Water heaters are integral to modern households, providing hot water for bathing, cooking, and cleaning. Unfortunately, however, they can occasionally develop leaks which can become an inconvenience and even a safety hazard to homeowners when they need to contact a plumbing service immediately. High Speed Plumbing examines common causes and identification techniques of leaky water heaters.
One of the leading causes of water heater leaks is simply age. Over time, exposure to water and heat causes the metal in your water heater tank to corrode and form cracks or holes, allowing leakage to form. If yours is over ten years old and it starts leaking, a replacement could be in order.
Water heaters contain a pressure relief valve to regulate internal tank pressure. If excessive pressure builds up within the tank, however, this may cause the valve to leak and even burst - this may be caused by high water pressure in the plumbing system or an improper functioning relief valve.
Along with the pressure relief valve, there are other valves in a water heater system, including drain and inlet/outlet valves, that should also be checked regularly for problems that could lead to leaks. A malfunctioning valve could result in leaks, so regular inspection should occur to detect potential problems.
Water heaters contain various pipes and fittings, which may become loose over time due to thermal expansion/contraction, leading to water seeping out from these connections and into your tank.
Physical damage to a water heater, such as cracks or punctures in its tank and components, may lead to leakage issues and should be addressed as soon as possible to minimize leakage risks. Accidents or external factors could have led to this damage occurring, and it must be addressed immediately for you to maintain high-performance levels from your unit.
Locating the source of a water heater leak is vital in taking the appropriate actions. Here are some common areas where these leaks might appear:
A leak at the bottom of a water heater could indicate corrosion, age-related wear, and tear, or sediment buildup within its internal tank, which causes weakness that eventually causes leakage.
Leaks at the top of a water heater may indicate problems in its water supply or pressure relief valve or may simply be due to loose or damaged pipes connecting it with its upper tank.
Interior leaks can be difficult to detect and usually indicate a crack or hole in your tank that needs immediate repair. Should you suspect an internal leak, immediately stop further damage as soon as possible to minimize further issues.
Water heater leaks may only sometimes be immediately detectable or present themselves in unexpected areas, making detection challenging. If water is pooling around your heater, but its source cannot be located, it's vital that further investigations be undertaken, or professional assistance be sought as soon as possible.
Sometimes what appears to be a water heater leak could be something else entirely; condensation may form on the tank's exterior and give the impression of a leakage issue. Before taking any immediate actions, carefully consider these factors:
In humid environments or when temperature fluctuations occur, condensation may form on the tank's exterior. It must be cleared off to see if there's a leak or condensation on its exterior. Wipe it dry to determine which it is: leak or condensation.
Inspect nearby plumbing for signs of leaks originating elsewhere but appearing near your water heater. Sometimes leaks come from unexpected places but still appear nearby.
If you are still determining the source or cause of leakage, seeking assistance from a professional plumber could be essential in pinpointing and solving it correctly. They possess the expertise needed to diagnose accurately while offering suitable solutions.
At High Speed Plumbing, we take great pride in being your premier source for water heater needs. Our highly skilled and experienced plumbers are committed to providing superior service that ensures your unit runs efficiently and reliably. No matter the problem: leaky water heater, pressure relief valve issues, faulty valves, or loose connections... our experts are here to assist with your water heater repair needs! At we understand the stress a malfunctioning water heater can bring. That's why our professional team responds swiftly and provides effective solutions quickly - giving your unit everything it needs for optimal performance and safety. With us by your side, rest easy knowing your unit will receive expert care to keep running as effectively and safely as possible.