What Should I Do If My Water Heater Is Leaking?
I know all about water heater leaks because I’m had my fair share of problems with water heaters. I want you to make a checklist for maintaining your water heater, and I’m going to share some tips for figuring out what is going on if you suspect a leak.
#1: Checking the Heater
The first thing you must do is check on the water heater regularly. I know that my water heater is in an inconvenient place to check on, but I check on it every week. If your water heater is in an inconvenient spot, you need to make yourself go check on it. Checking on the water heater could be the difference between thousands in repairs and a couple hundred to fix a leak.
#2: What If You See Water?
The first time I noticed water around my water heater, I thought it was water that splashed from the car as I drove it into the garage. At the time, the water heater was in the garage. A couple days later, I thought the water could have been condensation from the freezer that was a few feet away. A week later, we were on vacation and the water heater sprung a leak that flooded the garage.
I highly recommend that you check to see if there are wet spots on the tank. Condensation forms on the tank because of its temperature. A leak drips straight onto the floor.
#3: Turn Off The Water Valve
Whenever I see water around the water heater, I turn off the water valve to make sure I don’t have a leak. When the water valve is turned off, the leak will persist because the water inside the tank has nowhere else to go. I prefer to wipe off the tank with a cloth to make sure it is dry. When the tank is dry, I make sure to check for more water. Again, leaks will drip on the floor, but condensation will appear at random and bead on the tank.
#4: Turning Off The Power
You can shut off the power to your water heater to perform the process above, but you must remember to wipe off the tank. When the tank is dry, you can shut off the power and check for further condensation or leaks. For what it’s worth, I do the process once a week just to make sure the heater works properly.
#5: Where Is The Leak Coming From?
I haven’t found a leak since the water heater debacle in our garage, but I would call a professional plumber as soon as I found a leak. Figuring out where the leak is coming from might be helpful for the plumber, but the plumber knows how to handle this just fine. If it were me, I would get a plumber out to the house as fast as possible. In the meantime, you can shut off the water valve to avoid excessive water damage and hang tight.