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What to Do if Your Water Heater Starts to Leak

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A leaking water heater can be a homeowner's worst nightmare, causing damage to floors, walls, and belongings. But don't panic! In this blog post, we will discuss the steps you should take if your water heater starts to leak. By following these tips, you can minimize the damage and get your water heater back up and running in no time.

Turn off the water supply

If you detect a leak in your water heater, the initial step is to shut off the water supply. Locate the shut-off valve on the cold water pipe linked to the heater and turn it clockwise to stop the water flow. This action will mitigate additional damage and potential flooding in your home.

Drain the water heater

Once you've shut off the water supply, remember to drain the water heater to avoid any potential leaks from leftover water. Connect a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater and run the other end to a nearby drain or outside. Open the valve and allow the water to drain completely. Be sure to wear gloves and exercise caution, as the water may be hot.

Identify the source of the leak

After draining the water heater, meticulously examine the unit to pinpoint the source of the leak. Common sources of leaks include the pressure relief valve, the drain valve, or the tank itself. If you are unable to identify the source of the leak, it may be time to call a professional plumber for help.

Repair or replace the water heater

Depending on the severity of the leak and the age of your water heater, you may need to repair or replace the unit. Minor leaks can typically be remedied by replacing a faulty valve or tightening a connection. Yet, if the tank is the source of the leak, it might be time to consider a new water heater. Consulting a plumber can help determine the best course of action.

Take preventative measures

Once your water heater is back in working order, take steps to prevent future leaks. Regular maintenance, such as flushing the tank and checking for signs of corrosion, can help extend the life of your water heater and prevent leaks from occurring. Consider installing a leak detection device or a drip pan under the water heater for added protection.

Dealing with a leaking water heater can be a stressful experience, but by following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can handle the situation effectively and minimize the damage to your home. Remember to turn off the water supply, drain the water heater, identify the source of the leak, repair or replace the unit as needed, and take preventative measures to avoid future leaks.

Reach out to a local plumber to learn more about water heaters.