Most of us never give much thought to our water heater until we discover an issue. In some cases, this issue is easy to notice because you no longer have any hot water in your home. But there is another issue that is just as serious but is often more challenging to figure out. The only way that you will find out that you have a leak at your water heater is to inspect the unit regularly. And while this might not seem like an important task to have on your monthly to-do list, it can save you a great deal of time and money by preventing severe water damage to your home.
What You Need To Know About Water Heaters
First of all, water heaters have an industry-standard life expectancy of between 8 and 12 years. And the level of care and maintenance the unit receives will have a lot to do with your water heater being on the low end or the high end of this range. Draining and cleaning a water heater each year is the best way to ensure over a decade of service from almost any brand of water heater.
Second, water heaters can operate using gas or electricity to heat the water. This is important to know in the event of an emergency, such as a leak. You should know how to turn off the power or energy source of the unit for your safety and the safety of others in your home.
Finally, you should also know where the water supply shut off valve is located as well as the drain valve. If you ever notice a leak, be careful because the water will be hot. Shut off the water going into the tank and then connect a hose to the drain valve and empty the tank. This will help to avoid any additional water damage to your home. It will also eliminate the potential of anyone being burned by leaking hot water.
Common Water Heater Leaks
There are a few common locations for leaks in a traditional water heater with a holding tank. These locations include:
- The Drain Valve- It is common for a value to fail or begin to leak. When this occurs, the valve can often be replaced. This saves you a great deal of money as compared to the cost of a new water heater.
- Pipe Leaks- Pipes and fittings carrying water to and from your water heater can also develop leaks. This is also a relatively simple and affordable repair that can be made by a licensed plumber.
- Temperature or Pressure Valve- All water heaters have valves that are designed to monitor and regulate the temperature and pressure inside the holding tank. If one of these valves begins to wear out, you will notice that there is water leaking from it. Never try to adjust or repair these valves until the water supply is turned off, and the tank is drained. You could be seriously injured by the hot water and increased pressure that is building up in the tank. A trained professional plumber can make the repairs for you safely and very affordably.
- Corrosion- If you find a drip or water or a steady stream that is oozing out of the tank, immediately turn off the water supply to the tank and the power source. This issue is due to corrosion and could become very dangerous. As corrosion builds up inside the holding tank, it can compromise the metal and begin to eat a hole in the tank. At any time, the pressure could increase the size of the hole, and hot water could start rushing out. There is no way to repair a hole in a water heater holding tank. The only safe solution is to replace the entire unit.
When You Need Help Fast
Discovering a leak in your water heater is very unsettling. You are worried about the safety of your home, but also the cost of a new water heater. Fortunately, a call to the pros at Flow Plumbing could eliminate all of your worries. Our licensed plumbers are available 24/7 and can repair any leaks at your water heater. Call (214) 388-8838 immediately, and know that we will provide you with fast and affordable solutions.