There are 5 reasons why your hot water heater may have sprung a leak.
- Air Pressure
- Drain Valve
- Sediment Buildup
We'll go into more detail on each one of these possibilities but in the meantime - how do you know you even have a leak in your hot water tank?
You won't always easily spot a leaking water heater just by seeing a puddle of water around it. Your tank may be positioned in such a spot that water may be hidden from site.
In these cases you may be able to identify a problem if you experience poor water pressure or perhaps the water from your shower or faucets just isn't getting hot enough. A leak may be the cause.
Okay, so back to the 5 reasons your water heater is leaking.
The majority of hot water heaters are constructed of steel. And, as you may or may not know, steel is mostly iron which tends to rust. Water heaters have a built in safeguard called an anode rod. The rod is screwed into the top of your water heater and protects your water heater from rusting.
Typically, an anode rod lasts about 4 to 5 years. Of course this depends on how much water is being processed through your water heater.
But, like any product, it will wear down or fail.
Just as a side note, if you notice that your hot water has turned a rusty brown color, it may be a sign that your anode rod needs to be replaced. Call the professional plumbers at Atlants Plumbing at 770-505-8570- we can get your hot water heater back up and running.
Typically, a hot water heater will last 8 to 12 years. If you properly maintain it - you may actually be able to double that. But at some point, it will begin to fail due to age (just like everything else) and it may begin to leak and require replacement.
How Do You Know If You Should Replace Your Hot Water Heater?
The top 5 signs that tell you it's time to replace that water heater of yours is:
- Continuous problems with leaking
- Rusty water
- A unit that is older than 8 years
- Trouble getting hot water consistently
- Rumbling noises coming from the water heater
There are 3 reasons why the air pressure in your hot water tank may be excessive (thus causing a leak):
- If the temperature is too high
- If the water coming into your home from the outside is coming in too strong
- The T&P (temperature and pressure) relief valve is faulty
We know from experience that one of the most common reasons for a leaky hot water heater is the drain valve. It can become loose and as a result, begin to slowly leak water.
At times, this can simply be tightened with a wrench, but there are times that it may need to be replaced.
Here in Atlanta, Ga. we are fortunate - we do not have to deal with very hard water in our public water supply. This Water Hardiness Map gives you a clear picture of what parts of the USA deal with very hard water and the problems that come with it.
Hard water has small amounts of minerals and over time, these minerals will settle at the bottom of the water heater's tank building up and blocking the water from accessing the burner which in turn leads to overheating and deterioration and yep - you guessed it - leaking.
Although we don't tend to have those issues here in Atlanta, if your tank is old enough - sediment may be accumulated in your tank.
Water Heater Leaking From The Bottom
If you notice that the leak from your water heater is from the bottom of the heater, the most likely culprit is the drain valve.
As we said earlier in this article - this may be a simple fix by tightening the drain valve but if that does not work then you will want to call a professional plumber to assess and fix the problem.
Water Heater Leaking From The Top
If you notice that the hot water heater is leaking from the top then the problem may be:
- A loose or leaky pipe
- A corroded anode rod
- A problem with the cold water inlet valve
- Or a problem with the tank itself
Normally, fixing leaks that are coming from the top of the tank require less work (and should cost less) but if you are not a handyman type of person, we strongly recommend to call in a plumber to identify and fix the problem(s).
Just an FYI - it's very natural for condensation to form on your water heater tank. It does not mean that there is a leak. So, if you notice that your tank is "sweating", simply wipe it down without worry.
If you have any questions about water heaters call us at 770-505-8570.
We look forward to helping you.
We Offer Water Heater Services in Metro Atlanta and Surrounding Areas
Fulton County, Bartow County, Cobb County, Paulding County, Cherokee County, Gwinnett County, and Douglas County.
Acworth GA, Atlanta GA, Austell GA, Cartersville GA, Doraville GA, Douglasville GA, Hiram GA, Kennesaw GA, Lawrenceville GA, Lithia Springs GA, Loganville GA, Mableton GA, Marietta GA, Powder Springs GA, Rockmart GA, Roswell GA, Smyrna GA, Tucker GA, Villa Rica GA, Vinings GA, Woodstock GA, and Surrounding Communities.