What to Do When Your Hot Water Heater Leaks

Discovering your hot water heater is leaking can be a big worry and an even bigger headache. Major water heater issues always seem to occur at the most inconvenient times. Don’t panic! Brackett Heating, Air & Plumbing is here to offer a few guidelines to help walk you through the steps to manage a leaky water heater

Brackett is a fourth generation company that is dedicated to helping you understand what to do when you have a leaky water heater. Keep reading to learn how to handle this situation effectively.

Recognize the Signs of a Leaky Water Heater

First, it’s crucial to confirm that your hot water heater is actually leaking. Sometimes, what seems like a leak might just be condensation. Check around the base of your heater and the top where pipes connect. If you see water pooling, dripping, or any wetness, you likely have a leak.

You can trust Brackett Heating, Air & Plumbing when your water heater needs repaired or if you need a water heater replacement. Schedule a professional water heater appointment with Brackett today.

Turn Off the Power Supply

For Electric Water Heaters

If you have an electric water heater, safety is key. You need to turn off the electricity to the heater to avoid any accidents. Find your main electrical panel and turn off the breaker labeled for the water heater. Never touch the heater or any electrical panel with wet hands!

For Gas Water Heaters

For homeowners with a gas hot water heater, you will find a dedicated gas shut-off valve near your heater. Turn this valve to the “off” position to stop the flow of gas. Remember, safety comes first, so if you smell gas, leave the area immediately and call for professional help.

Shut Off the Water Supply

Once the power is safely off, shut off the water supply to stop more water from feeding into the tank. You will find a shut-off valve above the water heater. Turn this valve clockwise until it stops. This action will help prevent more water from making the leak worse.

Drain the Tank

It’s a good idea to drain the tank to reduce pressure and limit damage. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of your hot water heater. Place the other end of the hose in an area where it is safe to discharge hot water, like a driveway or storm drain. Open the drain valve to let water out. Be careful—this water might be very hot!

Find the Source of the Leak

After draining, check where the leak is coming from. Common sources of leaks include:

  • The top of the water heater: Pipes and connections can become loose.
  • The tank itself: Over time, the tank can develop cracks or rust.
  • The drain valve: Sometimes, the valve itself can leak.

Knowing where the leak is coming from will help you explain the problem to a professional if needed.

Call a Professional

While the steps provided above can easily be done by some homeowners, others may not feel comfortable with anything DIY when it comes to plumbing or HVAC. Handling a hot water heater leaking issue might be too daunting if you’re not experienced. Once you’ve done what you can, it’s wise to call a professional plumber. Brackett’s highly skilled plumbers can assess the situation for you and make repairs safely.

Clean Up

While waiting for the plumber, it’s wise to start cleaning up the water. This step will help prevent damage to your floors and walls. Use towels, mops, or a wet/dry vacuum to remove as much water as possible.

Prevent Future Leaks

To avoid future issues with your hot water heater:

  • Schedule regular maintenance checks.
  • Keep the area around your heater clean and clear of clutter.

Professional Plumbing at Brackett

A leaky water heater can be a nuisance, but by following these steps, you can manage the situation safely and effectively. Remember, if your hot water heater is leaking, don’t ignore it. Taking quick action can save you from more serious damage to your home. Always prioritize safety.

For quick and reliable plumbing help, contact Brackett Heating, Air & Plumbing for your leaking hot water heater needs. Brackett’s plumbers can eliminate a leaky water heater quickly and efficiently.