Most of the people panic as soon as they notice a hot water heater leaking. However, there’s no reason to panic and get worried. There are some basic reasons why a hot water heater leaks. Fortunately, it is quite easy to figure out these reasons ad fix certain issues with your hot water heater. But before you proceed with any maintenance step, it is important to turn off the gas or kill electrical power.
Step #1 : Shut Off Incoming Water
You need to shut off the incoming water and drain your heater’s tank. The drain valve in your hot water heater can easily accept a regular garden hose. You just have to hook up the hose and empty the tank. Once you’ve done this, you will be able to perform any maintenance task on your water heater safely.
Step #2 : Drain Valve
First of all, you need to check the drain valve. You should make sure that the drain valve is completely closed. You need to check the pipe threads where the valve has been screwed into the heater. If you find this area damp, it is possible that water from the tank is leaking around the threads. You need to remove the valve and clean the threads. You can use teflon tape to wrap the threads before reinstalling the valve. You should refill the water tank and check the valve again for leaks.
Step #3 : Check the Heating Element Gasket
The source of leakage may even be the heating element. You should remove the access cover and check the heating element. It will be easy to identify any leaks in this area. If you notice any problems, you should replace the gasket with a new one.
Step #4 : Check the Pressure Relief Valve
In order to fix hot water heater leaking, you also need to check pressure relief valve. This valve protects your water tank from over pressurization. If the valve cracked while relieving pressure, it may not have closed properly. If there’s a leak in this area, you will just have to replace the relief valve with a new one.
Step # 5 : Check Pipe Fittings
Needless to say, it is very important to check all pipe fittings. Every compression fitted or threaded connection can develop a leak. Most of the time, you will notice corrosion around the area which may be leaking. You should never try to tighten a pipe under pressure. If the mainline breaks under pressure, it can cause a major problem.
Step # 6 : Condensation
Although condensation is not related to hot water heater leaking, it may confuse you and suggest some problem with the unit. During a certain time of the year, cool water will heat quickly and create what may appear to be a regular leak. Before you perform any maintenance tasks, you need to make sure that the existing water has not accumulated because of condensation. Usually, condensation causes accumulation of water around the bottom of the unit.
Although checking and fixing hot water heater leaking looks easy, this task is best performed by a professional. You should look for a reputed company which manages service, repair and maintenance of hot water heater leaking issues.