In general, water heaters operate well under most circumstances when regularly maintained and cleaned. However, just like almost any home appliance, they can experience some issues such as leaking. A water heater leak can happen because of loose valves, a corroded water tank, or condensation.
Leaking water heater presents different risks such as the following:
When the water heater leaks because of a water buildup, the temperature pressure relief valve should be able to control it. This valve is designed to release excess water when the heater builds up pressure. But, the pressure is likely to build up in the tank if the water or water temperature is too high or when the relief valve is damaged, causing a possible explosion.
If the heater leak originates from corroded or rusted pipes, the water supply can get contaminated. The damaged pipes’ debris and rust can enter the water supply and be dispersed to every faucet in the house.
Damaged Heating Element
A broken or damaged heating element gasket can lead to an electric water heater leak. This can be fixed by turning off the water and power and draining the water out of the water tank before replacing the gasket. To prevent further damage to the heating element, it’s important to run hot water in a sink before turning the power back on to the heater.
A leaking water heater can damage the surrounding floor and walls. This can pave the way to the development of mold and can seep down to the home’s foundation. Over time, this can weaken the foundation and result in other issues. It is vital to clean any water around the heater thoroughly right away and monitor the area well for possible mold or mildew development because of water exposure.
Water heater leaks can be quickly diagnosed and fixed. For serious water heater leaks, it is necessary to hire the services of an experienced, licensed, and professional plumber. If you think that your water heater is leaking, switch the breaker off. If you have a gas-powered water heater, shut off the gas before you switch off the power. Close the valve at top of the unit or shut off the main water valve in your house to prevent water from flowing into the heater. Once the power and water are off, contact a plumber to get the unit fixed. Depending on the severity of the problem, they may recommend replacing parts or the unit itself.