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Why Is My Hot Water Heater Leaking?

A bottom view of man reaching at the bottom of a leaking water heater

On most days, you probably don’t even think about your hot water heater. As long as you have hot showers, the heater is working fine.

But occasionally, you might go down to your basement to get something out of storage and step in a puddle at the base of your hot water tank. Don’t freak out — it’s not an emergency as long as nothing’s spraying or flooding.

What should you do? Well, it depends on what’s causing the leak. Some things are easy fixes, while others may require some assistance.

When You Shouldn’t Call a Plumber

Moisture at the base of hot water heaters is often due to condensation that forms when the heater fills up with cold water. The temperature difference between the water inside the tank and the outside air causes condensation buildup. This is usually remedied after the water in the tank goes from cold to hot.

Your hot water heater also has a mechanism that dispels water when the tank’s internal pressure becomes too high. Most water heaters are equipped with a temperature and pressure valve that regulates, you guessed it, your water heater’s temperature and pressure.

Your T&P valve opens to release water as a method of last resort to keep the hot water tank from breaking. In this case, a little water on your floor is a small price to pay compared to a broken hot water tank. You can turn down the water temperature on your thermostat to stop this from happening in the future.

When You Should Call a Plumber

If you decrease your water temperature and your T&P valve continues to leak, it’s probably time for a new one. Your local plumber will have a high quality valve and can assist you with the installation.

If you can’t specifically locate the leak, it could be internal. Sediment, salt, and other chemicals in Northeast Ohio water cause your hot water heater’s inner components to corrode.

After years of corrosion, a small leak is likely to open up. The best course of action is to replace your water heater because the hole will grow in size and more holes are likely to open up overtime.

Be sure to turn off your gas line connected to the water heater and disconnect the water supply when your tank has an internal leak.

Whether you need a new part or a brand-new water heater, let Superior Drain help. We have high-quality parts and can install them for you or give you some self-installation tips.

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Installation Of A Water Heater $75 off
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