Your water heater plays an important role in your home. As such, if something goes wrong with it, it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible to keep your house in working order. This is especially true if you’re a property manager who may have multiple tenants counting on them to keep their water heater in proper working order. A water heater leak can cause serious property damage and so it’s critical to call in a professional at the first signs of a water heater leak.
One of the most common issues homeowners and property managers face when it comes to a water heater is a leak. Sometimes you may notice your water heater leaking from the bottom, while other times you may be facing a water heater line leak. It’s also possible to have a water heater leaking from the top. It’s important to identify the source of the leak quickly to prevent damage to property and keep your tenants safe and well taken care of. Keep reading for what to do if you’re facing a leaking water heater.
First Steps If You Notice A Water Heater Leak
If you’ve been notified that a tenant has discovered a water heater leak, you need to act quickly. This is because many types of water heaters automatically refill themselves when they start to lose water, so a small leak can become a major issue if you don’t take care of the problem quickly. Most leaks require the help of a professional plumber to remedy, while others can be taken care of more easily. Learn more about which water heater leaks are which below.
Before you go about fixing the leak, it’s a good idea to confirm that your water heater is actually leaking. Putting down a dry towel can help you determine the source of the leak—and rule out condensation or another culprit. Especially if you’re dealing with a water heater leaking from the bottom. Putting down something like a newspaper or a towel can be particularly helpful in diagnosing the source of the leak. Checking into this before you turn off your water, gas, or electric (depending on how your heater is powered) is key.
Are All Leaks Serious?
While all water heater leaks should be taken care of before they snowball into larger and more expensive issues, some leaks are more serious than others. For example, some water leaks can be dealt with by simply tightening a bolt or connection, while others are a bit more involved. We never recommend having a tenant try to remedy a leak. Even less-serious leaks should be handled by professionals who are licensed, bonded and insured. The last thing you want is to have to deal with a liability issue that can cause a property owner money or result in an injury.
Should A Water Heater Leak Ever Be A DIY Job?
If you have a water heater leaking from the top, it’s likely that the issue is just with the hot or cold inlets. This is something that homeowners may opt to fix themselves by replacing the line or valve, depending on if it’s worn down or clogged. You can typically pick up a replacement line or valve at the hardware store and perform this DIY job with nothing other than a wrench. If you’re a property manager we recommend having any inlet valves replaced by a professional plumber. Never under any circumstances should you rely on a tenant to perform the job of a professional plumber. This can result in property damage, or worse, personal injury like scalding.
Some homeowners also opt to replace the T&P valve themselves. This is a safety device that keeps your water heater tank properly pressurized, and if you notice that the relief valve is closed with water flowing through it, then you’ll need to replace the valve. If it’s open and relieving extra pressure, there’s still likely a problem with your T&P valve—but it’s best left to the experts to handle.
When To Call In A Pro For Your Leaking Water Heater?
It’s never wrong to call a professional plumber to inspect and fix your water heater. It’s best to leave leaks to a professional team whose work is backed by insurance. This is particularly true if you’re dealing with an internal tank leak. If you’ve got an internal tank leak, you’ll need to have your entire water heater replaced by a professional. This can range in price, depending on the hourly rate of your technician, geography and the cost of your replacement water heater, to name a few. Thankfully, you can purchase a Rheem water heater or other reliable brand and have it installed quickly by calling Fast Water Heater’s on-demand team.
What Constitutes A Water Heater Emergency?
While not every water heater leak is an emergency, the fact that water heaters are pressurized devices means that a leak could be a sign of a major problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Especially if the leak is causing the pressure of your T&P valve to operate ineffectively, a burst tank is a definite possibility.
Potential Water Heater Emergency Situations:
- Broken or defective temperature relief valve
- Leaks from the top or bottom of a water heater
- No hot water or water at all
In these situations, it’s critical that you reach out to an emergency plumbing company like Fast Water Heater to get the problem solved properly, efficiently and most importantly, quickly. Having water heater emergencies remedied safely will be something you’re grateful for. If you’re facing a water heater emergency, contact us today to get your water heater back in working order.
Is your tenant’s water heater leaking? Are you facing a water heater crisis? Call us today for fast, communicative and professional service.