If your hot water heater begins to leak, it can cause significant damage to your home and other possessions. It can also drive your water bill sky-high. Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to prevent this while you wait for the professionals. Here are five steps to follow if your hot water heater leaks!
1. Identify where the leak is coming from
While you may want to skip right to the second step, finding where the leak is once you turn off the water may prove to be difficult. So, if you don’t already know where the leak is, find it! Some common areas that can leak are the connections for the water inlet and outlets, any compromised fittings that may be loose or corroded, or the pressure relief valve. It is possible for the water heater itself to crack and leak as well, though not as common.
2. Turn off the water
Now that you have identified where the leak is coming from, turn off the water to prevent more from entering the system. This can also help in slowing down the leak. You can either turn off the shut-off valve to the water heater or in some scenarios, you may be required to turn off the main shut-off valve.
3. Turn off the hot water heater
By turning off the hot water heater, you are allowing the water inside to cool down. The water inside your water heater is likely incredibly hot so this step is critical before you drain the water in the next step. You may have to wait several hours before the water has cooled down to a point where it’s safe to drain. Cut power to your electric water heater at the breaker box, or turn the thermostat for your gas water heater to the pilot setting.
4. Drain the hot water heater tank
This step can be left to a plumber if the leak has stopped after following steps 1-3. However, if the leak persists, you may want to drain your water heater tank so you don’t cause any additional damage. Make sure steps 1-3 have been followed, and then you can begin the draining process:
- Drain the hot water through the hot water faucets in your home. You can leave these faucets open until the end of this process.
- Attach a hose (a garden hose will work fine) to the drain valve (located near the bottom of your hot water heater) and run the hose to a place where water can drain, either outside or in a drain in your home.
- Open the drain valve and allow the water to drain until the water heater is empty. This shouldn’t take too long but is also dependent on the size of your water heater.
- After the tank has been drained, you can close the drain valve, remove the hose, and close the faucets that you opened in step 1.
5. Call a plumber
Sometimes, the hot water heater leaks can be simple and fixed on your own. Often times though, there are additional underlying issues that will resurface. Call Stewart Plumbing today if you are having hot water problems, check out our stellar reviews, and don’t forget to enter our Oldest Water Heater contest!
Oldest Water Heater contest rules:
- All water heaters must be replaced by Stewart Plumbing during the contest period.
- All discounts are off our standard pricing, not VIP pricing during the contest period.
- Rental and Commercial Properties do not qualify for this contest. All contest entries must be occupied by the homeowner.