Protect Your Home From Water Leaks
Prevent catastrophic damage and high water bills
Leaks Around Your Hot Water Tank and How to Address Them
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?
There are various reasons your hot water tank may be leaking. In order to fix the leak, you must first find the origin of it. If water is dripping or pooling around your tank, it may just be condensation and is no cause for alarm.
If water is spraying from the pipes, there is likely an issue with the water pressure, which can be caused by faulty valves. The first step you should take is to shut off the water flow valve to prevent further leakage. If the spray is coming from the fittings, they probably need to be adjusted and tightened.
If water is leaking from the tank itself, your tank could be corroded. Water tanks do have a life-span and if it needs to be replaced that should be done so professionally. However, because leaks do not wait for repairmen, you must flush your hot water tank. This is done by completing the following steps:
- Turn off the gas valve.
- Attach a hose to the drain valve.
- Open a hot water faucet.
- Open the heater’s drain valve.
- Close the drain valve.
Typically, you should wait for the water to cool before draining the tank, however, with a leak it cannot wait. Be sure to use caution around the leak as the water will be hot.
If water is dripping or pooling from the heater itself but is not corroded, it could potentially be coming from the pressure release valve. This valve is designed to leak water when it senses excess pressure from the pipes. If the valve isn’t faulty, the problem likely stems from the water pressure settings in your home or the temperature being set too high.
If water is leaking from the heating element gasket, you must replace the gasket. First, you must turn off the electrical power and shut down your water supply. Once you drain the heater you can replace the gasket.
WHAT ARE THE REPERCUSSIONS?
Not only could a leak cause thousands of dollars in home repairs and replaced appliances, but a water leak could damage irreplaceable property such as photos or other mementos. Water damage is the second most filed claim in the United States. For example, the average claim on residential insurance for a broken pipe is over $10,000. While massive flooding is an immediate, obvious issue, smaller leaks may go undetected and cause spikes in water bills.
Leaks from the water heater can cause your basement to fill with scalding hot water. The temperature of the water allows more damage to be done to your posessions and will increase mold growth due to the warm, moist environment.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT THIS?
Aside from regular flushing of your heater, you can prevent damage due to water heater leaks by installing a leak detection system. Leaks don’t wait until you get home to begin. If a leak goes undetected for an extended period of time, furniture, floors, or other items can grow mold and be destroyed.
A leak detection system will identify water flow for an unusual extended period of time and automatically shutoff your water flow and alert you that there may be a potential leak. This will help save you from catastrophic damage due to a leak before it’s too late.