How to Diagnose a Water Heater Leak

Dec 19, 2019

A water heater that has a leak does not necessarily mean the appliance needs replacing. Oftentimes, the problem causing the leak is not a serious malfunction, however, even the smallest leaks require immediate attention, which is why finding the underlying issue is key to stopping further damage from occurring to your water heater and your home. Below we’ve listed some of the most common causes behind a leaky water heater. Here are reasons why your water heater might be leaking…

Broken or Loose Drain Valve

If the water leak is coming from the bottom of your water heater, there’s a high probability the drain valve is either faulty or loose. To fix a loose drain valve simply tighten it with a wrench, however, while doing this, be very careful not to over tighten the valve. On the other hand, a broken drain valve will need replacing.

Faulty Temperature and Pressure Valve

The temperature and pressure valve, which is located on the side or top of your water heater, is a safety device that opens up and lets water escape the appliance when the temperature or pressure in the tank becomes too high. If the valve is in the closed position and water is leaking out, it’s time to replace the malfunctioning part.

Cracks and Holes in the Water Tank

As your water heater ages, corrosion caused by sediment build-up can damage the tank. Unfortunately, when this happens, cracks and holes form at the bottom of the tank, which leads to water leaking onto your floor. If you discover a crack or hole is behind your leaky water heater, age has most likely caught up to your appliance, meaning it’s time to replace your water heater.

Damaged Cold Water Inlet Valve

If you notice water puddling at the top of your water heater or water is running down the sides, there is a good chance the cold water inlet valve is behind your leaky appliance. As the name indicates, the inlet valve is where cold water from your home’s main water line enters your water heater tank. Before you hire a professional plumber to replace the valve, check to see if the fitting is loose, if it is, carefully use a wrench to tighten it. If you check and the valve is securely attached, the cold water inlet valve is faulty and will need replacing as soon as possible.

Discovering your water heater has sprung a leak is stressful, especially when you can’t figure out where the water is coming from. If you’re dealing with a leaky water heater, please contact us today and one of our experienced plumbers will inspect and repair the issue for you.

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