It is important to repair your water heater if you notice moisture forming around it. However, you must take immediate action to stop rust from developing. Finding the cause of the leak will prevent affecting other areas of the heater. Most homeowners would think a replacement water heater is needed once their unit starts to leak. Keep in mind that this is not always the case since some leaks can be fixed easily.
Having a leaking water heater is a common problem for every homeowner. Leaks usually start from pipe fittings, T&P valve and at the base of the unit. Check these three areas to know what actions to take and stop the problem from escalating. Leaks coming from two areas stated above can be easily fixed while the other one needs a water heater replacement.
Look for rust stains around your pipe fittings and check if they are loosely connected. Use a wrench to tighten the connections without having to over tighten them at the same time. You may have to replace badly damaged pipes to avoid sediment and rust from building up.
If the pipes are still leaking after tightening them, turn off the heating source of the unit as well as its water supply. Disconnect the pipe fittings and try wrapping the threading with a Teflon tape. This tape is sold at numerous home-improvement stores in your area. Water should stop leaking if the threading is completely covered. Turn on the water heater once the pipes are connected tightly.
Next area to check is the relief valve. This valve is responsible for releasing excessive pressure inside to prevent the tank from overheating or blowing up. When this happens, it is normal for water to come out of the valve spout. However, if the water temperature is set too high, expect the relief valve to release water more often. Minimize water heater leaks by adjusting the thermostat settings between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
You may have a faulty T&P valve if your water heater is still leaking. When this happens, replace the relief valve as soon as possible. Do not use your water heater if the T&P valve has malfunctioned since it can pose serious dangers to your entire household. Ask help from a specialist to install the relief valve properly.
If you think your pipes and valves are not leaking, check the base of your tank immediately. The internal components may have rusted, causing holes to appear at the bottom of the tank. To stop water from leaking, you are left with no choice but to buy a replacement water heater. Without regular water heater maintenance, your water heater can deteriorate sooner than you expected. Some prefer patching the holes instead of replacing their unit. However, doing this won’t do you any good since your unit will eventually have lesser heating efficiency as it continues to operate. Start looking for the best water heater that will suit your household needs.
If you don’t feel comfortable in repairing the heater on your own, contact a specialist for professional help. Trying to fix the problem on your own can only worsen the situation. Upon reaching this point, it might just be too late to repair the heater since it’s already asking for a replacement. Do not let your heating system leak for a long time to avoid costly water heater repairs.