnose it: Check if the leak is near the cold water inlet or the hot water outlet. Is it because of the T&P valve? Check if the point where the heater’s drain valve enters the unit is watertight and check the bottom for any damages or dents.
5) Get the water heater repaired by an expert: You may need to replace the whole unit if the damage is serious, you can also risk your own safety if you try fixing the heater on your own. Even though the repair may cost a bit more, you will be out of harm’s way and will save time and energy, so make sure the repairing is done by an expert.
While it may be difficult for you to fix a water heater, you can surely put in effort to prevent leaks in the appliance:
1) Tighten parts that are loose so that they don’t let water seep through.
2) Regular maintenance by a plumber is crucial; it helps make sure that there isn’t any issue which may erupt into something larger later. They also have the appropriate equipment for fixing anything which could prove troublesome later.
3) You can drain and clean the tank by yourself; this helps avoid sediment and debris collection and to clear off any mold or mildew.
4) Don’t wait for the dents to expand in size or the leak to cause flooding; as soon as you see an issue, report it.
5) Inspect the water heater well; check for loose parts, cracks, sediments.Keep a watch out for any problems or breakdowns.
6) Protect the flooring under your water heater so that even if a leak goes undetected, it doesn’t cause any flooring damage.
7) Keep replacing particle boards because they can collapse if they’re wet for too long.
Maintaining your water heater and fixing your water heater are two very different things; water heaters have a shelf life of 8 to 20 years, do you can stretch its efficiency as much as you want to by using prevention techniques, but when it’s time, you will need to replace your water heater. Replacing your water heater will avoid potential leaks which can create a massive hole in your wallet and getting a new water heater will also help you save energy. If your budget is flexible, you can also try a tankless hot water heater because it saves even more energy in the long run.
Prevention techniques are very helpful and they can help you in avoiding damage, but when you realize that you can’t fix a leak on your own, please revert to a professional as soon as possible so that you don’t have to face any repercussions.
Aimee is a marketing manager at EZ Plumbing & Restoration. She is very passionate in writing about discrete plumbing services and leakage detection as well as repair solutions. Her vision is to educate people about the consequences of water and slab leaks at home or office and what they should do to repair them to avoid further water damage as well as property damage.
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