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.

Time to Repair Water Heater?