Have you noticed a pool of water lying near the base of your water heater? Do you see water dripping down the water heater’s exterior or the pipe system around it? Can you hear water spraying out some unknown spot near the water heater?
These are all signs that you potentially have a water heater leak. There are several things to do that will help you determine for sure if you have a water heater leak on your hands. They are simple steps to confirm the signs.
If you have a pool of water anywhere near the water heater, you’ll want to first dry up the pool with a towel. It is not an absolute that you have a leak just because you notice this water build-up. A lot of times condensation from the water heater can produce the same thing. As well, your temperature and pressure relief valve could potentially have been what caused the pool from opening up to release the pressure from thermal expansion within the tank.
After you have dried up the existing pool of water, keep a close eye on what happens next to see if the pool appears again over the next few days. If the water regenerates to create another pool, then you indeed have a leak somewhere.
Finding a water heater leak is all about narrowing down the possibilities. There are several areas of the water heater system that could potentially be the culprit for any leak, but there are some things you can determine to give you a better guess around the exact candidate. The first place you’ll want to look at is the drain valve. If you drain valve is faulty then you are looking at a relatively inexpensive solution to your water heater leak. You will be able to tell if it is the drain valve if you see water near or around the valve itself (you can find the valve at the bottom of the tank; it looks like a spigot you might attach a hose to). If the area around this valve is clean and dry, you’re probably going to need to start looking elsewhere for the source of the water heater leak.
Next it is wise to check out the temperature and pressure relief valve. This is located near the top of the tank and usually has a short pipe running from it down the length of the water heater. If water is coming through here, you’ll be able to see drips and feel wetness inside this pipe. If this is the case, you’ll probably have to replace the valve as it is defective. Lastly, your leak could be a result of corrosion of the water heater tank itself. This can happen over long periods of time, and requires a full water heater replacement.
So, whether your leak is coming from a valve, pipe, or the tank itself, our experience, licensed, and professional plumbers at Inland Empire Plumbing are up for the challenge of repair or replacement as well as diagnostic. Don’t fall into the trap of guesswork and start replacing things that don’t need it before you call us to help you determine what is necessary for the repair.