5 Things to Do When Your Water Heater is Leaking
Water heater leaks due to many reasons such as the expansion of the tank caused by the pressure build-up within it or corrosion. But whatever the reasons are, this damage can cause further damage not only to the system itself but to some of the plumbing amenities in your household as well while simultaneously changing your home’s utility bills. When this problem arises, we certainly would want to diagnose and inspect the system for us to find out what causes the leak and for us to hand over early remedies before it could cause greater damage to our home. Here are few things you can do to diagnose your water heater units when leaks occur. If the problem is out of your capability, it would be best to engage with a plumbing professional before you worsen the problem.
Shut off the water supply
It has been advised to every homeowner that before initiating any plumbing repair especially to water-using appliances, it is a must to turn the water supply off. This is to avoid causing further damage to the system as well as to avoid water escapade that might lead to the burdens of high water bills. Aside from that, this is also helpful to avoid creating a pool of water on your floor especially when you are dealing with leaks or bursts.
Turn the water heater system off
The next step can be considered a safety precaution. It is necessary to turn the entire unit off so you can inspect the system without worrying that you might encounter accidents such as explosions, electrocution or burns.
For electric water heaters, if your suspect that it leaks, go immediately to the breaker box and turn off the switch for your water heater. If not labelled, it would be best to turn off the main breaker to ensure your safety.
For gas water heaters, you should turn off the supply of the heater. This is made possible by looking either at the back or at the side portion of your water heater for the gas line until you finally reach to the supply valve. After locating it, turn the valve in a clockwise motion until it completely stops.
Find where the leak is coming from
Now, it is time to locate where the leak is coming from. You can easily locate this by looking where the moisture is. But if you can’t find it, the location of the leak might be in a blind spot. Since there are times that we don’t know where the leak comes from, here are the common areas that usually leaks:
- Pressure relief valve
- Pipe fittings
- Drain valve
- Heating element gasket
- Hot water tank
Find out what causes the leak
This time, you find out what causes the leak and if it is under your control. Leaks can be either caused by the pressure build-up within the tank that might cause it to expand and leak while most of the times it is caused by corrosion.
Repair or replace your water heater system
After knowing what causes the leak, you can now decide if you would repair the damage or replace the unit. That would basically depend on the cause of the leak. If the cause if the leak is corrosion, it would be better to replace the unit.