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Help! My Water Heater Is Leaking

A modern home without access to hot water could barely even be considered functional. We use hot water for nearly everything—from cooking, to cleaning and personal hygiene. So when your water heater starts leaking, you know you’ve got a real problem. A problem that needs a fast, effective solution. But what even causes a water heater to leak? The team at HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited comes to you today with the leading causes, and what you might do to avoid them!

What Causes a Water Heater Leak?

While you might just assume there’s a hole somewhere that you can’t see, there are actually a lot of possible causes for water heater leaks. This is part of why enlisting the help of a trusted plumbing professional comes so highly recommended! But as far as identifying the issue, there are some troubles to keep an eye out for:

  • Water tank leaks. Easily the most common problem we encounter, tank leaks are generally due to failing components in the tank, sediment buildup, or an accumulation of rust. This tends to happen when your heater is simply too old, or hasn’t been looked after by a professional who understands hot water heater maintenance.
  • Pressure-relief valve leaks. Your pressure-relief valve is designed to release water from your hot water heater’s tank when the pressure or temperature in your tank exceeds safe norms. This setup is that valve system located on the top of your tank with a pipe directed at the floor running down the side. If you’re noticing a leak, check the pipe that is designed to drain water to the floor. If it is damp, you probably have a pressure or temp problem. If the valve itself and not the pipe is wet, then the valve may be damaged.
  • Drain valve leaks. Every water heater is equipped with a drain valve. It is most commonly located on the side of your heater, somewhat close to the floor. Much like the pressure-release valve, it is possible that it may begin to leak when not working properly. This happens most commonly when the seal on the drain valve has been compromised, or when it hasn’t been adequately tightened.
  • Gas water heater leaks. Gas water heaters have a unique potential leak source in the flue vent. The flue vent may occasionally become clogged or blocked, which through the elevated temperature of your water heater will produce excess condensation that may begin to leak onto the floor. You can attempt to alleviate the blockage on your own, but it is wise to consult a water heater repair professional if either you aren’t confident, or if the problem persists.
  • Condensation. Your issue may also be plain old condensation. When the weather begins to cool down like it is right now, the water coming into your tank is pretty chilly. The process of heating that cold water can often result in condensation, which will drip off of your water heater as it accumulates. This problem isn’t much of an issue, and will generally quickly resolve itself as the water heater adapts.

Northern Virginia Water Heater Repairs

If you note something amiss with your water heater, know that the experts at HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited are on standby at all hours, ready and more than glad to assist you. We’ve built our reputation on honest business and excellent service, and guarantee satisfaction on every job we handle. Contact us today to learn more about our water heater repair, or any of our other services!

HVAC Unlimited Inc.
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