A hot water tank leaking may seem like a minor nuisance, but it can quickly turn into a big problem. Even a small leakage will cause damage to the floors, sub-floors and walls. If left unattended, hot water tank leaking may lead to complete failure of the water heater, which can cause a significant flood that can lead to hefty repair bills and damaged personal property.
Why Is The Hot - Water Tank Leaking
There are many reasons for the leaking of a hot water tank, and they range from simple loose valves to serious corroded water tank. Moreover, the water pooling around the hot - water tank is not only supposed to be due to a leak, it can also be due to condensation.
hot water tank leaking
Here are a few steps to take when the hot - water tank is leaking.
Turn Off The Power To The Water - Heater
Once the leak is confirmed, the first step to take is to turn off the power supply. Water and electricity are a dangerous combination, so it is important to do this before going forward.
Turn Off Water Supply
If the hot - water tank leaking is significant and obvious, turn off water supply at the cold water shut-off valve. Most water heaters will have a valve located above the heater that will shut off water supply. This valve will either have a handle that has to be pulled down or gate valve that has to be turned clockwise to close.
Before closing the valve, make sure that the valve can be closed safely without coming in contact with the water. If there is a large leak, it is better to shut-off the main valve of the house. Shutting the valve should slow or even stop the leak. But, if the actual leak source is not yet identified, leave the water supply on until the leak is located.
Determine The Location Of The Leak
There are a number of problems that can cause hot water tank leaking. A proper diagnosis of the leak before calling a professional will make it easier for them to solve the problem.
1. The water inlet and outlet connections: Check the points at which cold water inlet and hot water outlet pipes connect to the water - heater. A minor leak at these points may only require tightening of the loose connection with a pipe wrench. This is a fixable problem.
2. The temperature and pressure relief valve: The water heater has a temperature and pressure relief valve located on the side of the tank with a pipe running down to the floor. This safety device is in place in the event that the water becomes too hot or there is excessive pressure within the tank. It helps relieve the excess tank pressure by allowing some water out of the tank.
Check the valve to see whether it is watertight. If the valve is the source of the leak, then water will be flowing down the plastic pipe attached to it when the valve is in the closed position. This means that either the valve is defective or it is working properly and this could be due to overheating or there is excessive pressure inside the hot - water tank, which is forcing the valve to open. Although this leak is fixable, it is also a cause for concern.
hot water tank leaking
3. The heater drain valve: Check the drain valve at the tank's bottom. Make sure it closes completely. The valve’s entry point into the tank should be watertight. However, a leak in this location can be fixed.
4. Bottom of the water tank: Since the tank is wrapped inside insulation and is enclosed in an outer skin, any leak in the tank will not be visible from the outside. When the hot - water tank has an internal leak, water will escape from the tank's bottom. If the hot - water tank is leaking from the bottom, it means that there is corrosion in the tank. Generally, water heaters have limited life spans. In this case, professional help should be sought to replace the water - heater.
Repairing or Replacing
Hot water tank leaking is a serious problem, so it is important to take immediate action. Depending on the type of leak, the heater can either be repaired or replaced. In any case, it is highly recommended to get professional help to deal with the problem. Improper repairs or removal of a hot water tank can cause larger leaks that might lead to more serious problems. A professional plumber can deal with all the issues with the hot - water tank.