Water heater leaking is a more serious problem than you might think. Even a small pool of water can grow mold and cause damage to your home. Plus, a leak from your water heater can mean that it is suffering from a serious and potentially dangerous problem, so it’s important you act fast.
Before getting started, make sure you rule out the possibility that the leak is coming from another source. Inspect any nearby pipes and other possible sources for the leak. If you can’t find any other explanation for the pool of water then your water heater is likely the cause.
Before performing any maintenance or repairs on your water heater make sure to turn off the power. For electric water heaters this can be done at the circuit breaker panel. For gas water heaters simply locate the “on/off” dial on your water heater and turn it to “off”.
The next safety precaution you need to take is to shut off the cold water supply to the water heater. The water shut off valve is usually located just above the water heater. Pull on the handle or turn the valve to shut off the water flow to the water heater.
Now that you’ve taken the necessary safety precautions you’re ready to look for the leak. Here are a few different areas you should look:
- The top of the tank: You may have a leak from either the inlet or outlet pipes leading to and from your water heater.
- The Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve: This is a valve on the side of the tank that helps get rid of any excess pressure inside the tank. Look for any water leaking around or out of the valve.
- The Drain Valve: This is a valve at the bottom of the tank that is used to drain and flush the water heater. As with the T&P valve, check to see if there is any water leaking around or out of the valve.
- The tank itself: If water is leaking out of the bottom of the tank then your water heater is likely suffering from an internal problem and probably needs to be replaced. A leak from the top of the tank may be fixable.
Once you’ve found the source of the leak your best course of action is to call a professional plumber.