Why Is Your Water Heater Leaking And How To Handle Them
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A leaking water heater, whether it is an instant water heater or a storage water heater, might appear as a small problem, but can soon snowball into a major issue. Your walls, sub-floors, floors could be damaged in the long run due to this seepage. A major water heater failure could end up flooding your rooms, causing loss of personal property and resulting in heavy repair bills. You may also want to note that wet and damp areas can also cause health problems such as asthma and allergic responses. Find out about the possible water heater leaking problems, how to spot them and how it may be addressed.
Condensation is usually formed when the tank is filled with cold water, and there is dripping or water vapor. You may observe this kind of situation during chilly months or when the tank is filled for the first time. Condensation on gas water heaters may also arise from the vent. But gas water heaters are not prevalent in Singapore. If your water heater is having such symptoms, you may not have to worry as it does not mean the water heater is leaking, merely condensation.
Reasons Why Your Water Heaters Pressure Relief Valve Is Leaking
Its never a good sign when you find water on the floor around your water heater. But before you panic, its important to figure out where its coming from.
Upon further investigation, if you find the water is being discharged from a small tube that comes out of the top or side of the unit, runs down the side of the tank, and ends near the ground, then the source is likely the temperature pressure relief valve, or relief valve, for short.
Repair Or Replace Your Water Heater
As we discussed above, when you find water under a water heater the problem can be serious and action should be taken as quickly as possible.
Depending on the type of leak, you’ll either need to repair or replace your water heater. Although, many of the repair fixes can be performed by the homeowner, frequently people prefer to call a professional plumber.
Your comfort level in tackling DIY projects will likely be the determining factor.
Water heaters generally last 8 to 12 years. So if your leaking water heater is nearing old age, you may choose to replace it with a new energy efficient model rather than pay for repairs.
New water heaters are far more energy efficient, which means they will save you money each month in operating costs. They’ll also be under warranty, so any issues for the next couple of years will be covered.
We recommend considering the cost of repairs and the age of your water heater when you make your decision on whether to repair or replace your water heater.
But if you’re still on the fence, this article will provide you with 5 warning signs of when you should consider buying a new water heater.
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Turn Off The Power And Drain The Tank
Once youve determined that there is a leak and youve found where it is, go ahead and shut off your water heater.
You should shut electric water heaters down by using the circuit breaker box. Find the breaker that goes to your water and shut it off. You need to be thorough because you never want to be in a position where you could be standing in water while some electricity is still flowing through the wiring.
Gas heaters are easier to turn off because flicking the switch will do.
Once youve managed to completely shut down the water heater, you can proceed to drain the tank. Use either a hose or container to catch the water to keep your basement floor from turning into a riverbed.
Last Word Of Precaution: Consultyour Heaters Manual And Warranty
The tips that weve mentioned above are greatfor general reference. Most modern water heaters operate in such a fashion thatwould allow you to use these tips with no issues. Still, we recommend that youcheck your water heaters manual to confirm that everything is where we say itis based on our instructions.
While our technicians can certainly identifyand work with any abnormal configurations, for the sake of brevity this postsimply touches on the most common cases.
Lastly, be sure that anything you are doingdoes not void your warranty. Replacing the drain valve, pressure valve, or thelike usually does not affect your warranty but, again, there may be somespecific instances. Better safe than sorry!
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Turn Off The Water Supply
Close the cold water intake at the top of the sink. Open one of the hot water faucets that is closest to the water heater. As an alternative, you can use the one nearest to the bathroom or in the bathtub. Opening the tap allows any water that has accumulated in the pipes to be released. It also has the additional benefit of relieving pressure.
Cold Water Inlet / Hot Water Outlet Repairs
If you have a leak coming from the area where the cold water inlet or hot water outlet connects to the water heater, you may be able to fix it by tightening the connections with a pipe wrench.
If tightening the connectors doesn’t stop the leak, then you should replace the flex lines that supply the cold water . The video below will show you how.
Watch the Video
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Water Heater Leaking From Bottom
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If you find your water heater is leaking from the bottom, there’s a good chance it’s a serious problem. A pool of water underneath your water heater can often be one of the first signs you notice of trouble. This is a common place to find a leak and should be addressed as soon as possible.
There are several issues that could cause your water heater to leak. A few are fixable. This article will help you identify the problem and give you step-by-step instructions on how to troubleshoot and resolve your leaking water heater.
