Water heater leaks shouldn’t be taken lightly, and should be assessed as quickly as possible. Even the smallest leak can cause mold or mildew damage, which can be quite hazardous to your health. Even the EPA suggests that any leaks that could lead to mold damage should be treated ASAP to prevent the risk of developing any major health problems.
On top of everything else, water heaters aren’t cheap to replace, so identifying what could be causing a leak is imperative to making sure you can fix the one you have now. In this article, I would like to talk about the ways to determine what could be causing a leak, so you can get the bottom of things and get the show back on the road again.
1.) Find the Leak, Keeping Your Safety in Mind
Keep in mind that a leaking water heater around electricity can pose a dangerous situation. For optimal safety, turn off the electricity to the water heater on your circuit breaker, and turn off the water while you are at it.
The next step includes draining your water heater of all it’s water. Use a bucket or similar object to empty the water from the hot water tap, to ensure that you won’t get scalded during the fixing process.
2.) Identify the Problem Causing the Leak
Water heater leaks can be caused by many different problems, but some of the most common include:
#1. Heating Element Leak – This is the last problem you want to have because it unfortunately means you will need a new unit completely, as the heating element is one of the most important and it’s the one not working.
#2. Plumbing Connection Leak – By plumbing connection, I mean the place on your water heater where your inlet and outlet pipes meet the unit itself. These components being lose can cause a leak, and simply tightening or replacing them can fix the problem all together.
#3. Storage Tank Leaking – Storage tank leaking can cause corrosion, which can mean a new unit all together. Check the entire unit for holes of all sizes and if you come across any at all, you unfortunately will be looking into a new unit.
#4. Excessive Pressure or Overheating – Excessive pressure from your unit can cause a leak, which can easily be addressed by lowering the temperature on your unit.
#5. Fault in Pressure or Temperature Relief Valve – A fault in pressure could be present thanks to a presence of debris, which can easily be cleaned out. The clogged debris may be causing a build up of pressure. Simply place a bucket underneath the overflow pipe and open up the T & P pipe to catch the debris.
3.) Complete Your Inspection Before Replacing
This may seem like common sense, but it’s best to make sure you have performed a thorough assessment before deciding that you need a new water heater.
If you aren’t 100% sure about your assessment, give a professional a call, as they may be your best option for saving money. After all, water heaters are expensive, and hiring a plumbing professional could actually end up saving you money in the end.
image credit: a1plumberinc.com