Water Heaters

Steps to Take When Fixing a Leaking Water Heater

Steps to Take When Fixing a Leaking Water Heater

If you’ve spotted a leaking water heater or water pooling around it, you should take action right away. Leaks don’t necessarily doom your water heater to the recycle bin, but determining if the leak is repairable or if your water heater should be replaced is paramount. Here are some steps to take when identifying and fixing a leaking water heater.

Fixing a Leaking Water Heater

Any water leak in the home is an important matter to address quickly. Fixing a leaking water heater as soon as the leak is spotted can prevent water and mold damage. It may be a safety factor in some instances.

  • Temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve: The T&P relief valve prevents your water heater from rupturing or exploding in the event too much pressure builds up in your water heater. Fixing a leaky T&P relief valve is a job for a plumbing professional. Do not attempt to cap or plug one yourself.

  • Gaskets: Electric water heaters contain one or two heating elements. These heating elements are threaded into your water heater and sealed with gaskets. If water is leaking from failing gaskets, your entire water heater needs to be drained for the repair.

  • Thermostats: The thermostat of a gas-fired water heater is threaded into the tank. Removing and repairing a leaky thermostat is an intricate job best left to a professional.

  • Piping: Leaks may also occur at the water heater’s inlet and outlet pipes due to corrosion caused by the chemical reaction of steel connections and copper pipes. To repair the leak or prevent further corrosion, replace the short sections of corroded galvanized pipe with dielectric nipples (i.e. plastic-lined pipe).

  • Storage tank: There is one leak that's irreparable. If you see reddish-brown water pooling or running from beneath your water heater, your tank may be rusted and corroded from the inside out. If this is the case, replace the water heater at your earliest convenience.

To learn more about fixing a leaking water heater in your Broken Arrow home, or to schedule an evaluation, please contact Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “studio BM/Shutterstock”