There are many reasons a water heater may leak. Here are some commonly asked questions concerning water heaters:
Is a leaking water heater dangerous?
Unlike typical plumbing leaks, a leaking water heater has the potential to be dangerous and even deadly. The most critical aspect is the electricity connected to your hot water tank. If your water heater is leaking, it is recommended that you turn off the power supply to your water heater.
How To Turn Off Your Electric Water Heater
Go to your circuit breaker box and turn off the breaker for your electric water heater.
How To Turn Off Your Gas Water Heater
Turn off the switch or dial, controlling the power to your water heater. Usually, this is located directly on the water heater itself.
Why is water leaking from the bottom of my water heater?
Most leaks come from the bottom of the hot water tank itself. If the tank leaks, there is an internal problem causing water to leak out of the bottom of the tank. The usual cause is a build-up of sediment within the container.
What if the water heater is leaking from bottom element?
If water is leaking out at the bottom of your electric water heater, the heater element gasket may be broken. Turn off the power to the heater before beginning this repair. Look closely for leaks where the heater element connects to the tank. To replace this gasket, you need to drain the tank. Be careful as the water may be boiling. Drain the water until it is below the level of the heating element, and remove the element using a socket or element wrench. Clean the mounting flange and remove the old gasket before putting the new one in place. Reattach and secure the element, and then reconnect the wires to their terminals. Close all open valves, replace the access covers, and turn the power back on.
What if the water heater is leaking from the top?
If your water heater is leaking from the top, turn off all electrical and gas connections to the tank. Contact a licensed plumbing professional immediately. If left unrepaired, water could enter the electrical components compartments, and cause an electrical short.
What if the water heater is leaking from a relief valve?
If your hot water tank leaks, the cause may be the pressure relief valve. Household hot water heaters have a relief valve, which functions as a pressure safety device. This valve keeps the tank intact if too much pressure builds up within the tank. This valve usually has plastic or copper extension tubes as discharge points.
If the relief leaks, it is recommended to replace the valve. Turn off the power to the heater before beginning this repair. Shut off the water inlet valves and connect a hose to drain the tank. Be careful – the water may be boiling. Open a faucet to let some air into the tank and the drain valve so that the water drains. Once the water is drained below the level of the relief valve, remove the current valve with a pipe wrench. Clean the threads of the tank body. Use Teflon tape on the new valve threads before securing it back in place. Re-tighten the valve with the outlet facing downward.
What if the water heater is leaking from flue vent?
Unfortunately, this is an unfixable problem and beyond repair. You will need to purchase a new water heater.
What if the water heater is leaking from the control box?
Turn off the electrical source to the water heater immediately and call a licensed plumbing professional.
For help with your water heater or general plumbing, contact All A’s Plumbing & Heating.
All A’s Plumbing & Heating
1152 Route 10 West
Randolph, NJ 07869