Are you seeing water around your hot water heater? It is possible that your hot water heater has a leak, but equally possible that the water heater is not the culprit! It could be a nearby pipe or appliance that’s to blame. If you’re in doubt about whether to make a call about water heater repair to your friendly neighborhood plumber in Brookhaven, GA, it’s worth inspecting your water heater in as much detail as you can beforehand.
To reduce risk, you can easily clean up the water from a small leak by yourself. However, this small leak still requires investigation by a professional to stop it from turning into a major expense. That small trickle of water you easily cleaned up could turn into a flood that damages floors, sub-floors, and drywall. Additionally, water heaters damaged by a major flood event are rarely salvageable, so you’ll also need to factor in the cost of a new unit as part of your water heater repair expenses.
You should inspect your water heater on a regular basis for signs of malfunction, such as pooling water, rust, and poor heat performance. Most people are aware that a leaking water heater is a bad sign. A small leak can quickly become a major problem, so it’s best to chat to a professional, and quickly!
To help your plumber understand which component to replace during a repair callout, an inspection will be needed first. A qualified plumber can quickly assess if the leak can be fixed during the initial water heater repair call or if you’ll need more complex repairs.
No matter what the findings may be, it is a good idea to contact a licensed plumber immediately to examine the problem and fix or replace the water heater as necessary. To determine the source of the leak and its severity, a plumber will typically inspect these two key areas first:
- The drain valve is the first thing a plumber should inspect. The valve is located at the bottom of the tank, and is responsible for the drainage of sediment from your water heater. Not only does it remove debris, but it filters out calcium and other mineral sediments. The good news is that drain valve replacement is a simple water heater repair task that’s relatively inexpensive.
- If the drain valve is not at fault, the plumber will likely next inspect the tank itself. The most common area of the tank that leaks is the bottom. The most likely scenario is that sediment has built-up and corroded your tank. This is a more severe issue that typically involves a full water heater replacement.
These are not the only causes of water heater leaks in Brookhaven, GA. Here are the top four possible causes of water heater leakage to look out for.
1. The Cold and Hot Water Outlet and Inlet Connections
This is an easy area to fix if you suspect this is the source of your leak. Loose connections to inlet and outlet pipes can be tightened during a water heater repair service. Only simple tools are required. Occasionally, your plumber may want to replace seals or recommend extra protection to prevent leaks.
2. The Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
A water heater’s temperature and pressure relief valve is an integral component for safe operation. It monitors the water temperature and pressure in the tank. It’s designed to let you know if there’s too much water or if the water is at an unsafe temperature. Naturally, if it’s not working correctly, this is worrying!
You will likely see water flowing down your tank’s side if the valve is causing the leak. This could indicate that your valve is damaged and you need to book water heater repair ASAP. It could also be a sign that the valve is not configured to open and close correctly. An experienced plumber can diagnose which of these situations is the cause of the leak and remediate accordingly.
3. The Heater Drain Valve
The drain valve, as mentioned above, is a fairly common issue that can be repaired swiftly by an experienced plumber. It is crucial to re-seal the drain valve if water is leaking from it. Alternatively, it’s possible to have the entire valve replaced if it continues to leak.
4. The Water Tank
The most common reason for a leaking water heater is a corroded water tank. As we discussed earlier, if sediment builds up in a water tank then it will eventually corrode and leak. Flushing the water tank on an annual basis as part of regular maintenance can help to reduce the likelihood of this water heater repair scenario.
No water heater is designed to last forever, and most eventually succumb to corrosion or other irreparable issues. One key indicator that your water heater is leaking or malfunctioning, even if you don’t have the skills to isolate the cause, is if you suddenly notice high utility bills.
Broken or damaged water heaters can cause electricity bills to rise because they require more effort to heat the water. Leaks can also cause higher water bills and wasted water. Your repair bill can also increase if you don’t request a professional water heater repair as soon as you notice the leak, as water leaks can be quite unpredictable and scale quickly.
Despite leaks often being an alarming issue, you don’t have to be worried by every drop of water that you see around your water heater. Condensation is a natural side effect of the humidity difference and changes in temperature between the heated water and the exterior of the unit.
For a professional opinion on whether you need a water heater repair service in Brookhaven, GA, give Peach Plumbing & Drain a call. We’re a locally owned and operated family business that offers upfront pricing, reliable services, and a 5-star reputation you can trust. Our plumbers are available 24/7/365 and have 72 years’ of experience!