young-boy-with-duck-in-bath-tubA soggy floor or flooded basement is the last thing homeowners want to find.

Water heater leaks cause expensive home damage, hike up your water bills, and take away your nice warm morning showers. Not to mention they can give you a swimming pool instead of a rec room!

If your hot water heater is leaking, it’s important to know why – and what you should do about it.

If You Suspect a Leak, Turn off the Water to Your Tank

This is crucial: if you see water around your hot water tank, close off the water supply valve leading to the tank (it should be labelled “cold” somewhere on top of the tank). Otherwise, you could experience a lot of costly, messy water damage.

Now: where’s that leak coming from?

1. There’s Condensation on Your Tank

Sometimes a leak isn’t actually a leak. If the temperature of your tank is too high or there’s damage to the tanks insulation, condensation can form on the outside. This is most common in older tanks.

As gravity works its magic, it can look like your hot water tank is leaking. To test this theory, keep your tank turned off for several hours. If the ‘leak’ stops, you should adjust the temperature on your tank before turning it back on.

2. There’s Buildup in Your Tank, Causing Corrosion

One of the most common reasons a hot water tank leaks is because of corrosion.

Water naturally contains a lot of minerals. While not harmful to us, these minerals can build up over time. In large enough quantities, these minerals will slowly start to cause corrosion in your tank.

Eventually, you’ll get some tiny leaks. The force of the water in the tank will make the leaks bigger and bigger. If not caught quickly, these leaks will become a flood.

If this is the cause of your leak, we have several water tanks available for replacements.

To prevent this problem in the future, we recommend flushing out your water heater at least once a year. This will not only wash away sediment buildup, but it will help increase the lifespan of your water heater.

3. Your Drain Valve Isn’t Fully Closed, or It Needs to Be Replaced

Speaking of flushing out your tank: your drain valve could be the cause of your hot water tank leaking.

Much like a tap, a drain valve will drip steadily if it is the source of the leak. And like a tap, the first thing you should do is make sure it is fully closed.

If that fixes the problem, fantastic!

If it doesn’t, that’s not so fantastic – but it’s still a pretty simple fix. Have us come and take a look at it. We’ll provide a quote for the replacement part and service.

4. Your Pressure Release Valve Needs to Be Replaced

The pressure release valve is the main culprit if your hot water heater is leaking from the top.

You may at first think the leak is coming from the bottom – but look again. Pressure valves have a discharge tube that redirects the water down, so jets of water aren’t spitting out the top.

A lot of the times, it’s just a simple case of a broken valve that needs to be replaced. But sometimes, it’s a little more complicated.

When your water heater temperature gets too high, the pressure builds. Then the valve will help release it by letting out water, keeping your water tank from exploding. In this case, the pressure release valve is just doing its job.

The best way to make sure everything is safe is to immediately turn off your water heater and have us perform a professional inspection.

Tankless Water Heaters Are Much Less Likely to Leak

Leaks are so incredibly frustrating. It’s one of the reasons more and more homeowners are choosing to go with tankless water heaters.

Among their many, many benefits, tankless water heaters come with an emergency shut off valve if something goes wrong. You don’t have to spend time inspecting for leaks or worrying that something will happen while you’re on vacation.

You also won’t spend tons of money keeping water warm until you need it. Those are savings you can spend on other, more fun things.

Talk to Husky About Going Tankless

If your water heater is ready to be replaced, talk to Husky Heating and Cooling about going tankless.

We can walk you through your options, and perform a clean and efficient installation. You can have faith that your tankless water heater will give you hot water when – and where – you want it.
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