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Water Heater Repair And Leaking: 7 Common Causes

Though it may seem a minor issue, it can turn into a major problem if not handled promptly by a water heater repair technician.

Leaking water heaters are bad news. With over 1,000,000,000,000 gallons of water leaking from American homes, homeowners need to be proactive to avoid excessive water wastage and high water bills. Unfortunately, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety observed that 75 percent of water heaters fail before the 12-year mark. Since water heaters aren’t usually visible, most homeowners easily forget to conduct routine maintenance to prevent significant issues leading to the corrosion of the water tank resulting in a burst or slow leak. Though it may seem a minor issue, it can become a significant problem if not handled promptly by a water heater repair technician. Below are the most common causes of leaking water heaters that homeowners in Vancouver, WA, should be looking for.

The pressure relief valve

Some homeowners may not realize that water heater tanks can explode when water heats up, generating unregulated steam. A typical functioning water heater releases little amounts of water down via the overflow pipe to reduce the internal pressure in the tank. The moment you notice that water is dripping from the stem or temperature and pressure relief valve, the valve may be corroded, broken, or cracked. You only need to contact a water heater repair expert to replace the temperature and pressure relief valve in such a situation. Sometimes even after replacing the temperature and pressure relief valve, the pressure may still be extremely high, causing water heater leakage. We may recommend an expansion tank to rectify such a problem. The expansion tank reduces the internal temperature and ensures the rising water has a place to escape.

The anode rod

This is the most vital part of the water heater. It plays a crucial role in protecting the inside of the water heater tank from corrosion and rust through electrolysis, in which the rod corrodes and collects rust before the inside of the tank. The moment you note that this rod is worn out and needs to be replaced, it’s essential to contact a water heater repair professional to prolong the unit’s life span and avoid any leakages. Homeowners need to understand that there are three types of anode rods available in the market, aluminum, zinc, and magnesium. Aluminum is a perfect choice against hard water, while magnesium is recommended for homes with soft water. On the other hand, zinc rods help lower the odors associated with the sulfur smell from the water.

Heating element gaskets

Problems with the heating element gaskets happen over time. In the long run, water heater tanks age causing the gaskets to become corroded and weak. Eventually, water starts leaking from the tank. The major challenge with gaskets is that they are difficult to reach because they are inside and located under the insulation. Thus you have to hire a water heater repair expert to remove the access panel to get to them. A professional repair expert will use a water heater element wrench to solve such a problem.

The inlet and the outlet

The water source enters the water heater via the cold-water inlet valve in most homes. The heated water leaves the tank through the hot water outlet. Eventually, these inlets and the fittings beneath become worn, creating a not air-tight seal. When inspecting the outlets, a water heater repair specialist will look out for cracks, corrosion, and other deformities. A replacement is usually recommended when both the inlet and the outlet are faulty.

Cold water shut off valve

This problem is commonly seen in old or corroded water heaters. Continuous usage of the cold water shut-off valve and the flow of sediments through it causes the seal around the valve to become worn out and start leaking air. A water heater repair professional will use a wrench and a replacement part to fix the cold water shut-off valve.

The drain valve

When you note signs such as water dripping at the bottom of the water heater or find water puddles on the floor, you should immediately check your drain valve. When homeowners clean and flush their tanks to remove built-up sediments, faulty drain valves may happen. Hence the drain valve may be unable to close due to sediments getting caught in the opening of the valve. Corrosion can also cause your drain valve to leak. In the long run, these valves will rust and break down. The long-lasting solution is to call a water heater repair expert to replace the drain valve.

Leaking from the bottom of the tank

Sometimes homeowners may experience water heaters leaking at the bottom, yet the drain valve is in perfect condition. In such a situation, the problem might be internal. Over time, sediments in the water heater break down the thermal on the inside. Small holes form when the thermal breaks down, and water starts leaking out. When this happens, it’s crucial to get in touch with a water heater repair company to have it entirely replaced.

Bonus Tip

Sometimes homeowners in Vancouver, WA, may notice that their brand new water heaters are leaking. This should not cause any alarm because it’s normal for the new units to leak a little bit at first. This phenomenon is because water heaters remain in storage until they are purchased; therefore, humidity may collect on insulation on the inside, and it’s released once individuals start using the water heater.

Call A Pro

Pilot Plumbing offers top-notch plumbing services in Vancouver, WA, and nearby areas. Our certified plumbers serve residential and multi-family property owners with state-of-the-art services, including faucet and pipe repair, unboxing clogged drains, and treating water to extend its lifespan. We are staffed with skilled and experienced water heater repair experts who address all water heater leaks that may damage your property and the system itself. We are a phone call away.

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