Have you gone to your hot water heater to find puddles on the ground surrounding it? A leaking water heater can lead to several problems, indicating something is wrong with your unit. Not only is it frustrating to find a leak in your hot water heater, but it also may have damaged your surrounding items or surfaces.
Not sure what to do if you’ve found a leak? Keep reading to learn more about the most common causes you may have a hot water heater leak from the bottom of your unit.
What to Do if You Find a Leak in Your Water Heater
The first thing you should do when you find a leak from your water heater is to turn it off! Electric water heaters should be turned off from the breaker. Gas water heaters should have an on/off switch or dial to turn it off.
After you’ve turned off your water heater, you will also want to turn off the water supply. This can be done by locating a lever or valve on top of your water heater and turning it to the right to cut off the water supply. The first step you should do to troubleshoot the problem is to ensure the drain valve leak has been closed.
What to do next will depend on your comfort level. For most homeowners, the next logical step would be to call in a professional. Attempting to repair your hot water heater on your own, without the proper experience, could lead to further damage. Unless you’re super handy or have plumbing experience, we recommend calling in a professional.
Possible Reasons for a Leaking Water Heater
- Drain Valve Leak
Every water heater has a drain valve that works to drain the water from the tank during maintenance or repairs. If this valve was not properly closed, it can lead to leaking. Several things can go wrong with the drain valve of your hot water heater, including loosening and damage. The good news is that this is one of the simplest problems to fix and is a quick repair.
If the drain valve was simply not closed, try closing it to see if it remedies the issue. If the valve needs to be replaced, you’ll need to call a trusted plumber to fix it. After repairing or replacing the drain valve, your leak should be completely resolved.
- Internal Tank Leak
Another common cause of hot water leaking from the bottom is damage to the tank itself. This means something is taking place structurally inside of the hot water heater. Often, this can occur from sediment build-up inside the hot water tank. Hard water can cause this problem to occur. It is important to flush your hot water tank to remove sediment build-up at least every six months.
Internal tank damage often requires the total replacement of your hot water heater. Once a water heater’s tank is cracked or corroded, it cannot maintain proper pressure to function. This common cause of leaking is avoidable with proper, routine maintenance of your hot water heater.
- Issues with the Temperature & Pressure Valve
Every hot water heater has a safety feature known as the temperature & pressure valve, or T&P for short. The job of this valve is to release excess pressure from the tank through a tube if the pressure got too high. Damage or failure of the T&P valve to work properly could be a potential cause of your hot water heater leak.
In some instances, the valve may activate incorrectly when not needed. This valve must work properly to prevent dangerous bursts, as well. If the pressure in the hot water tank is too high, your hot water heater could be at risk for a burst. This type of issue always needs to be addressed by a trusted plumber.
Finding the Source of the Leak
Finding a hot water leak is never a good day. A hot water heater leaking from the bottom is not always easy to troubleshoot. In most cases, you’ll need to call a trusted professional to assess the problem at hand.
Has your plumber identified the problem? Call WeDryUSA to help you clean up any water damages that occurred from your leak. We’re experts in helping homeowners deal with water damage fast. We offer emergency clean-up and restoration services, any time of the day or night!