Waking up to a leaking water heater emergency is no one’s ideal way to start the day. But if you follow these steps you can prevent an emergency from becoming a disaster.
Leaking Hot Water Heater
If your water heater is leaking, it is recommended to turn off the water to your tank. Your water heater tank should have a dedicated shutoff valve on the cold inlet pipes. If this is a gate-style valve (a wheel that turns), turn the valve clockwise as far as you can. If the valve is a ball-style valve, turn the handle 180 degrees. Call us if you need help to talk through this at 1-866-465-7442.
If this valve is broken, you can shut the water off to your home. Each home should have a main water shut off valve that would stop the flow of water to the entire house. If you are unable to locate this shut off valve, please give us a call and we can schedule a time to have one of our service technicians out to your home to help you right away.
Next, you will need to turn off the power supply. If you have an electric water heater, turn your power off at the breaker. If you have a gas water heater, you can turn off the gas at the dedicated gas shut off valve on the gas line leading to the tank.
Why is Your Water Heater Leaking?
Hot water heaters are built with a glass-lined storage tank. Over time, the natural minerals in the water can calcify and create deposits on the inside of the tank. These can crack the glass lining and cause your water heater to leak. Also, as water is heated, it expands. Over time, this expansion creates stress on the glass lining of the heater and can cause it to crack.
Unfortunately, when this happens, your hot water heater will need to be replaced; the cracks in the glass liner are not repairable. Sometimes, these leaks will not affect the performance or function of the unit and people elect to wait to replace the water heater. As long as the leaking water isn’t causing damage, this is fine, but ultimately the unit will need to be replaced.
Electric Water Heater Leak
If you have an electric water heater and are experiencing difficulty, we recommend that you shut off the power at the breaker before working with the tank. Just flip the breaker to off.
Gas Water Heater Leak
If you have a leaking gas-powered water heater, we recommend that you shut off the gas supply before working with the tank. There should be a dedicated gas shut off valve on the gas line leading to the tank. See below for a visual illustration of a gas water heater shut down.
- Turn off gas
- Turn off water supply
- Drain water tank
Your water heater technician will drain your tank when they begin work. However, if your tank is leaking badly, you may want to drain it immediately to prevent water damage. You can do this with an ordinary garden hose by screwing the hose onto the drain at the bottom of the tank and then turning the drain valve to open.
Make sure you drain the tank to a proper location such as a gutter drain or sink. Do not drain the water onto your lawn or driveway as sediment and rust from the tank can harm your grass or stain your driveway.
Your Water Heater Isn’t Producing Hot Water
If your hot water heater is no longer providing hot water and the tank is electric-powered, check the fuse at the breaker and make sure it hasn’t flipped. If you have a gas hot water heater, you can also check the pilot light to determine if it is still operating. If neither of these simple fixes work, call to schedule a service call with a qualified technician to your home.
My Gas is Leaking- I Smell Gas!
If you believe you have a gas leak at the water heater, you can turn off the gas at the dedicated gas shut off valve on the gas line leading to the water heater. If you believe that you continue to have a gas leak problem, you can call Fast for service at 1-866-465-7442.
In the case of a serious gas leak or emergency, it is always best to contact your energy company immediately.
AFTER AN EARTHQUAKE, PROTECT YOUR HOME
- If You smell gas:
- Locate the meter outside your home. Turn gas valve ¼ turn from ON to OFF.
- Contact your gas company