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Why Is Your Water Heater Leaking?

drip-drop-waterThis is something you weren’t expecting to see. Your water heater was not performing as expected, so you checked on the unit, only to see water leaking from the system. Yikes! The first and most important step is calling in a technician ASAP. And, if you are able to safely, you may want to shut off water to the tank so that the leakage cannot get any worse and do damage to your home.

Still, in the meantime, you might want some answers. Today, we look at a few of the problems that might cause a water heater to leak and what you should do to take control when it does. All in all, be sure to have the right team for the job to accurately diagnose the problem and make sure you get the service your water heater needs.

Diagnosing leaks from the top of the water heater

First, let’s take a look at what may be going on when you notice water leaking from the top of your water heater. Luckily, this is usually an easy problem to solve, or relatively so if you are a plumber with the proper training and tools.

One possible cause is a leak from the pipes leading into the water heater. The cold water pipe brings water from the supply pipes into the tank while the hot water outlet pipe carries pressurized hot water to your fixtures. A plumber may only need to tighten the connections to these pipes, although the piping might need replacement.

Another source of leaks from the top of the tank is the cold water shutoff valve, what allows you to turn off water to the tank when it requires service. Typically, a plumber will just need to replace this valve.

Diagnosing a leak from the side of the water heater

When water comes from the side of a water heater, you’re likely noticing a leak from the temperature-and-pressure valve. You’ll notice the valve off to the side of the tank and towards the top. Often, a long tube leads down the side of the tank, so that leaking is not too big of a deal, keeping water away from the side of the tank.

A leak from the temperature and pressure valve may only require replacing this valve, but it could be a serious issue. If something is causing the temperature or pressure of the tank to be imbalanced, the issue must be addressed. It may be as simple as flushing sediment out of the tank.

Diagnosing leaks from the bottom of the water heater

When a leak stems from the bottom of the water heater, you may want to look closely at the source. Sometimes, the cause is condensation, which could indicate a system that is not the right output for your home. Alternatively, the drain valve may be leaking, which is the best news you could expect.

The biggest concern is that the water heater is leaking from the bottom because the steel is corroding away. Once this begins, there’s no way to stop it. You’ll need to replace the water heater entirely.

Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. has been in business for over 100 years. Call us today for water heater service in Short Hills, NJ.

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