The difficulty of fixing a leaking water heater can range from the easiest to very challenging. Typically, most homeowners opt to replace the equipment at the first sign of leaking. However, that’s not always the case. Many potential fixes are relatively simple and not costly. But don’t worry because we’re here to help.
Here are five things to look for when identifying the source of a leak and some fixing tips. Keep reading below.
Leaking at the Water Supply Lines
First, you need to check on the plumbing pipes above the water heater. A drip from above can leak down and settle on top of the water heater. It may even work its way towards the insulation, making it look like the leak coming from the tank.
To check the plumbing pipes above the water heater, you have to use a stepladder. We suggest you pay attention to your water supply lines going into the water heater. It may be rigid pipe connections or flexible supply tubes. The most common cause of leaks above the water heater is the flexible water supply tubes. These tubes quickly fail long before the water heater is ready for replacement. Remove the insulation around the supply tubes so that you can inspect and replace the pipes if needed.
If you need professional help regarding this matter, don’t hesitate to contact your local HVAC expert to handle the job.
Leaking at the Water Heater Nipples
The threads are the thinnest part of the nipple. It’s not unusual to find leaks in them. It can be hard to differentiate from a leak at a supply tube. However, if you already changed the supply tube, and it’s still leaking water, the nipple might be the cause.
You might find difficulty in removing the water heater nipples. You’ll need a pipe wrench and some leverage. That’s why you need to make sure that the water is shut off before repairing.
Leaking at the Temperature and Pressure Relief (T & P) Valve
A leak found in the T & P valve is even more severe as you will want to take the time to figure out the cause. Here are the possible reasons:
- If the valve was removed recently, it might be failing now to seal appropriately. Tightening the valve or reinstalling it with fresh plumber’s tape to wrap the threads might solve the problem.
- If your water heater is overly heating the water, the excessive pressure may make the T & P valve leak. You can lower the temperature or install a water expansion tank if you don’t have one in your plumbing system.
- The leaking T & P valve might be indicating the overall water pressure in your home as too high, and the pressure regulator is not working correctly.
Leaking at the Drain Line
After flushing or draining your water heater, you’ll notice that your drain valve might fail to close completely. It’s common for it to happen. You can cap the drain valve with a hose cap or replace it with a new valve. Before you start with the replacement, shut off the hot water first, and drain the water heater. If it seems hard to handle, you can call your local HVAC expert to help.
A Leak in the Tank
If none of the above showed cause for the leaking, the tank inside the water heater has likely to be broken. This issue is usually a significant leak, not just any small dripping. If your tank has ruptured and it’s leaking, you’ll need to have your water heater replaced.
Are you looking for a trusted plumbing expert in your area? Discount Mechanical Heating & Plumbing is here to provide all your plumbing needs. Contact us online today to set up a schedule with one of our experts!