You walk into your mechanical room and find a puddle under your water heater. This isn’t a good sign, and you may need to move fast. But what do you do when you don’t know the answer to: why is my water heater leaking? Consider these common causes, and then call an expert for help.
The drain valve sits near the bottom of the tank. It allows you to drain out the water for a periodic flush, but it can get loose. To test it, turn off the water heater, allow the water to cool and place a bucket under the valve. If it won’t close, you’ve got a problem. Tightening or replacing the valve might be all it takes to fix. However, if the equipment is close to 10 years old, this may be one of the first signs that your water heater needs replacement.
Water comes into your tank for heating, then it leaves your tank to go to your faucets. At times, these connections can get jostled or disconnected. If you’ve got a big leak and it is coming out quickly, this is a good place to start. Identify your home’s water shutoff valve and make sure you can get to it in an emergency. Turn it off and check the connections. If they need tightening, you might be able to do this. If you’ve got a broken pipe, you’ll want to call a plumber.
Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
By comparison, the temperature and pressure relief valve is located on the top or high on the side of the tank. This valve can also cause leaks, and it may be a very serious matter. The valve is designed to release pressure. If you have problems in the tank like a faulty gas valve, you might have too much heat in a contained space. This can cause the water to get as hot as 300 degrees.
The valve releases a bit of pressure to keep the equipment from possibly causing an explosion. If you’re getting leaks around this valve, it can seem easy to ignore because it may not be a lot of water. This could be a big problem, though, so you’ll want to call our expert plumbers for prompt attention.
Leaks in the Tank
Water heater tanks are meant to survive for about 10 years, but they often start corroding before that time. Part of the reason for yearly service is to clean out the sediment that accumulates in the bottom of the tank. If this step gets skipped for a few years, minerals can eventually eat away at the bottom of the tank. Over time, this can actually create holes in the tank that trigger a leak. If you’ve got this problem, it’s probably time to replace the water heater.
Fix Your Leaking Water Heater
Water heater leaks are no fun, and they can be a symptom of much larger problems. To have your water heater inspected and repaired quickly, call Master Plumbing, Heating & Cooling for emergency service or schedule an appointment today.