Is your water heater leaking? Here’s what you should do.

What do I do if my water heater is leaking?

If you notice that your water heater is leaking water, you have a problem that needs to be addressed ASAP. Although it may seem like a small problem, it can quickly grow to a much larger issue if not properly taken care of. Leaking water can not only damage floors, subfloors, walls, and other nearby appliances, but it can also cause mold and mildew growth that can become dangerous to your family’s health.  In extreme cases, a full water heater failure can flood your home. It’s important to remember that although it may seem like a small problem now, it is not going to go away and fixing it sooner rather than later can save you from dealing with a much more expensive problem down the road.

Is it dangerous if my water heater is leaking?

Any leak in your home is an inconvenience, but a water heater leak has the potential to be extremely dangerous, even deadly, and should be taken seriously. As mentioned above, a leaking water heater can cause major damage to your home, but the true concern is far more dangerous.  A faulty water heater has the potential in extreme cases to explode, leak carbon monoxide, or cause a fire.  The first thing that you should do if you notice water leaking from your water heater is turn off the power supply to your water heater. For an electric water heater, locate the breaker for your water heater in the circuit breaker box. For a gas water heater, locate the on/off switch or dial on your water heater. Next, you should turn off your water supply to the water heater.  This can be done by turning the valve 90 degrees on the pipe leading into the top of your water heater.

What could be causing my water heater to leak?

There are 4 common causes of a leaking water heater. To find the source of the problem, you can inspect the water heater yourself before calling a professional using the tips below, just make sure to turn off the electricity and water for safety. If you are not comfortable with checking out your water heater, a licensed plumber can inspect it, diagnose the problem, and provide an estimate for repairing or replacing the water heater. The 4 common causes of a water heater leaking water are:

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The cold water inlet and hot water outlet connections

There are pipes attached to the top of the water heater where the cold water comes in and the hot water comes out. If the water is leaking from this area, try tightening the connections. This could be a quick, easy fix!

The temperature and pressure relief valve

Every water heater has a temperature and pressure relief valve. It is typically located on the side or top of the water heater. This valve is a safety mechanism that is designed to drain water if the water inside the water heater becomes too hot or if there is too much pressure building inside the water heater. A leak coming from this valve could mean 2 things. Either the valve is faulty and needs to be replaced, or the valve is doing it’s job and releasing some water to prevent a much bigger issue. If this valve is the source of the issue, it is a good idea to take it seriously and call a local plumber right away.

The drain valve

The drain valve is located at the bottom of the tank. Check to make sure the valve is closed completely. If the leak is coming from this area, the valve may need to be replaced which is a relatively inexpensive repair.

The internal tank

If the internal tank is leaking, you will see water leaking from the bottom of the water heater. The cause of this is deterioration and aging of the water heater and the only fix is replacing your water heater.

Who should I call for a leaking water heater?           

Although it may be tempting to try to repair or replace your water heater yourself, this job is best left to the professionals. Attempting to change out a water heater when you have not been properly trained can be dangerous and lead to further damage of your home. For all water heater repair or water heater replacement services, we recommend contacting a licensed plumbing company. Plumb Doctor has highly rated, experienced plumbers available 24/7 for your water heater replacement and water heater repair services. Plumb Doctor provides emergency services and free estimates in the Indianapolis, Greenwood, and surrounding areas. Give us a call today or fill out our contact form here to get a plumber to your home immediately!