Do you have an electric or gas water heater that’s running in your home? It’s up to you to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t start leaking water. There are a few signs to look out for that can help you determine whether your water heater is leaking — but what exactly are they, and should you do once you spot them?
The water heater and plumbing repair professionals at Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric know that if there’s something wrong with your water heater, then you need to give it immediate attention. So, if you’re living in the Northeast Florida community and suspect something’s gone awry with your water heater, then this article is for you!
Let’s quickly cover how you can determine if you have a water heater leak, what to do to fix your water heater once it’s leaking, and the steps you can take to prevent problems down the road.
How To Confirm That You Have a Water Heater Leak
There’s plenty of water that goes to waste due to water heater leaks in the U.S. each year. In fact, the average American household lets more than 10,000 gallons of water go to waste each year simply due to a leaky water heater. If that wasn’t bad enough, consider the fact that more than 10% of American households waste nearly 33,000 gallons of water every year because of problems with their plumbing systems.
Rather than add to these startling statistics because of a leaky water heater, you can instead learn how to determine if your water heater is leaking and what to do to fix it. After all, the sooner you can track down and resolve problems with your water heater, the more money you can save on repairs over the long term.
First, though, you’ll need to confirm that you do, in fact, have a leaky water heater.
For starters, you’ll want to make sure that your water heater is actually leaking and not just covered with moisture from condensation. Your water heater’s tank, whether it’s an electric or gas one, condenses air during its heating process. When this happens, moisture sometimes forms on your heater’s tank, making it seem like water is leaking when really it’s not.
If you notice moisture on your heater’s tank but aren’t sure whether it’s there because of a leak or condensation, you should check for leaks around your house. Locate your home’s water meter – it’s probably at the front of your house or somewhere in your basement – shut off all the appliances that use water inside your home, and verify that your water meter is no longer moving. If your meter is still moving, then you may be dealing with a leaky heater.
Another step you should take to confirm whether your water heater is leaking is to wipe down your tank and clean your heater’s supply lines and valves. Wipe down your heater’s tank with an appropriate cloth, shut off its power, and then clean your valves and supply lives. Once you’ve taken care of that, check whether there’s still moisture forming on your tank. Moisture that spreads evenly across your tank’s surfaces is normal and happens because of condensation — if there’s only moisture coming from your valve, though, you probably have a water heater tank that’s started leaking.
Depending on your tank, it can be difficult to spot where water is seeping out from. If you need help confirming whether your heater is leaking or not, it’s a good idea to contact water heater repair professionals like the ones at Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric. We can confirm whether your heater is leaking and can identify where your leak is coming from.
How To Fix a Leaky Water Heater
If you’re positive that you have a leaky heater on your hands, there are a few steps you can take to repair it yourself. Before you do anything else, first close your water heater tank’s water supply valve. This will turn off your water and prevent any more of it from getting into your heater’s tanks. Remember that your water heater’s power needs to be switched off before you close your water supply valve!
Now that you’ve turned off your water, you can work on fixing your leak. For heaters that are leaking from the top, the appropriate fix is usually to fasten your water connections. Your heater has cold water and hot water connections at the top of its tank that can sometimes come loose over time. If you have a pipe wrench on hand, you can try to tighten these water connections yourself.
If you notice that your leak is near the bottom of your heater, it’s likely that you’re dealing with a faulty drain valve. Your drain valve, as you may have guessed – drains your heater’s tank and lets you flush out sediment buildup when necessary. Drain valves, like the water connections on top of your tank, become loose over time. Repairing leaky drain valves can be a more involved process than repairing water connections: we recommend that you let professional plumbers like those at Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric safely fasten your drain valve to fix your leak.
Unfortunately, some leaky water heaters need to be replaced entirely. This is usually the case when the inner part of your water heater’s insulation becomes worn down. Plumbing professionals can investigate a leak that’s coming from the bottom of your tank to say for sure whether your leaking heater requires a total replacement.
How To Keep Water Heater Leaks at Bay
Although water heater leaks are usually inevitable, there are a few preventative steps you can take to keep leaks at bay. It’s important that you maintain your water heater so that you don’t end up spending tons of money on costly repairs — or worse, on complete heater replacements!
For one, you can install a powered anode rod to prevent corrosion buildup inside your water heater’s tank. A powered anode rod also reduces the buildup of limescale in your heater’s tank and is simple for most homeowners like yourself to install. Plus, these rods typically come with warranty protection to provide you with long-lasting peace of mind.
Additionally, we recommend that you regularly drain your water heater and clean all of its parts on an annual basis. Ideally, you should clean the outside of your water heater’s tank as well as its water connections and valves annually. Regular, thorough cleaning of your water heater prevents the accumulation of dust which, in turn, can improve your water heater’s efficiency and reduce your home energy costs.
Maintain Your Water Heater With Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric
Are you living in the Northeast Florida community and aren’t sure if you feel comfortable maintaining your water heater yourself? The water heater and plumbing repair professionals at Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric have you covered.
We’ve been servicing homeowners like yourself for more than 40 years who need help with regular and proper water heater maintenance to prevent leaks. If you suspect that you have a water heater that’s leaking but aren’t sure which steps to take next, don’t wait any longer than you need to — call the team at Snyder Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric today at (904) 877-9836 to get your water heater quickly inspected and repaired!