Water heaters can last a long time, but even the best ones can leak. A leaking water heater doesn’t mean that it needs replacing, but you will want to fix any leaks as soon as possible. Even a small amount of water can cause a huge amount of damage, so it’s important to asses the situation as soon as possible.
First, find where the leak is coming from. Even if a small amount of water is below your water heater, it may not be the water heater that is leaking. Wipe up the water and inspect the area. Are any of the fittings wet or are you seeing any other signs of leakage?
Check your surroundings for other possible sources of water. Is the water found near a window or another water pipe? Keeping gravity in mind, if your floor slopes at all, water may have traveled from another area to where you found it.
If you can’t determine the cause right away, put down some paper towels where you found the water and check back in a few hours to a day or two.
When you come back, If the towels are wet, then you know there is a problem and the water heater may be the culprit.
If you’ve determined that it is your water heater that is leaking, follow the steps below to asses the situation or just give us a call to have one of our skilled technicians come take a look.
If you experience a leaking water heater, 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.
Call us if you need help to talk through this at (866) 264-9642.
If the 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.
Follow the steps below for either an electric or a gas water heater.
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.
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.
Once your water and power have been turned off, you can better assess the situation and determine where exactly the leak may be coming from.
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.
If you need to drain your water heater before a technician arrives, follow these steps once the water and power have been turned off:
Again, unless you are worried about severe damage, you don’t have to worry about draining your water heater. Our technicians will be happy to take care of this for you.
Taking these first few steps when you discover a leak can be instrumental in avoiding water damage. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (866) 264-9642.
One of the most common causes of water heater leakage is a loose drain valve. It water appears to be leaking from the valve, try tightening it with a wrench until it is snug, but be careful not to over-tighten it.
Sometimes a water heater tank can build up too much pressure which can cause leaks. This can happen with the water temperature is set too high or the exterior water supply is coming in at too high of a pressure for the tank.
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 the 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.
Lose fixtures, improper draining, and just age, are all reasons that your water heater may be leaking.
It’s always a good idea to do some troubleshooting on your own, but having a professional come in will always be the safest and best way to avoid potential long-term and expensive damage to your home.
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.
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 (866) 264-9642.
In the case of a serious gas leak or emergency, it is always best to contact your energy company immediately.
If You smell gas:
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.