Water Heater: Why Is My Water Heater’s Pressure Relief Valve Dripping Water
Replace the pressure relief valve if it leaks but the water heater isn’t overheating.
If the water is overheating, the dripping could be because the overheating tripped the valve. Shut off the circuit breakers and check the thermostats and heating elements. A failed thermostat can cause the element to heat constantly, resulting in overheating. A heating element shorted to the metal tank or cabinet will also heat constantly and cause overheating. Watch this video to find out how to troubleshoot an overheating electric water heater. Replace any failed thermostats and shorted heating elements.
Replace the thermostat in a gas water heater if it’s causing overheating.
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Replace The Magnesium Anode Rod Before It Completely Corrodes
Inside your water tank is a sacrificial part called sacrificial anode rod. In any case, an anode rod sacrifices itself to protect the interior of a water heater tank. It attracts elements in the water that can corrode and destroy the other metal parts of the tank.
You can think of the anode rod as a magnet. It draws in minerals and metal ions that can otherwise cause oxidation and rust in the heater.
If you dont install a powered anode rod or never change your magnesium rod, you will have a water heater leaking in your home after only a couple of years.
Sacrificial magnesium anode rod is hard to install and doesnt last long . They are called sacrificial because they sacrifice themselves to protect the tank. Because of its purpose, an anode rod has a shorter life than the entire tank. This is also why you need to replace the anode rod before it gets completely eroded.
If Your Tpr Valve Is Leaking
.you will see water coming from this location: The temperature and pressure relief valve in your water heater tank is a safety feature that only operates when the pressure and temperature within the tank are at an unsafe level.When the levels in the tank reach an unsafe level, the valve opens and emits hot water to reduce the pressure within the tank.If you have a typical discharge from your TPR valve, water should be released through the discharge pipe that runs the length of your water heater.
As a result, if everything is functioning properly, you should only ever see water dropping towards the floor when your TPR valve is activated.However, occasionally, the valve itself becomes faulty and fails to fully shut, allowing some hot water or steam to escape from this location.What to do is as follows: If the TPR valve is leaking, it should be replaced by a professional.This is a critical safety feature that prevents your water heater from rupturing as a result of excessive pressure.It is therefore an indicator that the valve will not function correctly when needed if it is found to be leaking.
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Troubleshooting A Leaking Pressure Relief Valve
- In the event that you have tested and determined that your safety relief valve is leaking, there are a number of options for troubleshooting and attempting to remedy the leak. The first step is to figure out what is causing the leak to occur. Ensure that the pressure relief valve is the appropriate size for your project. Check for damage to the valve. Its possible that there is dirt or debris clogging the valve.
Once you have determined the source of the leak, you may determine if the valve can be fixed or whether it has to be replaced entirely. In some cases, such as when the valve is the incorrect size or when the valve is broken, it is preferable to replace the valve. Restoring the valve to proper working order may be a possibility if it can be cleaned and set to perform correctly.
Why Is My Pressure Relief Valve Leaking
When it comes to industrial facilities, valve leakage is not only prevalent, but it may also be quite problematic.However, although some valve leakage is to be expected, particularly as they approach their nameplate set pressure, other valve leakage is troublesome and can even be hazardous to the operation of your facility.If you suspect valve leakage, here are a few reasons why your safety or pressure relief valve may be leaking, as well as instructions on how to test the valve and troubleshoot a valve that has been proven to be leaking.
The following are four frequent reasons why a pressure relief valve may be leaking:
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What Is The Water Heater Pressure
Your water heater plays a crucial function in the operation of your house year after year.Your morning ritual just wouldnt be the same or even close to as comfortable if you didnt have access to hot water.Water heaters and their components, on the other hand, do not last indefinitely.
When it comes to ensuring that your water heater continues to properly supply hot water to your house, preventative maintenance is essential.Here, well go over a vital safety component of your water heater: the pressure-relief valve on the water heater itself.The purpose of this device, what it performs, and how to confirm that it is still operational and safeguarding both your water heater and your home will be discussed.
The Temperature And Pressure Relief Valve
There are several reasons why your water heaters temperature and pressure relief valve could be causing the leak.
If the valve deals with too much pressure, it could start malfunctioning. The problem could also stem from the water heater raising the waters temperature excessively. That can lead to damage to the temperature and pressure relief valve.
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Troubleshooting Hot Water Heater Leaks
Right now our goal is to identify the source of the water heater leak. Once you determine why your water heater is leaking, we’ll show you how to fix the problem.
