Why Do Water Heaters Leak and How Can They Be Fixed

Why Is My Water Heater LeakingWhy Do Water Heaters Leak and How Can They Be Fixed

Water heaters play an important role in providing hot water to your home for washing dishes, doing laundry, and bathing. If not taken care of properly, water heaters can lead to water leakage, which can then potentially result in severe water damage and be costly to repair.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss why water heaters tend to leak and what you can do to fix them before they become a major problem. We’ll also cover how to proceed if there is already significant water damage in your home. With the right information, you can take steps to avoid a costly water heater leak and the repair bills that come with it.

What Causes a Water Heater Leak?

what to do when water heater leaks

As water heaters age, it is not uncommon for leaks to occur in the tank or in the pipes connected to it. In some cases, the tank itself can corrode and begin to leak. If the pressure relief valve becomes damaged, then this can cause leaks as well. A loose connection to a pipe can also lead to a slow drip. To help prevent a water heater leak, it’s important to schedule regular inspections for these signs of damage and either repair or replace them before the issue becomes more serious.

Signs of a Leaking Water Heater

Ignoring a leaking water heater can have substantial consequences; from damaging your home to increasing utility bills. It is important not to overlook these obvious signs and deal with any problems promptly. Here are some of the clear-cut warnings that could mean you have an issue:

  1. Water that is pooling around the base of the water heater: Is there water pooling around the base of your water heater? If so, that is a telltale sign of a leak and means that water is escaping from the tank.
  2. Rust or corrosion found on the outside of the tank: If the tank is showing signs of rusting or corroding, it may be a sign of a leak.
  3. Reduced hot water supply: If the hot water supply is less than usual, then it may be a sign that the water heater is leaking and losing water.
  4. Strange noises: If the water heater is making strange noises like popping, cracking or gurgling, it may be a sign of a leak.
  5. Increase in utility bills: a leaking water heater can use more energy to heat up the water that’s leaking out.
  6. Discoloration on the walls or ceiling: If you see a change in color on the walls or ceiling, it might mean that water is leaking from the water heater and getting into the area around it.
  7. Musty odor: If you smell a musty odor near your water heater, it may be a sign of mold or mildew growing as a result of a leak.

If you notice any of these signs of a leaking water heater, it is important to contact a professional plumber to inspect the water heater and determine the cause of the leak. Ignoring a leaking water heater or putting it off its repair can lead to costly repairs and potential damage to your home. It is better to be proactive and address the issue as soon as possible.

When Should You Replace Your Water Heater?

water heater leak repair

When it comes to your water heater, it’s important to know when it’s time to replace them. Keep in mind that the average water heater lasts about 8-12 years, after which it may start to show signs of wear and tear such as rust, corrosion, leaks, and reduced hot water supply.

Additionally, as a water heater ages, its efficiency decreases, which can lead to an increase in energy bills. If your water heater starts to show any of these signs, it may be time to consider a replacement. It’s also important to note that if your water heater is over 15 years old, it’s likely to be less efficient and less reliable and it’s likely that you should replace it.

A professional plumber like The Professional Plumber can inspect your water heater and give you an idea of its remaining lifespan and recommend replacement if needed. It’s important to consider the cost of repairs, frequency of repairs, and the age of the water heater when deciding whether to replace or repair it. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to replace the water heater rather than continue to repair it.

Causes of Water Heater Leaks

Water heater leaks can be caused by a variety of factors, such as age, corrosion, and damage to the tank. The older your water heater, the more it may corrode, which leads to rust development and holes and leaks. The pressure and temperature inside the tank can also cause the tank to weaken and develop leaks over time.

Another common cause of water heater leaks is a faulty or damaged T&P (temperature and pressure) relief valve, which is a feature designed to release excess pressure and temperature, which helps prevent the tank from bursting. Other factors like improper installation of the heater, a lack of maintenance, and too-high water pressure can also lead to water heater leaks.

In some cases, leaks can also be caused by faulty pipes or connections, which can allow water to escape from the tank. It’s important to be aware of the potential causes of water heater leaks and to have your water heater inspected by a professional plumber regularly to detect and address any issues before they become a bigger problem.

How to Fix a Leaking Water Heater

do water heaters leak

Fixing a leaking water heater can be a complex task and it’s best to contact a professional plumber. However, there are some steps that you can take to address a leak, depending on the cause. If the leak is caused by a faulty T&P (temperature and pressure) relief valve, you can replace the valve to stop the leak.

If the leak is caused by a corroded tank, you may be able to patch the hole with a metal patch kit. However, if is looks like the extent of the corrosion is extensive, then the tank will likely need to be replaced. If the leak is caused by a faulty pipe or connection, the plumber will need to repair or replace the pipe to stop the leak.

In some cases, if the water heater is old or has multiple leaks or issues, it may be more cost-effective to replace the water heater.

A professional plumber can take a look at the extent of the damage and provide you with the best suggestions on how to approach the situation at hand. It’s important to fix a leaking water heater as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home and an increase in energy bills.

What to Do if There is Significant Water Damage

If you have already found the source of a water heater leak, but it has caused significant damage to your home, it is best to file a claim with your insurance company. Depending on the extent of the damage and the cause, your insurance may cover the repairs. A professional plumber can provide you with a professional assessment of the damage as well as provide repair or replacement services to get your home’s condition back to normal quickly.

Preventing Future Leaks

To prevent future water heater leaks, it is recommended to regularly maintain your water heater with regular inspections. Annual maintenance of the system, checking for signs of wear and tear, and replacing old parts can help to prevent future leaks and costly repairs.

It’s also important to make sure to monitor your water pressure. High water pressure can be tough on pipes and connections and can cause them to leak more frequently over time.

Finally, if you are replacing an old water heater, consider investing in a newer model with a better warranty. Newer models are often more reliable and designed to last longer. Taking the necessary steps to prevent and take care of water heater leaks can help save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

Wrapping Up

Taking all the necessary precautionary steps as mentioned in the blog, such as regular inspection and maintenance, monitoring of water pressure, and investing in newer models with better warranties can prove to be beneficial in the long run.

In the case of severe damage, homeowners should ensure that they have the right insurance coverage so that the repairs can be covered should any unexpected issues arise. Seeking professional help is always a wise choice since it will go a long way in providing you and your family with peace of mind that the problem has been correctly assessed and fixed.

For all of your plumbing needs, The Professional Plumber is the one for you! Our water heater repair services can help guarantee that any problems with your water heater are addressed with minimal trouble to you and your home. To learn more about our services, give us a call at 678-403-8444, and let’s get in touch today!

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