Water heaters are important elements of any home. Hot water heaters have many functions, including providing hot water for cooking, bathing, cleaning and more. They are made to last for many years, but even with proper care, problems such as water heater leak can occur.
Here are some steps you should take if you suspect that you have a leak in your water heater. We will also examine some problems that require a plumber’s expertise.
How to Detect a Water Heater Leak
Because a puddle of water near your water heater can cause concern, it’s important to remember that standing water is not necessarily an indication of a leak in your plumbing. If the puddle isn’t huge, it could simply be condensation. Additionally, there are many components attached to a water heater that could be the cause of a problem, such as discharge lines from a water softener and drain lines leading to a furnace.
To find the source of a water leak near your water heater, dry and clean up the area around the leak. Place a dry cloth (or a towel) to soak up any moisture on the floor to prevent future puddles. Check this periodically over the next few days.
If you don’t see a new puddle forming within two days or so, you don’t need to worry. However, if a new puddle appears on the floor, inspect your water heater to see if it has sprung a leak. This is a common problem with water heaters.
Do These Things if your Water Heater Leaks
When there is a water heater leak, you should cut the power supply to the water heater. If you have an electric water heater, locate the breaker and turn off the switch. If you have a gas water heater, the switch will be located on the outside of the tank.
Next, you’ll need to turn off the water supply to the tank. The easiest way to do this is by locating the cold-water shutoff valve. This valve is located on the wall near your water heater. Turn it clockwise until it has closed completely.
Is it OK if I drain the Water Heater?
If you think you have a leak, it’s a good idea to find out exactly where it is coming from. One of the most common causes of leaks is a loose valve or connection. However, if you notice the leak at the bottom of your tank, it could be a sign that there is sediment buildup. If a leak from your water heater is causing issues, it’s best to drain it and see if the leak stops on its own. If this does not work, you may need to replace the drain valve, which is a job for a licensed plumber, not an amateur. However, if you wish to drain the tank before help arrives, follow these steps.
- Attach a hose to the drain valve and run it to a gutter or drain.
- Release the valve on the water heater tank
- Open the pressure relief valve, this is also located on the water heater
- Let all of the water drain from the tank.
Is it Safe to Use Water if there’s a Leak?
Theoretically, you can use hot water while there is a leak in your water heater, but this depends on where the leak is located and how much the leak has expanded. If there is a small leak near the top of the tank, then using hot water should be fine. However, if there is a large leak or the leak occurs in a critical area, then you shouldn’t use hot water until after a plumber comes to your home and fixes it.
Call Murray Electric & Plumbing for Professional Water Heater Repair in Broken Arrow
If your water heater is leaking, schedule service with a professional. While some small leaks may be a DIY job, it’s not worth the risk of missing something or getting hurt during the repair.
Murray Electric & Plumbing specializes in water heater repair. Give us a call at (918) 835-9605 if you need to schedule service for your water heater leak.