What To Do If Your Water Heater Is Leaking
An average household’s leaks can amount to over 10,000 gallons of waster water each year, which is the equivalent to 270 loads of laundry water. A leaky faucet alone can waste over 3,000 gallons a year if it is dripping at a rate of one drip per second. Fixing household water leaks can save a homeowner an average of 10% on water bills.
Water heater leaks are a common household leak that can cause serious plumbing repairs if not fixed quickly. Here’s what to do if you believe your water heater is leaking:
Figure out if your water heater is the source of the leak
The pool of water by you water heater may not be the cause of a leak. The pipes surrounding your water heater and the water heater itself typically will form some condensation. This can drip to the floor causing a small pool of water in basements or in damp weather conditions.
Inspect not only your water heater, but other plumbing and nearby sources for signs of leakage or condensation. If nothing is found during inspection, wipe up the pool of water and check back regularly to see if it reappears. If water reappears and no other source can be determined, than a water heater leak is most likely the culprit.
Turn off water heater power
If water heater failure is the culprit to your leak, the power supply should immediately be turned off. An electric water heater will have a switch in you circuit breaker box. A natural gas water heater will have an on/off dial or switch.
Shut off water supply
Shut off the water supply using the cold water shut-off valve located above the water heater. It is important to make sure you can reach this without coming into contact with any water as it could be hot enough to cause first degree burn. If you can not safely reach it then close the main shut-off valve for the house.
Find the leak’s location
A water heater can leak in many different areas, so it is important to inspect it and find the leak to make it easier on your plumber. Check the cold water inlet, the hot water outlet, the temperature and pressure relief valve, the heater drain valve, and the bottom of the hot water tank. This are the main places that a water heater leak can occur.
Repair or replace water heater
The type of leak will determine whether you will be repairing or replacing you water heater. A professional plumber will help you to deal with the problem in the proper way. Larger leaks and floods can be caused by improper removal or repairs.