As a general rule, when a water heater leaks from the top the problem can be repaired. In fact, you may be able to do the fix yourself.
Unfortunately, when your water heater is leaking from the bottom, there’s a greater chance that the problem is serious . . . but not always.
Here are some of the most common reasons a water heater leaks:
Two: Avoid Coming Intocontact With The Water
This is less of a step and more of a precaution to keep in mind as you handle your hot water heater thats leaking. Unlike water softeners , the water in your heater is, well, heated. Most water heaters in Phoenix ship with a default setting of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If youve ever had the system adjusted by a professional, they likely only turned it down to 120 degrees, which is the recommended temperature.
Thats still enough to cause first-degreeburns upon immediate contact. If the heater is set at its maximum for somereason , serious injury can result fromeven indirect contact.
In other words, avoid coming into contact withthe water, even briefly.
If your hot water heater tank is leakingseverely and theres no way to proceed without coming into contact with thewater, call a professional. If youre in the Phoenix, Arizona area, our staffat American Home Water and Air will be more than happy to help you fix yourleaking water heater safely.
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Causes Of Excess Pressure In A Water Heater
Now that you understand some of the possible causes of leaks from your water heater, well discuss one of the most serious: leakage from the temperature and pressure relief valve due to excess pressure or temperature in your water heater. While its easy to understand the important role of the temperature and pressure relief valve, you may be wondering how pressure can build up in your water heater in the first place.
One of the most common causes of excess pressure in a water heater is simply having the temperature set too high. Since water expands as its heated, higher-temperature water occupies more volume, which, in the confines of a water heater, results in increased pressure. If the pressure increases too much, your relief valve will activate, releasing water through the drain pipe. Therefore, its important to keep your temperature set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
Another possible cause of high pressure in your water heater is variations in the pressure of the water that comes into the water heater. If the source of water experiences an increase in pressure, when it is further expanded due to heating, it will result in excess pressure that must be relieved.
If its your HVAC system youre having trouble with, one of our licensed HVAC technicians can lend a hand with this as well. We offer new system installation, repair, and maintenance plans to keep your HVAC system operating smoothly.
How Does A Hot Water Heater Work
First, it is important to understand how your water heater works! Let’s dive in!
To start with, cold water enters the tank through the inlet pipes. Next, a dip tube brings the cold water down to the bottom of the tank to be heated. In an Electric Water Heater there are two electrical elements, one near the top and the other near the bottom, that heat the water inside.
If you have a Gas Water Heater then the burner assembly lights a flame. Then, this flame warms the bottom of your water tank, therefore warming the water inside. Then the fumes from the combustion gas escape through a round silver pipe. In addition to venting the flue gases, this pipe also warms the water.
Finally, this water exits the heater through the outlet pipe to be dispersed in your home.
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Four: Figure Out Where Theleak Is Coming From
Common diagnoses include:
- a water heater leaking from thetop
- a water heater leaking from thebottom
- a water heater leaking from therelief valve
- a hot water heater leaking fromthe overflow pipe
- hot water heater tank leaking
The first two should be easy to spot, even ifyoure not trained. The others can be harder for untrained folks to identify,so well go through a brief run-through now.
Water Heater Leaking From TheRelief Valve
Your water heater has a relief valve designedto guide water away in the case of a temperature or pressure buildup inside thetank. This valve is typically located onthe side of the tank in the form of a pipe protruding from it.
If your water heater pressure valve is leaking while in the closed position, this is a sign that the valve is damaged and will need to be replaced.
If the valve is open and leaking, there is toomuch pressure or heat inside the tank for it to handle. This can signify aserious problem, so you should contact a professional instead of trying to fixyour leaking water heater on your own unless you are very confident in yourabilities.
Water Heater Leaking From TheOverflow Pipe
When functioning properly, your water heatersoverflow pipe works in conjunction with the relief valve to drain excesspressure. The pipe is directly connected to the valve and points downward atthe floor.
Hot Water Heater Tank Leaking
This issue is unfortunately common with agingwater heater tanks. Youll need to replace the water heater altogether.
Reasons For Water Discharging From The Relief Valve
When you see water coming out from the water heater release valve, there are two most likely causes.
Both circumstances should be taken very seriously. If the relief valve is needed frequently, that means theres an issue with your water heater that is causing unsafe temperatures or pressure.
On the other hand, if the relief valve is stuck or has another problem, it needs to be fixed or replaced right away so it can do its job properly when necessary.
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