If your water heater is leaking, your unit may be in need of repair. Even a minor leak can turn into a much larger issue, so it’s best to get the problem fixed immediately. Water heater leak repair is best left to a professional.
As soon as you determine that your water heater is leaking, you can turn off the power to the unit until the experts arrive. If you have an electric water heater, turn off the breaker to the unit. If you have gas, simply turn the switch or dial to off.
If the leak is substantial and obvious, you can turn off the water supply at the cold water shut-off valve. This should be located above the water heater. Shutting the water off should slow, and may even stop the leak, depending on where it is coming from. Use extreme caution when dealing with water from your water heater as it can burn the skin. If you do not know the source of the leak, or you don’t feel comfortable doing this on your own, leave the water supply on until a professional arrives.
There are several different areas from which the leak could be coming. Here are the places a plumber will look:
Inlet and outlet connections. They’ll check the points at which the cold water inlet and hot water outlet pipes connect to the water heater at the top of the unit. A minor leak here may require the tightening of a loose connection – while more serious leaks will require a bigger repair.
Temperature and pressure relief valve. A leak from the temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P) may be due to extreme pressure inside the tank or overheating. This pressure on the T&P valve will cause it to open repeatedly, leading to a leak. To check this, a plumber will reduce the temperature of the water by lowering the thermostat. They’ll then turn the water and power/gas to your heater back on and observe. If the T&P valve continues to leak, they’ll shut everything off right away.
If they determine this is not the problem, you may have a faulty valve. They’ll place a bucket under the discharge tube and open the T&P valve. This will flush the valve and remove any debris that may be causing the issue. If it still leaks after flushing, they’ll need to replace the T&P valve.
Heater drain valve. Checking the drain valve, located near the bottom of the tank, determines if it closes (and is closed) completely. A leak in this area may be caused by debris inside the valve or a faulty valve (similar to the T&P valve). A plumber may place a bucket under the valve and turn the dial counter clockwise to open it. This should flush it out. If the valve still leaks after flushing, it will need replacing.
The bottom of the hot water tank. Most water heater leaks are from inside the tank itself and are usually due to age. If your water heater has an internal leak, water will usually come out from the bottom of the tank. If this is the case, the only option is to replace the water heater.
Roto-Rooter provides 24-hour emergency water heater service, so you will have hot water again as quickly as possible. When you rely on Roto-Rooter, you can expect professional service from a skilled, licensed and fully insured plumber.