Leaking water heater?

A water heater leak could be caused by several things. First, its important to decide if the leak is simple and can usually be fixed without outside assistance, or severe and needs to be corrected by a professional.

Simple

If you are noticing small amounts of water collecting around your water heater, don’t panic just yet! Here are some common causes and solutions to small leaks.

  • Only leaks when turned on – This is probably just caused by condensation from the cold water and warmth of the water heater combine. It stops as soon as the water is warmed up.
  • Leaking from drain valve – A common cause of small leaks is a loose drain valve (towards the bottom of the unit). Check to make sure it is tightened up!
  • Temperature is too high – You’re water heater should be set to about 120°F. Any higher and you will notice leaking from the temperature release valve. Once the temperature is set correctly the leaking should stop.

Severe

If your water heater is experiencing a larger leak and is not caused by any of the above problems, contact a professional plummer and follow a few important steps before they arrive.

  • Turn off the power – Whether a gas or electric unit, cut off the source of the power.
  • Cold water valve – To keep water from flowing into your unit, turn off the cold water valve.
  • Drain – You can drain the water out of your water heater by attaching a hose to the drain valve and letting the water flow to an appropriate area such as  a sink.