locating hot water heater leaks

Locating and Remedying Hot Water Heater Leaks

A top prevention theme for homeowners everywhere is leaks within the plumbing system, and one possible culprit area here is the water heater. Even the best water heaters may develop leaks over time, but luckily it’s generally pretty easy to spot and patch up these leaks without a major cost or hassle to you.

At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric, we offer a wide range of water heater repair and installation services based on your needs, including assisting you with any leaks that develop over time. Here’s a quick primer on some potential causes of leaks in the water heater, what you should do to temporarily remedy the concern, and how our team will help you permanently solve the issue.

Possible Leak Causes

Here are some of the most common causes of leaks taking place in or around the water heater:

  • Corrosion: In some cases, sediment buildup that takes place over a period of years can lead to corrosion inside the water heater tank. This in turn can lead to cracking and holes in the tank. While repairs might be possible for minor such issues, large-scale corrosion concerns usually mean it’s time to replace the water heater.
  • Drain valves: If your drain valves are broken, they cause water to leak from the bottom of the tank. This is a simple fix: Just replace the broken valve or valves and your system should function like new.
  • Temperature or pressure valves: In other cases, temperature or pressure valves can also break and cause leaks that come from the sides of the tank, not the bottom. These also require replacement of the individual valves to remedy the issues.
  • Water line connections: Over time, inlet and outlet water line connections may weaken due to basic wear-and-tear. In most situations, tightening or replacing loose lines will remedy any leaking concerns.

Temporary Steps to Take

If you notice your water heater is leaking, the first step is to call our pros and schedule service right away. After that, here are some temporary steps to take to cut off the water flow and avoid water damage risks:

  • Power off: Your first step here is to turn off the power source leading to your hot water heater. This is the thermostat for a gas heater, or the breaker panel for an electric heater.
  • Water shut-off: In addition, also find the water line and turn the valve to the right until it closes. This will cut off the water supply.
  • Drain the tank: If you have a tank water heater, it’s vital to drain it as well. Find the drain valve near the bottom and attach a hose to it, then run the hose to a drainage area. Open the valve and remove any air vacuums by opening the hot water faucets in your home, which lets air into the tank and allows it to drain. It should take about an hour to drain your entire tank.

How We’ll Help

From here, you simply wait for our team to arrive and do the rest. We’ll locate the source of the leak and determine whether a repair or replacement is the most cost-effective move for you, plus get your approval before beginning any major work.

For more on the sources of leaks within a hot water heater, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric today.