Is your hot water heater leaking here’s what to look out for
Tucked away out of sight, it’s easy to forget a hot water heater is even around. So long as the hot water flows, it seems like there’s little reason to check up on it. But, not all issues happen suddenly or dramatically. Most carry signs ahead of time that something is amiss, and catching issues early on means being able to fix them easier, faster, and cheaper. This is precisely why it’s a good idea to check on the hot water heater, especially for leaks, as leaks are the first sign that a hot water heater will need some work.
Sight and Sound
It seems obvious, but it’s surprisingly effective — listen for the sound of a leak. Dripping water, rushing water, or just unusual sounds coming from around or within a water heater are worthy reasons to take a closer look. While it can be tricky to find the exact point of the leak, take a look around the heater. If there is definitely the noise of water sloshing or running, but no sign of water outside the tank, it’s very possible that a leak is occurring within. That said, make sure to look:
At the tubes or pipes near the top of the tank — this is where water enters, and if the tubes are loose, could be leaking water down the side.
At the pressure relief valve — also near the top of the tank, if the pressure relief valve hasn’t been changed, or the tank is older, it’s possible the valve is wearing out and beginning to leak.
At the drain valve — a commonplace to find a leak, drain valves are relatively inexpensive and a quick fix for a professional to replace.
At the bottom of the tank — this is where water will pool if there has been a tank breach, which means the water heater will need to be replaced entirely.
If it is a gas heater, and there is a distinct sound of water hitting flame, take a look at the burner directly for drips into the burner. This is a sign that condensation is building up within the tank, and that a leak is forming, or that tank failure is eminent. Don’t let this go unchecked!
If the water heater is electric, and leaks are either immediately present or highly suspected, it’s a good idea to cut power to the water heater. This is to prevent shocks or other electrical discharge into the leaked water. Have a professional come to inspect the unit immediately.
Every appliance has a lifecycle, and water heaters are no different. Lasting an average of 10–15 years, hot waters will eventually need maintenance and have pieces that need to be replaced. When leaks are found, this is a sign that it’s time for that maintenance to be completed to either keep the water heater running as long as it can, or to ensure that a new unit is needed.
If you suspect that your home’s water is leaking, and you can’t find the source, or if you’ve found the source, and know that a repair is needed consider reaching out to the licensed professionals at Duane Blanton Family Home Services. With experience in plumbing and HVAC home services, the technicians at Duane Blanton have the knowledge and experience to tackle any hot water heater issue that you may have. Don’t wait until a full tank breach happens — give the technicians at Duane Blanton a call at (815) 781-2567, or schedule from your computer or browser using the online scheduling portal.
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