If your water heater is leaking, you can’t ignore the problem. It’s not something that will get better with time. In fact, it may get worse if left alone. Leaks like this can go from minor to significant very quickly by becoming more extensive, creating water damage, and even causing mold to grow.
There are several places your water heater could be leaking. You can check them yourself, but you will need to hire a plumber to be entirely sure. The first at-risk area is the drain valve. This valve’s purpose is to allow any sediment in your heater to drain out. If this valve is causing the leak, a plumber should be able to fix it quickly by replacing it.
If the tank itself is leaking, you could need to get your entire water tank replaced. Sediment can build up at the bottom of the tank and corrode the inside until it cracks. Tanks can also fail or crack with age. The next place to look is the cold-water inlet and the hot water outlet. The plumber might need to tighten them.
After that, the temperature and pressure release valve might be the culprit. Its job is to regulate the water in the tank. If it’s leaking, it will most likely run down the tank and onto the floor. The water coming out of the valve could mean it’s working correctly, but a plumber should always inspect and check your heater if it’s leaking.
You’ve done everything you can to extend the life of your heater, but the area is still damp. Just because it’s damp doesn’t mean your heater is leaking. Condensation can form around your heater, especially in humid areas, and then drip on the floor and create little puddles. Do your best to see if and where your heater is leaking.
When you do this, you have to protect yourself. Be cautious and avoid direct contact with the water. When the water is coming out of the heater, it could be hot enough to give you first degree burns or worse. If the heater is at its highest setting, you might not even need to come into direct contact for the water to cause injury.
Do your best to dry the area as best you can. Other plumbing surrounding the heater could be the cause of the extra moisture. You need to rule out external sources. Once the area is dry, give it a day or two. If you see that the water is coming from a leaking pipe, call a plumber and be happy it’s not your heater. On the other hand, if you can’t find the source, your water heater may be leaking.
Next, try to turn off your heater. If it’s electric, all you have to do is turn off the heater’s circuit breaker. If you have a gas heater, there should be a knob at the bottom of the tank. Turn off the heater if it is safe to do so. Do not turn off the shut-off valve.
If the leak is substantial, you might want to consider shutting off the cold-water valve to prevent any further damage from being done. If you can’t safely reach the valve without touching any of the water from the leak, try to turn off the main water line.
Once you’ve done all you can, it’s time to call a plumber.
If you’re living in South Florida, Art Plumbing, AC & Electric is here to support you when your water heater starts to leak. Whether it’s leaking from damage, corrosion, or age, we can help! Call us at 561-391-1048 to get started.