Your water heater is what makes sure that you have hot water coming out of every faucet in your home. When you suddenly find yourself taking a freezing shower, you know there’s something wrong with your water heater. If you check on your water heater and find that it is leaking from the bottom, there’s no reason to panic. A water heater leaking from the bottom can sometimes be a very simple fix. The expert plumbers at Chesterfield Service walk you through the causes and fixes of water heater leaks.
Do I Need to Replace My Leaking Water Heater?
It’s always a good idea to see if you can figure out how old your water heater is. Water heaters on average last 8-12 years, but some can last even longer. The age of your hot water tank may help you decide if your water heater is worth replacing at this time or not. A leak isn’t always a sign that you need to replace your water heater, but it’s good to know before you consult with a plumber.
When your water heater is leaking from the bottom, the first thing you should do is shut it off. You can do this at the circuit breaker if it’s an electric water heater, or if it’s a gas water heater, look for the on/off dial and turn it to the off position. Next, you’ll want to turn off the water supply, which should be a lever or a valve near the top of your water heater. Turn it right to close the valve and cut off the water supply.
Finding the Source of the Leak
Just because your water heater is leaking from the bottom of the tank, doesn’t mean that there’s where the leak is starting. When water heaters leak from the bottom, there are three common sources:
Near the bottom of the tank is usually a brass valve that is used to drain water from the tank when performing maintenance. If the drain valve is not tight or appears to be damaged, you may have a drain valve leak. Make sure the drain valve is tightened and see if that stops it from leaking. If leaks persist, then you’ll need to replace the drain valve. You can do this yourself by draining the tank with a garden hose and then replacing the old valve with a new one. A faulty drain valve can be easy to replace if you have the right tools and experience, but you can always enlist the help of a plumber.
Temperature and Pressure Valve
The temperature pressure relief valve is a discharge tube near the floor that releases water to reduce excessive pressure. If this pipe is wet when you are looking for the source of your water heating leaking, then it is like the temperature pressure relief valve.
A leaking temperature pressure relief valve may indicate a problem with your water heater’s thermostat, a problem with the temperature pressure relief valve, or excessive pressure inside the tank. Excessive pressure could cause big issues with your hot water tank, and it might need to be replaced.
If you find that neither of these valves is leaking, it might be that your water tank is leaking. Leaks can be very small, so they might be hard to see. However, if your water tank has signs of rust or corrosion, then it’s probably time to get a new water heater.
Monitor the Leak
If your water heater is leaking and you’ve made an appointment with a plumber, keep cleaning up the puddles of water as you see them, or use a drip pan to catch the water. It is ok to shower with a hot water leak, but make sure it is addressed soon.