What To Do When Your Water Heater is Leaking & Requires Repair

It can be difficult for homeowners to realize that they need a water heater repair until it’s too late and they’re experiencing a serious leak!

water heater repair is very common!

You’re never going to want to be caught off guard when you’re in need of any type of water heater repair, and this is especially the case if your water heater springs a leak!

All of us at Beehive Plumbing are here for home and business owners when they come across any kind of emergency plumbing situation, but we also want our clients to have a thorough understanding as to what they should do prior to the arrival of one of our specialists.

So here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to approaching a leaking water heater!

Step #1: Take A Deep Breath And Stay Calm!

The first and foremost thing you should consider while undergoing any type of plumbing issue is that it’s important to remain calm and know that things are going to be alright. This may mean you should take a few deep breaths and try to relax for a minute or two prior to beginning any DIY mitigation.

Even the largest of water heater leaks can at the very least be temporarily stopped to prevent water/structural damage around your water heater. Although one of our Master Plumbers will be required to repair the leak properly, you can always help yourself by buying some extra time!

Step #2: Locating The Leak’s Source

This is where you’re going to need to recognize whether the tank is leaking from the top or the bottom, and in general this step is where you’ll ultimately determine whether or not you actually are experiencing a water heater leak and not something else. There is a possibility that normal condensation is the result of a small puddle underneath your water heater, so it’s always important to double check and find the leak’s source to confirm it!

Once you have officially located a leak’s location, you’ll then want to shut off all of your home’s water supply, turn off your water heater, and then drain the tank.

Sometimes you can leave the tank draining to us too, and the following are some common sources of water heater leaks:

Hot Water Outlet And Cold Water Inlet Connections

There’s a possibility that the pipe connection points that are attached to your water heater are leaking. If you have a leak within your cold water inlet valve, then it’ll be likely that you’ll notice water dripping from the connection point. It’s also important to note that dripping may not be visible, so you should also always rub a paper towel over these connection points. If your towel ends up getting wet, then it’s a sign that you have a leak.

Pressure Relief/Temperature Valve

This is a very important safety feature valve found on many water heaters, and what it does is release hot water to make sure that the tank doesn’t reach any dangerous pressure levels.

It’s pretty common for this valve to malfunction and not properly close, which then will subsequently cause hot water to leak out of the tank.

Corroded Or Loose Pipe Fittings

Many older water heater pipe fittings will become corroded or loosen over long periods of time simply due to normal usage, so you should always make sure that you’re double-checking these connection points. When your water heater’s pipe fittings are corroded, it’s actually a sign that your tank is experiencing corrosion as well, which may mean you need a water heater replacement.

Step #3: Turn Your Water Supply Off

The next step after fully recognizing and locating a water heater leak is to completely turn off your water heater’s water supply, because this will ultimately help make sure that you’re not wasting anymore water and mitigating the spillage. Usually you’ll only need to shut off your cold water shut-off valve that’s located above your water heater to do this.

There’s also the chance that you’re experiencing a pretty serious water heater leak that may entail a damaged shut-off valve, and if this is the case then you should locate your home’s main water shut-off valve to turn the water supply off for your entire property.

Step #4: Turning The Water Heater Off

Once you have your water supply turned off, the next step will be to completely turn the water heater itself off. The overall process of turning off your water heater will typically depend upon whether or not you have a gas or electric water heater.

If you have a gas water heater then you’ll need to switch your thermostat to the pilot setting.

If you have an electric water heater then you’ll need to find your breaker box and turn off the electricity switch that’s connected to your water heater.

It’s also important to note within this specific step that the water within your tank is going to remain rather hot even with your heating element switched off, so you’ll need to be careful so you don’t get potentially burned! This is one of the reasons why it’s typically recommended to wait at least a handful of hours to drain a water heater tank after it’s been shut off!

Step #5: Draining Your Water Heater’s Tank

This next step is really important when it comes to repairing water heater leaks, because you’ll always need to ensure that your tank is completely drained prior to attempting any leak repairs.

Draining your water heater tank is actually pretty simple, but you can always count on our experts to help you with this if you’re in any way unsure!

Step #6: Calling The Beehive Plumbing Team, Or Attempting A DIY Repair

It’s important to always be extremely careful when it comes to attempting any kind of DIY water heater repair, and this is because your water heater is undoubtedly one of your most valuable home appliances. We typically don’t recommend homeowners conducting their own plumbing repairs simply because we’ve seen too many scenarios in which a DIY plumbing project ended up creating more of a mess than what the client had prior to their own efforts!

But here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes recognizing and initiating a water heater repair:

  • If the leak is from your water inlet/outlet connections, then it could be simply possible to just tighten this nut and see if that alleviates the leak. But if your leak continues, then it’s likely that one or both of your valves should be replaced.
  • When it comes to pressure relief valve leaks, you should always leave this kind of repair job to the Beehive Plumbing specialists. This valve is simply too important when it comes to the overall safety of your home to not put the repair job into professional hands.
  • When you’re dealing with corroded or loose pipe fittings, it’s of course possible that you may only need to tighten up the connection. But if it’s not just loose and is actually seriously corroded, then you’ll need a replacement and a thorough inspection by a specialist.

Reach Out To The Beehive Plumbing Specialists To Learn More About How We Help Homeowners With Water Heater Repairs!

If your water heater is experiencing a leak or any other kind of issue, our plumbing experts will be there for you and your home’s comfort.

So reach out to us online or call us at 801-661-8155 to get in touch with our team and let us know what water heater issues you’re currently experiencing!

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