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Why is My Water Heater Leaking?

Your water heater works hard to function efficiently. No matter how much you maintain or repair your hot water heater, unfortunately, there is a chance that it could leak. If you are lucky, you hopefully will detect the leak before it damages your home. Finding a leak before it gets out of hand can save money and time. At Milestone, we are here to take care of your water heater as quickly as possible. If your water heater has developed a leak, you can count on us to act quickly to find out why.

How to Tell If Your Water Heater is Leaking

There are ways to confirm if you have a leaking water heater. Here is a guide to help you if you suspect you have a leaking tank.

Turn The Power Off

Working on your hot water heater while it is on is very dangerous. If your home has an electric water heater installed, flip the switch on your circuit breaker to off. If your heater is gas-powered, there should be a gas shut-off valve at the base of the tank.  

water heater leaking water

Shut Off the Cold Water Supply

Next, you should stop cold water from flowing into your hot water heater. There should be two pipes connected to the top of your tank. Usually, you will find a shut-off valve on the cold water inlet pipe. This pipe may be indicated with a blue shut-off valve to indicate that it is a cold water supply. If your shut-off valve is a wheel, turn it clockwise as far as you can. If it is a ball valve, turn the handle 180 degrees. 

Identify The Source of The Water Leak

Now it’s time to identify the source of the leak. It may come from the top or from the bottom of your tank. It may even be leaking from the overflow pipe or top seam. In some cases, it may come from the bottom element or out of the relief valve. Knowing where the leak is coming from will help you to repair it successfully. 

Why is My Water Heater Leaking… From The Top?

If you inspect the two pipes at the top of your heater, you may notice that the fitting or connections may be loose. If this is the case, you may be able to tighten the pipes with a pipe wrench.

Out of The Relief Valve?

If there is water running down the side of your water heater tank, it may be your pressure relief valve. It is a safety feature that releases water if there is too much water pressure in your water tank. The first fix would be a licensed plumber replacing the valve.

From The Bottom Element?

There is a drain valve located at the bottom of your water heater. Its purpose is to drain water from the tank for maintenance. Check that your drain valve is closed properly. If it is tightly closed and still leaking, it may be loose. You can try to tighten the value with a wrench. If this does not help, you may need to replace the drain valve.

Clean Up the Water from The Leak

Properly cleaning up the water from your leaking water heater will help you avoid numerous other problems. It may attract insects or mold, damage your belongings, and warp the structure of your home. 

Is a Leaking Water Heater Dangerous?

Many asked the question, “Can I take a shower if my water heater is leaking?”. Showering or using hot water while your tank leaks could pose a threat. There are many dangers of a leaking water heater. Be sure to repair the leak as soon as you can to avoid the possibility of the following: 

  • Flooding of your home 
  • Overheated water that could cause burns 
  • Gas leaks 
  • Fire hazard

What To Do If Your Water Heater is Leaking

After going through this checklist, you may have been able to find the source of your water leak. However, if your hot water heater is still leaking, give us a call. We will be able to repair or replace your water heater quickly and effectively. Without a functioning hot water heater, your home may not be able to function as it does. In addition, a leaking water heater can be dangerous. If you require water heater repairs or a replacement, call Milestone today, the #1 home service provider in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.