What To Do If Your Water Heater Leaks
Water heaters require annual professional maintenance to ensure they continue to run safely and efficiently. This means it is equally as important to make sure an experienced plumber evaluates your plumbing system regularly. With daily use throughout the year, your unit can develop wear and tear. One of the most common problems people notice is a leak in their water heater. While this is a sign that you should arrange to have your system checked in the near future, there are some things you can do at home to try to help fix a minor leak.
Check the Pressure and Temperature
Your water heater may be prone to leaking if the temperature of the pressure is too high. You can find out the level of pressure by checking the valve at the top of the tank. An average temperature reading for household water heaters should be approximately 120°F or medium. If the temperature gets above this, it is time to check the valve for a possible blockage or build-up of minerals. The valve can become corroded, which suggests it is time to replace this part of your water heater.
If the temperature of your water heater is normal but there is still a leak, it could be that the pressure if too high. The valve can be easily removed for examination or assessment at home if your hot water heater continues to leak after you have checked the temperature and the pressure.
Tighten the Pipe Joints on the Water Heater
Leaks can also be prevalent in the areas where the hot and cold water supply lines bend or curve. You may notice water dripping or spraying from the joints of the hot and cold water inlet and outlet pipes that are connected to the water heater, as these can often loosen over time. The majority of the time, this can be easily remedied by using a wrench to tighten the joints of the pipe.
If this doesn’t completely solve the problem, you can use plumber’s tape – available at most hardware stores – to wrap around the joints of the pipe. Turn off the water and power, wait for the hot water outlet to cool, before disconnecting the fittings and applying the tape.
With an electric water heater, water collecting underneath the tank could be a sign of a damaged gasket. The gaskets seal the elements that help to heat the water as it goes into the chamber. To examine this, you will need to turn off the power and water before checking the gaskets for the presence of water or drips. This will allow you to drain the tank and replace the damaged gaskets or corroded elements. Ask your Plumber for advice if you are unsure or visit your local hardware store to find the parts that you will need. If you are confident in your plumbing skills, you can do this yourself and have it checked by a plumber during your annual assessment.
An Internal Water Heater Leak
If the leak appears to come from the bottom of your water heater, this suggests it could be due to an internal leak from inside the tank. This is most likely caused by deterioration or corrosion from frequent use over an extended period of time. If you find that the leak originated from the inside of your water heater, this is a sign that you need to call a plumber. A skilled, trustworthy plumber will diagnose the problem and explain your options to you. Your main options are to have your tank repaired or replaced with a new one, depending on the cost and how old your water heater is. If your water heater is nearing ten years old, it could be more cost-effective to invest in a replacement tank.Call Chambliss Plumbing for the right water heater for your household.
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