General Tips to Fixing Water Heater Leaking Problems
Is your Hot Water System Leaking ? Can you tell the source of the hot water tank leak? Worry not! Here is a detailed and helpful guide to help you make the right diagnosis.
A trivial leak appears harmless, and many homeowners will probably ignore it. However, it is recommended that you deal with it immediately. Ignoring or leaving the leak unattended may result in a costly and serious mess.
Leaks are a common occurrence in electric and gas storage water heaters. There are several causes of heater tank leaks ranging from rust to other mechanical issues. The good news is that fixing the leaks is easy. However, for complex cases always consult a professional.
The article will discuss the different causes of leaks and the best repair solutions. For those who love DIY and are comfortable working with the heaters’ power source, here is a guide on how to handle such repairs.
For more complex repairs or replacements, it is important to seek the assistance of a licensed professional for safety reasons. Also, remember that the heaters may have other problems aside from the leaks that require a different approach.
Remedy for a hot water tank leak in electric and gas water heater storage units
Here are few important safety tips to consider before undertaking any repairs.
- If you are dealing with electric heaters, turn off the water heater. Do not even access the panels is the power switch is on. Avoid being electrocuted.
- Before beginning the repairs, ensure the multimeter on the outlet is working.
- For gas heaters, turn the gas control valve to pilot.
- Ensure the water supply for gas and electric heaters is turned off. You might get burned or scaled when hot water flows out during the repair.
Types of hot water tank leaks and possible remedies
Valve leaks from T&P relief
How do you tell that you have a T&P Valve leak? It is characterised by large volumes of water pouring out of the tank because the temperature of the water is too hot.
Check the thermostat temperature and reduce it (if is too high). The recommended temperature is 49 degrees Celsius or 120 degrees Fahrenheit. It offers a perfect balance between safety and comfort.
Does the thermostat have a tight fit?
If the thermostat is not working, it needs to be replaced
A defective valve may cause a leak. However, prior to replacing the valve, draining the tank is recommended.
Inlet connection leaks
Sometimes, the cause of the leak may be at the hot water outlet, cold water outlet, or the heater. For minor leaks, tightening the connection point with a pipe wrench is the ultimate solution. If that does not remedy the problem, seek the help of a professional.
Tank leaking from below
Is your tank leaking from the bottom? If the tank is old than eight years, it is time to make a replacement. Corrosion causes the heater tank walls to rust which causes it to leak. If you feel you can do the repairs and are familiar with heaters ‘energy source, go ahead and do the work. If in doubt, call a professional hot water systems plumber.
A leak from the heater’s drain valve
A leak from a heater drain valve is a common occurrence in electric heaters. A defective valve may cause the leak. It bears some resemblance to the T&P valve faulty leak or when debris builds up inside the valve.
The remedy is opening the valve and determining if there is any debris present. Flush out the debris and see if the leak goes away. If that does not work and the problem persists, it is time to make a replacement.
Heat element possibility
This is a problem that affects electric devices. Sometimes the heating element of the gasket may be leaking. It may difficult for a DIYer to establish the source of the leak. The gasket is covered by an access panel and insulation on the electric heater’s side. Over a long period, the natural and wear tear process takes place and affects the gasket. The gasket stops being watertight and needs replacement.