Water heater leaks can easily turn into a huge problem. Even a small leak can cause damage to the walls, subfloors and floors. Leaks can also lead to health problems. In extreme cases, you can incur a lot of damaged personal property. Additionally, wet and damp areas can cause mildew and mold growth to thrive and cause asthma in some individuals, upper respiratory problems and allergic reactions.
Tips to Determine if the Heater is Leaking
Not every puddle of water at the base of the heater is necessarily due to a leak from the heater itself. The pipes around the heater and other appliances can form condensation and accumulate water on the floor. Plumbing, furnace drain lines and water softener lines may also be the culprit. Be sure to closely inspect the heater and its fittings for signs of leakage. You can try placing some paper towels over the damp area to see if water shows up again. If water does show up again and you can’t find any other source of the leak, it’s likely that the leak is coming from the heater.
Water heater leaking commonly occurs from the temperature pressure relief valve. It’s a brass valve found at the top of the heater with a discharge pipe. You can test it out by lifting the lever for a moment. If that doesn’t stop the leak, it may be time to replace the valve. You can call a plumber to do the task, but it is really an easy do-it-yourself job.
Water heater leaking may also occur at the tank outlet or inlet. Over time, the slow erosion of steel can result in a leak. Often, these types of leaks are insidious and signs of leakage generally include rust or corrosion around the connections. Keep in mind that these types of leaks start out small but increase with time. The fix is to replace the corroded pipe with plastic sections known as dielectric nipples. The task requires some strength and soldering skills, so you may want to call in a professional.
Most heaters have an anode rod threaded into the top tank. It’s not uncommon for leaks to occur around the threads. After loosening the rods, you can wrap them in plumber’s sealing tape to stop the leak. If the leak is occurring around the heater elements threaded into the tank, you can try stopping the leak by replacing the element’s rubber gasket.
HVAC Products and Services at Custom Air Heating & Cooling
At Custom Air Heating & Cooling in Parrish, FL, we have licensed and certified plumbers who provide A+ plumbing repairs, installation and maintenance. We also carry and install top brand water heating products, including gas, electric, solar, hybrid and tankless heaters. Our high-efficiency models have an energy factor up to .80. For convenience, you can take advantage of our low-interest financing plans for the purchase of any of our products.