How to Shut Off Leaking Hot Water Heater

You have spotted a leak near your hot water heater.  It is something that must be taken care of immediately, failure to do so can actually cause long-term illnesses because of mildew and mold spread.  To safely remove, replace, or repair a hot water heater, it is critical that you turn off all the power and disconnect that utilities from the appliance.  We also do recommend that you use a container to get any residue water out of the hot water heater.  You can even use a garden hose to easily drain the tank outside of the house.

Shut Off the Water

The very first thing you want to do is to have a flashlight ready.  You may want to make sure that you are actually using a flashlight and not a smartphone light.  It is very easy to have the phone slip out of your hands and fall into the water.  You will want to locate the hot water heater’s pipeline of supply.  This should be located near the upper portion of the hot water heater tank.  After this, you should get a sturdy ladder to climb up and determine which pipe is the cold supply line.

After you have found the cold supply line, you will want to keep following it until you have found the water supply valve.  This special valve is located about a yard away from the hot water heater itself.

Remember, you will want to turn the valve counterclockwise, or left, in order to get to the off position.  If you are unable to find it, you will want to find a utility closet.  If you are in an apartment, you may want to ask for service – if they do not offer it, then you simply want to follow it to the building’s exterior.

Shut Off the Fuel or Electric Source

When you are in the process of shutting off fuel.  It is important that you use a flashlight.  Please do not use any type of match or anything that resembles fire, this could lead to potentially harmful consequences.  You will want to find the black gas pipe.  This can be tracked by following the pipe to the opening near the access door of the hot water heater.

You can easily follow this pipe to find the gas line’s shut off valve.  It has red, yellow, and on some rare occasions, orange handles.  Simply rotate this to the off position.

If you have an electric water heater, it is critical that you do this step before you take any steps in trying to repair a leak.  All the breakers should be labeled.  If you are unable to find out which breaker controls your water heater, we do recommend consulting a professional to deal with the situation.

Once you do find it, simply switch it the breaker/fuse to the off position.  After you do this, you will want to turn off all power in the home by disconnecting breaker switch.  This is critical as you do not want any accidental wires to be turned on while you are working with electricity.

Getting a Garden Hose

After this step, the tank must be drained.  The garden hose is female fitting and therefore wraps around the drain cock of the hot water heater.  You simply want to have this gardening hose lead to the outside.  By doing this you can actually use the water in the heater to tend to the plants.

By applying these steps, you can surely shut off any leaking hot water heater.

Why is Tankless Water Heater a Good Choice?

When choosing a water heater, your first decision is if you want to purchase a storage water heater or a tankless water heater. While in the US, storage water heaters are still quite common, the most popular type in Europe is the tankless. There are many reasons why a tankless water heater is the best choice, including energy-efficiency, longer lifespan, saving money, and less space required.

Energy-Efficient

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The common storage tank heater has a large container of water that is kept hot until use. Once the hot water is used, the tank is refilled with cold water and heated up again. It wastes a lot of energy keeping the water heated constantly.

A tankless water heater, on the other hand, will heat the water in transit, circulating the water through electric coils or gas burners that work only when the hot spigot is cut on, when you’re through, the burners or elements shut down.

Lifespan

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A tankless water heater can last up to 20 years, a good investment if you are planning on staying where you are for a lengthy amount of time. In contrast, a typical tank water heater will only last 10-13 years.

Money-Saving

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While a tankless water heater costs more to purchase, in the long run, it saves the consumer money. Your tankless heater is not running constantly, so your power bill will be considerably less. Also, because it is considered energy-efficient, in some areas you can qualify for utility rebates with your electric company or the home improvement efficiency tax credit.

Space-Saving

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A storage tank water heater can take up a significant amount of space, especially in larger homes. A traditional tank heater can be up to 60″ tall and 40″ wide. A tankless unit can be a quarter of the size, usually around 28″ by 20″ by 10″, and will need less insulation. This is also good if you wish to purchase a point-of-use water heater, it requires much less space beneath the sink.

Gas vs Electric

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Pros of Gas

— Gas costs less than electric

— Heats more water faster

—-Easy installation.

Pros of Electric

— Electric is safer, no danger of a gas leak

— Life expectancy is longer because electric heaters have fewer parts that may need replacing

— More energy efficient than a tank that uses a pilot light.

Click here to read more about Gas vs Electric

Time to Repair Water Heater?

We recommend checking on your hot water heaters as much as possible.  The reason is this:  if there is even a minor leak that is ignored for some time – this can cause some major damage to the floor.  This includes places such as the basement, pantry closet, and attic.  It can cause major damage before it is even spotted.  Even a small puddle of water can cause a major mold or mildew formation – which in turn can cause long-term health problems if the problem is neglected.

