While entering the room in which your water heater is located, you may have found puddles of water underneath the appliance. After looking at both the heater and the pipes, you may have determined that the leak is coming from the water heater itself.
If this is the case, you should contact a plumber instead of trying to fix the issue yourself, as working on a water heater is not typically a do-it-yourself project. While they are examining the appliance, there are a couple of areas that they will check when trying to find the cause of the leak.
1. Valves and Pipe Connections for Loose Connections and/or Bad Gaskets/Seals
One of the first areas that they will check when examining your water heater is the exterior fixtures. These fixtures include the incoming and outgoing pipes as well as any water valves on the outside of the tank, as these are the most vulnerable areas to water leakage.
While examining these fixtures, the plumber will check each connection to make sure that they are still tight. Since there should be no play in the valves or pipes when pressure is placed on them, any movement means that they are loose. The plumber will also make sure that the connections' gaskets and seals are still intact.
2. Temperature and Pressure (T&P) Relief Valve for Signs of Damage
Another thing that the plumber will look closely at when inspecting the water heater is the temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve. The T&P relief valve is different than the other valves since it regulates both internal temperature and pressure of the tank as opposed to controlling water flow.
If the relief valve is damaged, the pressure within the tank may be increasing above the recommended level for your particular appliance. When this happens, water will be forced out of the tank through any opening it can find, which will cause leaks.
While a leaking water heater can be caused by other issues, bad connections, gaskets, and/or seals and a failing T&P relief valve are common causes and are also rather simple for the plumber to find and fix. If one of these is not the cause of the leaking, other potential problems include damage to the tank, loose bolts, or even overheating of the heater. While the plumber is completing the water heater repair in your house, you can ask them for specifics about the cause of the leaks as well as what will need to be done to fix it.
Contact a local water heater system repair contractor to learn more.