Why Is My Water Heater Leaking

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water heater leakingIf you walk downstairs to your basement and notice a pool of water underneath your water heater, it’s time to take a closer look. A leaking water heater is a problem that should be handled immediately, as the consequences can be long-term and severe. The good news is that a licensed plumber can fix the problem quickly so you don’t risk damaging your floors, walls, and furniture. Below are some possible reasons why your water heater leaks and what to do about them. 

What to Do If the Water Heater Is Leaking

The causes of water heater leaks depend on several factors. Most of the time, the problem is small and can be fixed by the homeowner. However, other issues are more severe and require the assistance of a professional plumber. Generally, it’s good practice to contact a plumber when you notice any signs of leaking so they can correctly diagnose the issue. Here’s what to do if your water heater is leaking and the most common reasons: 

Old Water Tank

Just like your HVAC system or any other household appliance, your water heater will eventually wear out and require replacement. If you’ve had the same water heater since you moved into your home, it could be time for an upgrade. Typically, the average lifespan of a traditional water heater is 10 to 12 years. A tankless heater can last 20 years or longer. 

Drain Valve Is Loose

The drain valve is a crucial component of your water heater that you use to empty or clean the tank. Over time, this piece can loosen, allowing water to leak from its base. Sometimes, a simple tightening will do the trick, but if the valve is loose at the bottom, you must replace it.

Too Much Pressure

Your water heater naturally creates pressure as it increases the water’s temperature, creating steam and filling the empty space. When the steam has nowhere to go, the pressure can build up and cause the tank to leak through any cracks that are present. 

Malfunctioning Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

The temperature and pressure relief valve also called the T&P valve, helps regulate pressure inside the tank. When it malfunctions, the pressure inside the tank can increase, causing leaks. In some cases, the valve could be loose and just require tightening. In extreme cases, it could be broken and need replacement. 

Sediment Collection

As your water heater ages, it collects sediment inside the bottom of the tank. If you regularly maintain your heater, you will rarely experience this issue. However, if you neglect routine water heater maintenance, the sediment will build up and cause your tank to crack. These cracks allow water to leak through. Once this happens, all you can do is replace the tank entirely.  

Leaking Water Heater Service by Fosh Plumbing & Heating Inc.

At Fosh Plumbing & Heating Inc., we service and maintain various makes, models, and types of water heaters for residential and commercial properties. To keep your water heater running efficiently, professionally servicing it at least once a year is ideal. When your water heater is maintained correctly, it can save you time and money and prevent future problems from arising. Our expert technicians will inspect your water heater and perform the necessary tests and checks to ensure your heater is operating at peak performance. Is your water heater leaking? Our trained professionals are prepared to repair, replace, or maintain it. Call us at (610) 496-5700 for fast, reliable service.