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How Do I Fix A Leaky Water Heater?

Oct 7, 2016

If you’ve noticed pools of water gathering around the base of your water heater, you may be dealing with a leak. Before you start to worry about what you need to do to fix it, you need to take a moment to determine exactly where the leak is coming from, if there even is a leak. Sometimes the water is simply the result of condensation, but other times you may need to break out your toolbox or make a phone call to get the professionals involved. Once you’ve determined the source of the leak, then you can start to act.

  • Water Spraying Out Of The Pipes Leading To The Water Heater: This type of leak should be incredibly easy to diagnose, and requires immediate action. If you see water spraying from the pipes that supply your water heater, shut off the valve controlling water flow into your house and call in a professional. You may have bigger problems that need to be addressed right away in order to prevent serious damage to your home.
  • Water Spraying Out Of The Water Heater: While not as much of a problem as the one listed above, this type of leak still requires immediate action to prevent major water damage. Rather than turning off the water supply to your entire house, simply shut off the supply valve located above the water heater. If your water doesn’t have this valve, then you need to shut off your home’s water supply valve. Either way, you should call in a professional to check out and possibly replace your water heater.
  • Water Leaking Out Of The Heating Element Gasket: This type of leak may cause you problems if you have an electric water heater. Before you do anything else, you need to turn of the power leading to your water heater. After that, shut off the supply valve to your water heater, and, if you feel capable of handling the maintenance task yourself, drain the water from your water heater and replace the gasket. Before you turn the power supply back on, run hot water through one of the sinks in your house to release any air remaining in your water heater, otherwise you may end up destroying the heating element.
  • Water Leaking Out Of The Temperature-Pressure (TP) Relief Valve: This valve is designed to release water when it detects an excessive amount of pressure building up, so it’s common to see water leaking from here. In most cases the leak is caused when the main water supply pressure leading to your house it too strong or when the temperature is set too high. In some cases, the TP relief valve may be the issue and need to be replaced immediately – a faulty TP relief valve could cause enough steam to build up inside your water heater that it may explode. Your water heater’s owner’s manual should include instructions on how to replace it yourself, but you may want to call in a professional to complete the necessary repairs for you.
  • Water Dripping From the Drain Valve: In most cases you can easily fix this issue by tightening up the drain valve. If that doesn’t fix it, you may need to replace the valve itself.
  • Water Dripping From Condensation: Condensation can form on your water heater when it’s filled for the first time in cold weather, but will disappear as it heats up the water. However, if you have a gas water heater, you need to check and make sure that the condensation isn’t coming from the vent. It if is, you need to check for any blockages in the vent. If there are any, turn off the water heater and clean out the flue to fix the problem.

As we inch closer to winter, your water heater will become increasingly important to your daily life, so it’s best to do a full checkup even if you don’t notice any glaring issues. At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, our professionals are ready to provide assistance any time of the day and any day of the year. Find your nearest bluefrog Plumbing + Drain location though our ‘Find My Location’ page, or give us a call at 888-794-0341 to schedule your appointment today.

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Categories: Plumbing, Water Heater

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