A leaky water heater often leads homeowners to jump to conclusions. Many people assume that a leaky water heater needs replacement, and, unfortunately, they may be right. However, you might just need to replace a small part of the water heater—for a much lower price—or the tank may only need some routine maintenance to perform properly.
So will you need to replace your leaking water heater? That depends. Take a look at where your water heater is leaking from, and our plumbers will help guide you to an answer.
Does water drip from a valve on top of the tank?
This is called the temperature-and-pressure relief valve. The valve is a key component in ensuring your water heater’s pressure cannot get too high. It’s a safety measure that keeps something catastrophic from happening, and your plumber may have to repair an issue causing unusual pressure levels in order to resolve the problem. The tank may only need to be flushed.
On the other hand, it’s possible the temperature-and-pressure valve is malfunctioning. If this is the case, you probably need a technician to replace it, and it’s best to do so ASAP.
Does water leak from a drain valve on the body of the tank?
The drain valve is located towards the middle or bottom of the tank. It’s used to let water out when the tank needs to be flushed out. The drain valve can spring a leak, and this will require a plumber to replace the entire valve, in most cases.
Is it leaking from the shut-off valve?
Sometimes, people see a puddle of water on the floor and immediately assume the water heater itself is the source of the problem. But take a closer look. Does the leaking start behind the tank or off to the side? A leaky shut-off valve—the component that controls water flow into the tank—is another component that may only need replacement.
Is it leaking from a pipe?
This could be the cold water pipe, leading into the tank, or the hot water pipe leading out of it. Once again, this type of issue should not require replacing an entire tank—only the affected pipe or pipes. However, you should shut off water to the tank the moment you notice the problem.
Does water come directly from the tank?
Here’s where you do run into a major issue. When water leaks directly from the tank, there is no turning back. No repair can rectify the situation, and you’ll need to replace the entire system. After a tank begins to corrode, it will only continue, worsening the problem and allowing water to fill your home.
To avoid such problems, schedule water heater maintenance once a year. In addition, we recommend replacing a water heater after 10-15 years, whether or not the tank is leaking, to avoid this problem from damaging your home.
We’ve covered what we could, but there may be special circumstances that cause your water heater to leak for some other reason. For a complete assessment of your water heater in New Port Richey. FL, call Continental Plumbing Services, LLC.