Have a Water Heater Leak? Here’s What to Do

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Have a Water Heater Leak?

Taking a cold shower during the heat of summer might provide some relief and can be quite enjoyable, but that is rarely the case when you are expecting hot water to come out of the showerhead. Water heater leaks account for one of the more common plumbing problems that Texas homeowners face.

With a lifespan of 6-13 years, water heaters need to be regularly replaced and generally, it isn’t until a leak occurs that you know that any issue is present. Diagnosing leaks will help you make the best decision for your home and can save you money in the long run.

Finding a Grand Prairie plumbing company doesn’t have to be a rat race. The Dial1 Johnson team has earned the trust of DFW homeowners and bring over 50 years of experience to the table. Whether you are looking at replacement or repair, we can help.

Diagnosing a Water Leak

Diagnosing a faulty water heater can be a challenge, even for an experienced homeowner. Leaks are the most common sign that a larger issue needs addressing. Similar to real estate, location is key and can be the sole factor in determining if repair is an option. Even then, looks might be deceiving.

Condensation or Leak?

Before any further action is taken, you must first determine if there is actually a leak at all. If you notice that there is a small amount of water that has collected in the drain pan, remain calm. While the culprit could be a water leak, there is also a chance that it could be a result of condensation.

The easiest way to determine if you have a leak is to conduct a water usage test by simply monitoring your meter. Turn off all of the taps and appliances that use water inside your home and take a look at your meter(usually located near your main shutoff valve).

If your meter completely stops, no leaks are present. Otherwise, you know that your next step will be to shut off water to the water heater and contact your local Grand Prairie plumbing experts.

Common Areas Where Leaks Can Occur

Once you know that there is a leak present, finding the root cause is critical in determining if the issue can be repaired, or if the hot water heater needs to be replaced. The good news for homeowners is that water heater leaks occur in the following common places.

Water Connections

When it comes to water heater leaks, connections should be the first thing you investigate. Located at the top of the water heater, connection lines will usually be the first to show signs of wear and tear. Over time, the seals can fail and small leaks can form.

The good news is that most issues with water connections can be repaired. Turn off the water, and gas if your home is equipped with a gas water heater, to ensure that the leak doesn’t grow and do additional damage to your home.

Drain Valve

Another common problem area is the drain valve, located at the bottom of the tank. Drain valves are essential to water heater maintenance, allowing you to remove built-up sediment(a process that should be done annually), and over time can become loose causing it to leak.

If you notice water coming from the drain valve, you can attempt to tighten the valve with a pipe wrench. Be careful to avoid overtightening, as it can compound the problem and make the leak worse. If tightening the valve doesn’t solve the problem, the valve will need to be replaced.

One of the more complicated repairs to a water heater, replacing a drain valve should be done by a professional plumber to avoid damage to the appliance.

Relief Valve

Water heaters are built to self-regulate their temperature and pressure. Excess heat or pressure can cause major damage to the water heater, but because it is regulated by a relief valve it is also prone to leaking.

One of the most common problems that Grand Prairie plumbers encounter with relief valves involves them getting stuck in a semi-open position. This can occur for a variety of reasons, and when this happens water will leak out of the valve.

Because the relief valve is a critical component of any water heater, repairs should only be made by a qualified professional.

Leaking Tank

If you were to cut the water heater in half and look at a cross-section, you would notice that they are built with an inner chamber that actually holds the water. The outer layer is there for insulation and helps the system operate efficiently.

Over time, the inner core of the tank can crack and leak, spilling water into the outer layer. Because the insulated later is not sealed, it will leak out into the drain pan. Should a Grand Prairie plumber come to the conclusion that a leaking tank is the root cause of your issues, you will almost certainly have to replace the entire water heater.

Finding a Grand Prairie Plumbing Company

Finding a pool of water on your floor can certainly cause panic for any homeowner. Start by assessing the situation to see if the problem warrants dialing up a professional plumber. Make sure that the water supply is turned off to avoid any further water damage to your home. If your water is heated with gas, you will also want to turn off the gas supply.

No matter the size of the problem, water heater leaks are frustrating. Working with a Grand Prairie plumbing company that your neighbors have trusted for half a century should help reduce your stress. With the Dial1 Johnson team, you can rest easy knowing that your home is in good hands. Our offices are located across the metroplex, so we are never more than a short call away. Connect with our team at 469-518-2809 or visit our website to schedule an appointment today.

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