Leaky water heaters could appear to be a huge problem, but they are actually easy to fix.
The first thing to do whenever there is a water leak is to detect its cause and origin.
Your water heater may leak for a number of reasons including:
- Age of water heater
- Excessive pressure on the tank
- Poor maintenance
- Bad plumbing
- Loose drain valve
The Reason for Leaks
Water heaters can begin to leak prematurely if they aren't properly installed. If a drain valve is loose, it may start leaking over a period of time.
However, this is an easy fix as all you need to do is tighten the valve as soon as you observe the leak.
Pressure on the tank over a long time can cause maximum damage to your heater. This can be a result of several problems, such as a bad pressure relief valve or excessive incoming pressure to the heater.
The water heater pressure relief valve could also cause a leak as a result of either excessive water heater pressure or a faulty valve. If the fault is from the valve itself, you can simply replace it following a number of steps.
Water heaters typically last from 10-13 years, and if there is a leak at the tank base within the burner section, then it might be due to age. This happens from years of sediment build-up at the tank base.
DIY Water Heater Fix
If you would like to fix your water heater yourself, you'll need to follow these basic steps:
1. Turn off the water supply and electrical power supply or gas supply to the heater, depending on which type you have.
2. Open the valve beneath the tank close to the floor to drain the water off the tank. It might help to run the draining water to a drain nearby using a garden hose in order not to make a mess.
3. After draining the tank completely, you can detach the water lines and gas line and outlet pipe, for a gas heater, or power cables for an electric heater. The heater unit may be heavier than it looks, so it is advisable to remove it from your house using a dolly.
4. When that is done, have the area cleaned and ready to the new unit. Position the new water heater and begin reconnecting the water lines, the electric or gas supply, and the outlet pipe for a gas water heater.
5. Turn on the power/gas and start to refill the water tank. For a gas heater, it is important for you to light the pilot light. You should also ensure the thermostat is set to your preferred temperature. 120 degrees Fahrenheit is the most common setting.