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My Water Heater is Leaking. Now What?

You walk past your water heater and see a puddle of water and you think to yourself, “No, not the water heater.” There are several reasons why your water heater can be leaking and then there is the decision to either try to repair it or replace it. This minor leak can turn into a significant problem which can lead to floor and dry-wall damage so it should be handled quickly.

§ Age of the Water Heater

The average life span of a water heater ranges from 8-12 years. They consistently hold 30+ gallons of water and are constantly working and after time sediment starts building up in the bottom of the tank. This will eventually cause corrosion on the bottom of the tank which will end up causing your heater to leak. If this happens your only option is to replace your water heater.


§ Drain Valve

If you have water dripping towards the bottom of the water heater this could be a loose or faulty drain valve. This is one of the most common reasons why a water heater may be leaking and to repair this issue, simply tighten screw on top of the valve and that should solve the problem. If it continues to leak after tightening the drain then the entire valve may need to be replaced. You would need to drain your water heater then replace the drain valve with a new one.


§ Cold and Hot Water Inlet and Outlet Connections

These connections are usually located at the top of your water heater. If there is water leaking from fittings you may be able to minimally tighten the connections with a wrench to stop the leak. If it continues to leak after tightening the connection you may have to replace your water heater or call a licensed plumber to repair the connections.


§ T & P Valve (temperature & pressure)

The T&P valve monitors the water temperature and pressure within the tank of the water heater. If you have leakage at your T&P valve or water running down the side of the tank, this could be an indicator that there is too much pressure in the tank or the water is becoming too hot. It also may be a faulty valve that will need to be replaced. If the T&P valve is leaking on your water heater it needs to be addressed as soon as possible due to the fact that it is a safety mechanism.


Routine maintenance and tune ups will extend the life of your current water heater and may prevent an unwanted flood in your home. If any of the scenarios above are happening to you and you are not able to fix them, please call us at 239-673-0640 or visit our website at www.plumbingrehab.com to schedule a water heater service or tune up.

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