What Can You Do About a Leaky Water Heater?

7 April 2017
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A leaking water heater in your home could mean more than just water pooling up on your floor. It could mean higher costs for energy and water. To avoid those costs, you need to locate the source of the leak and determine if it is repairable. If you water heater seems to have sprung a leak, here is what you need to know.  

Why Is It Leaking?

There are several reasons that your water heater could be leaking, but one of the most common is simply a loose installation. The pipes leading to and from your water heater push a high volume of water through them throughout the day. If the installation was not sufficiently tight, there is a possibility that the pipes have become loose and are dripping water.  

Another possible cause is corrosion. Over time, the sediments in your water heater could cause the tank's structure to weaken and corrosion will develop. As time passes, the corrosion will spread and the leak will worsen.  

Your water heater's temperature and pressure relief valve could also be to blame. The thread of the valve can sometimes corroded or wear down to the point that it is not properly sealed. When this occurs, water can start to slowly leak out.  

What Can You Do?

One of your first steps is to determine the location of the leak. Start at the top of the appliance and work your way down. Make note of any corrosion or defects you see as you inspect the water heater.  

If the temperature and pressure relief valve has worn threads, you can likely cover the threads with thread seal tape. Be sure to clean the threads before applying the tape for the best results. You will also need to drain the tank to the point right below the valve. If the valve has corrosion, you will likely have to replace the water heater.  

When corrosion is at fault, whether or not you need a new tank depends on the location of the rust, how much damage it has caused, and the rust's progression. Your plumber can evaluate the water heater to determine what your options are.  

If a loose installation is the cause of the leak, tightening the connections should stop the leak. If the leak does not stop after using a pipe wrench, have it evaluated by a professional like Rolling Bay Plumbing. There is a possibility that there is a different issue causing your water heater to leak.