Water Heater Leaking
Sometimes it happens that after a long day you step into the shower only to find out that there is no hot water. In addition to that misfortune, you hear a strange hissing noise as well. On some inspection, you realize that your water heater is the source of all the noises. On opening the utility closet, you are greeted with streams of hot water running out and flooding the nearby floor. This is a bad situation to be in and can happen even if you regularly perform water heater maintenance.
A water heater does not always leak so badly, sometimes it is just a trickle. Still, it requires immediate attention. It is prudent to fix the water heater leaking before it causes property damage and results in a lot of expenses. Regular water heater maintenance can prevent such untoward incidents but they still can and do occur.
A close inspection of the water heater should reveal the source of the problem. The leakage could be due to a rupture in the water tank or it may be the fittings and pipes that are leaking. This can be evaluated if we first understand the build of a hot water heater. The outer metal tube is connected to water pipes and an energy source such as gas or electricity. Most cases of water heater leaking are caused by rusting or wear and tear of the outer metal body. In this case, you will need to replace it as it cannot be repaired. The actual water tank is inside this casing. The water tank is located inside the outer tube. The tank is highly durable but still occasionally ruptures. A ruptured water tank cannot be repaired and will require a water heater replacement. In case the tank is sealed, the piping or pressure relief valve may be the culprits. You may be able to fix this yourself.
Fix Water Heater Leaking Yourself
First gather all the tools that you may require such as wrenches, plumbing thread etc… Always make sure the work area is clean and safe. Now turn off your water heater. Make sure that everyone is aware that you are working on the water heater so that nobody accidentally turns the water heater on. After closing the water inputs, drain the tank. Wipe and dry all the fitting with a cloth. Check the pressure release valve and if found faulty, replace it. Next, tighten all the fittings and check pipes for leakage. Now turn on the water heater to check if the leakage has stopped. You may have saved yourself the cost of a repairman in case the leakage has stopped!
Sometimes no amount of repair work seems to help in stopping the leakage. This may indicate the need for a replacement. Just like all other appliances, hot water heaters too need to be replaced occasionally. You may want to get the opinion of a professional before declaring the water heater dead. Once it is confirmed that the water heater has reached the end of its usable life, hire a professional to install a new hot water heater. He may be able to salvage the old fittings and pipes as well. If you feel like you can do this yourself, then read on and replace your water heater yourself.
First remove the old heater by disconnecting the power source and other pipes. It will be much easier if your new water heater uses the same power source otherwise a professional will be required for installing it. Check the old pipes and fitting and see if they need to be replaced as well.
You will need to consult the installation diagram that will come with your new hot water heater. Once you are sure that everything has been done according to the instructions, turn on the power source and water supply and give it a trial run. In case everything goes smoothly, you have once again saved the cost of hiring a repairman by performing water heater maintenance yourself. You can also save a lot of money and detect leaks in your home by installing a flow meter to monitor your water usage. The above mentioned steps will ensure your water heater leaking problem is solved.