No homeowner wants to find a puddle of water surrounding their water heater. You may immediately assume the worst and prepare for a battle to get back hot water without breaking your budget. Water heater repairs and replacements can be expensive. However, before admitting defeat, there are a few steps you can take to make the process smoother and less stressful.
When your plumbing system is giving you grief, Gotelli Plumbing has a team of experts who are prepared to help! We’re here to help you learn why your water heater is leaking and what steps you can take to solve the problem!
Before calling for professional assistance, check that your system is truly leaking! Older water heaters can collect condensation from time to time, mimicking the effects of a leak. Newer units can also produce excessive condensation if they have damaged insulation or their temperature is too high.
Both gas and electric heaters have the potential to form condensation. If you think the puddle under your water heater could have been caused by condensation, which traveled down the side of the tank and onto the floor, turn off your unit.
Return after a few hours and check if the puddle has grown larger or smaller. If the amount of water has shrunk, condensation is likely your problem. In this case, lower the temperature to a safe range or keep an eye on the rate of condensation in the future. Contact a plumber to assist you if the problem persists in the future.
If condensation is not the culprit behind pooling water, you can move on to finding the source of your leak. There are several common culprits that cause your system to leak from the bottom, several of which are repairable!
A valve is present near the bottom of the water heater tank. Drain valves look like garden hose spigots and are used to empty the tank when necessary, such as during cleaning or removal. If you see water dripping out or around the valve, your drain valve might be loose.
Double-check to make sure this component is closed tightly. If this does not solve the problem, you may have to replace your drain valve altogether.
A temperature and pressure relief valve keeps the water heater from getting too hot by venting excess pressure. While the T&P valve is usually located on the side or top of the tank, a tube may connect to it and send the water down to the floor. The overflow tube runs underneath the water heater. When the T&P valve leaks, it can be mistaken for a leak from the bottom of your unit.
Check your thermostat setting on the water heater to ensure it is not too high. If it’s in a normal range, you may have to replace your T&P valve.
If your system doesn’t receive regular maintenance, sediment can build up on the bottom of the tank. This debris can consist of salt or other chemicals that can lead to corrosion of the bottom of the tank. Corrosion can form tiny holes in the bottom of the tank, thus creating a leak. Pressure in the tank can cause these holes to grow larger, worsening the problem.
If the bottom of your tank is corroded, replacing your unit may be the best solution. Make sure to keep an eye out for leaks at the top of the tank, as well. A professional plumber can inspect your system and help you determine the best course of action.
DIY water heater repairs can be dangerous in some cases. Improper corrections can cause more damage to your system and increase the risk of safety hazards. Some tasks, like drain valve replacement, are easier for homeowners to attempt.
However, other issues are best left to a professional! We recommend that you contact a plumber for repair and replacement services to avoid additional problems with your unit.
Are you experiencing frustrating issues with your water heater? Gotelli Plumbing has the necessary knowledge and expertise to solve problems with your unit. Don’t let leaks consume your household— contact us to schedule your next repair service!