Most of the time, it’s easy to take your Cincinnati home’s water heater for granted. However, the fact that you have a tank containing 40 to 80 gallons of water in a potentially vulnerable area of your home warrants some consideration. This is especially true if you begin to notice leaks coming from your water heater. To help you respond to a water heater leak, it’s important to know where the leak may be originating. Your friends at Wingate Heating, Air, Plumbing & Roofing offer these tips to help you figure out the cause of a leaking water heater.
Leaking Drain Valve
Every water heater has a drain at the bottom of the tank that allows you to flush the tank to remove sediment deposits. Typically, these drains use a ball valve to stop the flow of water when the drain is not in use. Over time, the ball valve can wear out, allowing water to seep around the valve and out through the drain. This occurs most often after you flush your water heater, especially if it’s been a while since the last flush.
The point where the drain meets the wall of the water heater can also leak as the water heater ages. In some cases, you may be able to replace the drain valve without replacing the water heater, but you’ll want to contact a technician from Wingate Heating, Air, Plumbing & Roofing when you notice a leak from this component.
One of the most serious and common causes of a leaking water heater is a corroded tank. Tank corrosion doesn’t happen overnight because water heaters come equipped with a sacrificial anode rod that takes the bulk of the corrosion caused by minerals in the water. However, once the anode rod completely deteriorates, the minerals will begin to attack the wall of the bank.
Over time, this corrosion can eat completely through the walls so that water begins to seep out. In many cases, a leaking tank can take a turn for the worse without warning, meaning that you need to have the water heater inspected quickly any time you notice a leak without a clear point of origin.
Leaking Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
The temperature and pressure relief valve is an important component of your water heater that helps to prevent the tank from exploding because of high temperatures in the tank. Sometimes, even when there’s no excess pressure in the tank, your temperature and pressure relief valve may leak. This valve can leak around the point where it goes through the wall of the water heater. It can also leak around the actuator that opens to release excess pressure in the event of an emergency.
You should not operate your water heater without a working temperature and pressure relief valve, so if you suspect a problem, be sure to cut the gas or electric supply to the water heater right away.
Leaking Water Line
The water lines at the top of your water heater bring cold water into the unit and send hot water to the rest of your home. The connections between the water lines and the tank can sometimes leak, especially if they weren’t originally installed correctly. If there’s water both on top of and below your water heater, these plumbing connections are the most likely culprit. Since you may need to make modifications to your home’s water lines to repair a leak in this location, it’s best to get professional assistance from Wingate Heating, Air, Plumbing & Roofing to avoid further problems.
Check the Surroundings
Sometimes, what appears to be a leak from your water heater may actually be coming from another piece of equipment. If your water heater is located close to your air conditioner, for example, the water you see on the floor near the water heater may actually be coming from your air conditioner’s condensate drain line. If the leak is small, use a towel to dry up the leak and then check regularly to see where the water first appears.
Your Water Heater Experts
At Wingate Heating, Air, Plumbing & Roofing, we know that a water heater leak can be stressful, so we offer prompt and professional water heater repair, maintenance, and installation services. We also repair toilets, clean sewer lines, install garbage disposals, repair furnaces, maintain air conditioners, and much more. For over 45 years, we’ve been serving the area with top-notch service to help people stay comfortable in their homes. To learn more about taking care of your water heater, contact us at Wingate Heating, Air, Plumbing & Roofing today.