What kind of problems?  Mold can cause all kinds of sicknesses and even allergic reactions.  If there are children in the house with any lung illnesses such as asthma, it can be especially detrimental to them.  The EPA actually considers some mold sports to be highly toxic and possible causes of life-threatening illnesses.  If you see the water leak, the best time to take care of it is now!

Should I Repair or Replace?

This is the question that most people ask.  On average, it is cheaper to perform minor repairs on a hot water heater.  Inspection and carrying out minor repairs before replacing is usually cheaper in both the short and long term. You only want to replace a hot water heater during a significant leak.

Be Safe

It’s always a great idea to be safe.  Remember that electricity and water usually make a deadly combination.  You will first want to make sure that there are is no active wiring or electronics around the leak.  Secondly.  You will want to power down the water heater by completely switching off the circuit breaker/fuse.    You may also want to consider shutting off the water supply, as this can cause even more water damage and possibly even harm to yourself if you fail to do so.

Did We Mention Safety?

The first step is locating where the leak is occurring.  After you have done this, it is a great idea to collect all of the water in a container.  When you collect it via container, you will be avoiding being harmed and burned by the hot water heater.

Diagnose the Cause of the Leak

There are usually some common causes of a leak.   It can be one or even a combination of the following: the pressure/temperature relief valve may have an error, excessive pressure of this valve, or heat element leak. Learn more about the causes.

T & P Valve

If it is the T & P valve, you may want to place a bucket underneath the overflowing pipe and flush the valve of debris.  If you still have a leaking problem, then it may be necessary to replace the T & P valve.

T & P Pressure

If you are experiencing a T & P valve pressure leak then you will want to reduce the thermostat setting to prevent overheating of your water tank.  After this it may be necessary to simply open the TP valve.

Heating Element

If you find that the heating element is the culprit of the hot water leaks, then you will want to try removing the heating element and replacing the gasket.

In conclusion, you can repair your water heater without jumping through too many hoops.  It’s just necessary that you take the safest steps possible before conducting any serious work on your water heater.

Average Cost to Purchase or Install Hot Water Heater

Installation or replacement of a water heater is a big budgeted. As a hot water heater has become an essential part of modern civilization you have to make a calculation to buy the best parts in the lowest possible cost. Think carefully your estimation will be comprehensively well as you have to cost for various machine parts. Put extra attention for plumbing and power unit price. Determine the cost considering following important fact for your water heater.

Effective Feature Which Cost for Water Heater Installment

Water Heater with Storage Tank or Tankless Heater

The hot water heater installation cost differs in tankless energy supply system or storage tank system according to usage.

If you want to take economical advantage storage tank water heater can help you with this. Even this type of water heater has become popular in the present time. In fact, convenient setting element and affordable price has increased its popularity. In a storage tank system to set up a genuine quality and well-serviced heater, you will cost 300-500$ and the unit price will cost the same.

If you look for highly rated and tankless installation it’ll cost 1200-1500$ also with the same unit price. This cost not just include installation or unit cost as higher installation include high rated particle or small parts which refer you a gorgeous installation.

Locality

Selecting or buying a water heater newly is a lengthy process and a matter of cost. You may look for installment in the basement or any other floor and it will cost you about $350 to $380. Garage installation will cost some more near about 390$ for set up a unit. It includes labor cost but excludes transportation cost. But you can reduce the cost if you install according to previous position and connection. It will reduce the cost as well as make the work easy and fast.

Multiple point System or A Single point

The single point control system contains one main point. Water is supplied to the whole house by this one point. This system is used on the tankless and tank type system to supply water to the whole house when continuous water flow is needed. This system will cost 580$ on average. Multiple points mean controlling the water supply by several points (POS- Point Of Use).  These points can be considered as a substation to supply water. This system will cost you 380$. The single point control system may seem quite expensive but when you need a continuous supply of water this system can give you a great service. It depends on your affordability and needs whether you are going to use multiple points for your house or single point for nonstop water supply.

Power Sources

Water heater installation cost varies depending on energy sources. Electric, gas (natural, propane, etc.) solar water heater, etc. are used in various countries of the world. Water heaters with other energy sources instead of electron or gas are increasing popularity day by day.  Moreover, alternative power system water heater installation cost is less than an electric or gas heater. As example, a gas water heater takes $430 in average to install where propane gas water heater pays only $390. Thus installation cost varies depending on the energy source of your heater. Electric water cost you $380 on average where solar heater cost $400.  In fact, you may need to think about maintenance cost when using the heater and solar heater may take advantage in this sense. Choose the easy installation process with an affordable price. Remember leaks in any water heater can cause big damage and there are different treatments for the different energy source. Think about your family need and choose which is best for you.

