A leaking water heater reduces your available hot water, damages your home, and also puts your household at risk. A water heater leak is a plumbing emergency that you should deal with as soon as possible. Below are some tips to help you deal with a leaking water heater.
Shut Off The Water Valves
A leaking water heater can damage your home, trigger mold growth, and increase your utility bills unnecessarily. Therefore, one of the first things to do is to shut off the valves supplying and raining the tank with water. This will reduce the volume of water that can leak even as you take additional steps. Shut off both the cold water inlet and the hot water outlet if you haven't diagnosed the exact location of the leak. After all, the leak might even be in the hot water drainage section of the system.
Switch Off The Power
It also helps to switch off the power to the heater before further diagnosis. For one, you don't need to heat any more water if the heater will just leak some of it. Secondly, the electricity should be off as you fiddle with the water heater so that you don't accidentally shock yourself.
Confirm It's A Leak
It is fairly easy to mistake condensation for water heater leaks. For example, if the water heater is mainly filled with cold water, moisture will condense on the surface of the tank and drip down to the floor. If the condensation is excessive, you might mistake it for a leak. This might be the case if the tank only seems to leak if it is chilly; a true leak should be there at all times.
Diagnose The Leak
If you are up to it, then the next step should be to diagnose the source of the leak. In some cases, it might not even be the water heater that is leaking, but rather a nearby plumbing fixture or even the roof. As for the water heater, leaks typically originate from the inlet, outlet, drain valve, pressure relief valve, and the bottom of the tank.
Drain the Pump
If your efforts confirm that the tank is leaking, you should drain it before repair or replacement efforts. A DIY drain may be necessary if the leakage is serious and your home is fast flooding with water. Otherwise, you can just wait for the plumber who will repair or replace the tank to handle the draining too.
Contact a hot water tank repair company like Brown's Plumbing, Pumps & Spas to learn more.