Water heaters are crucial elements of the home. They provide your family with hot water for cooking, bathing, cleaning and so much more. The average water heater is built to last for many years. However, even with proper care, there are still frequent repair problems such as leaks that can still happen.
Today, we will show you the steps to take if you suspect you have a leak in your water heater to diagnose the problem and to get it fixed. We will also look at which problems will require you to schedule a professional for water heater repair.
How Do You Know if a Water Heater is Leaking
Simply noticing a puddle of water near your water heater surprisingly does not necessarily mean that your water heater has a leak. If the puddle is not of an enormous size, it could be caused by condensation. Additionally, there are many other components attached to your water heater, such as water softener discharge lines and furnace drain lines that could be the source of your problem.
To determine the source of the puddle near your water heater, you will need to clean up the puddle and completely dry the area.
Place a dry cloth or paper towels where the puddle was to absorb any future puddles. If no new water appears immediately, keep an eye on the area. You’ll want to check this periodically over the next couple of days.
If no new puddle appears within a day or two, then there is nothing for you to worry about. However, if a new puddle does appear, you are likely dealing with a leak. This can be a common water heater problem if your tank is 15 years or older.
What to Do When You Have a Water Heater Leak
First, if you have a water heater leak, the first thing that you should do is cut the power supply to the water heater. If yours is an electric water heater, you will need to locate the breaker and switch it off. If yours is a gas water heater, the switch will be located on the exterior of the tank itself.
The next step is to cut off the water supply to the hot water heater. You can do this at the cold water shut-off valve (most tanks have them at the top of the tank). If the leak is excessive and you can not safely reach the valve, you will need to shut the water off at the main water shut off valve for your home.
Should I Drain the Water Heater Tank
If the tank must be drained for water heater repair to take place, the professionals working on your tank can do that for you. However, if you want to go ahead and drain the tank prior to them arriving to prevent any further damage, follow these steps:
- Secure a hose to the drain valve and run hose to a gutter or drain
- Release the valve on the water heater tank
- Open the pressure relief valve, this is also located on the water heater tank
- Allow all of the water to drain from the tank
Can I Use Hot Water When There’s a Leak
In theory, you can use your hot water while there is a water heater leak. However, this will drive up the cost of your water and energy bills. The leak may also become worse, doing even more than the anticipated amount of damage to your home.
Call Mullin Plumbing, Inc. in Broken Arrow for Professional Water Heater Repair
If you have a water heater leak, you will need to get in touch with a professional to schedule service. While some small leaks may be a DIY job, it is not worth the risk that you might miss something or could be hurt while doing the repairs yourself.