Purchase Yourself or Contractor Supply

Personal handling to purchase a water heater cost less than contractor supply. You may get installation authorized service in most of the city. But you can handle the acquisition on your own. Make a list of cost for installation and mention the transportation and carrying a cost in the list. Contractor supply cost you $510 at average where your own maintenance can reduce this cost to $340. Try to do yourself as it’s not so tough

Do everything carefully when installing a water heater. It may be you or contractor who handles the setup but doesn’t be low minded with the quality to reduce cost. Replacement or new installation due to damage will multiply your cost. Learn about maintenance care of the water heater. Follow our related posts.

How to Fix a Leaking Water Heater

Water heaters, the all-important units that control the temperature of our water supply, are units that are already sealed.  The tank is usually protected by a glass-like cover and not traditionally replaced by DIY’ers because of the complexity of the task.  If you are experiencing a leak, the chances are that you will either have to consult a professional or you will have to simply replace it.

This does not mean that the situation is hopeless; however, it is important that you determine the location of the leak.  There is always that chance that the leak isn’t necessarily coming from the hot water heater!  It could stem from a number of things such as the piping systems.  If this is the case, then it is very possible that you can fix the leak!

The Following are Repairable Leaks

If you find that the cause of the leak is the pipes or anywhere outside of the water heater, you may have to work with it by replacing specific parts and tightening the fittings that may be contributing to the leak.

If you find that your water heater uses sweat fittings or even copper tubing, we do recommend that you buy the required tools and to physically cut out the leaky fittings.

When you have a pressure relief valve malfunction, we do recommend that you replace it as soon as possible.  Before you do this, you will not want to jump right into it.  You will want to release some of the water from the water heater.  We also don’t recommend doing this step right away.  You will need to shut down and drain so that you do not cause serious harm to yourself.

Preparatory Steps

Before you begin, you definitely want to turn off the power at the source, via circuit breaker or fuse.  If you are working at a place where you are not the only person currently there, we do recommend that you leave a note that you are currently working on the circuit breaker.

If someone actually turns on the circuit breaker, that can have serious or even fatal consequences.

If you do have a gas powered water heater, then you want to shut off the gas feed.  Where is this usually?  You can check near the appliance, it usually only requires a one-quarter turn.

After you have conducted these steps, you will want to completely shut off the water.  You can perform this by simply turning off the cold water supply and then closing the in-line valves located above the appliance.    We also recommend attaching a gardening hose to the sillcock valve.  This should be located on the bottom of the water heater so that you can drain the water outside.

Step 1: Create a Free-Standing Environment

It is important to disconnect the piping and release the pressure from the appliance.  After you have completed this, we recommend unscrewing the two unions and catching any remaining water with a container and bucket.   This should make your water heater free-standing so that you can work on the piping and fittings via resealing or re-tightening.

Step 2: Fixing the Leaks

Fixing the leaks is not the hardest thing to do in the world.  You simply just need a pipe wrench so that you can do this particular fitting.  You can tighten the fittings by simply turning them in a clockwise direction.  You may also want to apply Teflon tapeor sealant on the threads of the fittings.

4 Common Water Heater Problems and Causes

When we don’t get hot water, it means that our water heater is not working properly.There can be so many different things that can be troubleshooting.  Here given are various water heater problems and the ways to diagnose them. Before going for repair, it is necessary to find the real culprit.

  • Problem #1

No Hot Water

  • Reason

Pilot light is gone out.

When pilot light is gone out, you will get no hot water at all. The foremost thing to check when you don’t get hot water is the pilot light. Your owner’s manual is the guide to relight it. If you are unsure how to do that, you can call the professional to do the job.

  • Problem #2

Water leakage near the heater

  • Reason

Loose valve or leaky pipes

When water is seeping from the tank, you will find the floor wet near the water heater. There can be two possibilities, either the valve is loosen or the pipe is damaged. Tighten the valve and if still you find water that means there is a pipe leakage. Mostly, water heater leaks because of the loose valves. Other reason can be a damaged heating element or an obstructed vent. 

  • Problem #3

Strange noises from the water heater

  • Reason

Scale is broken off.

The strange noises is because of the sediment that is accumulated in the hard-water scale and broken it off. In this situation, there is the requirement of sediment removal from the tank. You have to call the professional to do the job.

  • Problem #4

Luke warm water or it is not heated as it used to be.

  • Reason

Thermostat setting is out, broken dip tube, sedimentation.

When the water is not heated enough, there is a chance that your thermostat settings have been changed. This problem will also occur if – for many days – you haven’t flushed the tank. Sedimentation can also lower the end water heating. Broken dip tube also reduces water temperature as cold water and hot water will mix up together. To check if the dip tube is broken, remove the cold water supply line to check it.