What To Do When Your Hot Water Tank is Leaking

Water underneath a hot water tank shows the beginning of a leak, also shown by the signs of rust around the bottom rim, with selective focus on the water coming out, and dirty hoses with internal residue blurred in the foreground

When you confront a leaking hot water tank at the most unfortunate time, panic starts to take over you. Chances are, you would be resorting to ways that may do more harm than good. A leaking hot water tank is not uncommon. We usually deal with this kind of issue, so it’s best to prepare to address the leaking problem with ease.

In this article, we discuss what you can do when your hot water tank is leaking. From searching where the leak is coming from to exercising the best practices for hot water tank maintenance, we have covered the things you need to know about what to do when your hot water tank is leaking.

Understand the reasons why your water heater is leaking

To resolve the issue, you need to understand what makes your water heater leak in the first place. There are reasons why your hot water tank is leaking, and each issue corresponds to its respective solutions. Here are some reasons why there is leaking in the first place: 

Old and aging

Just like any other heating system, hot water tanks are susceptible to aging. And one of the many signs of aging is leaking. So, if your hot water tank is beyond its shelf life, the leaking might be caused by its aging. 

Close up of an old leaking hot water tank that needs to be replaced

Improper installation

If you don’t install your hot water tank properly, leaking is inevitable. So, in every hot water tank installation, make sure professionals do it. Otherwise, the leaking may pose even greater problems in the long run. 

Too much pressure

Like any plumbing system, hot water tanks deal with varying water pressure. Pressure occurs in water heaters because steam creates hot water, and steam fills the space. When this steam flows uncontrollably, the pressure becomes too much to handle. Water leaks through any crack in the tank to relieve some of the pressure. Consequently, when water enters the system at high pressures, the heater pressure increases. And too much pressure creates leaking. 

Damaged storage tank

You use water tanks to store the water needed for daily use. Over time, when the water becomes hot, it expands, putting stress on the storage tank and causing small cracks. So if interior material makes up the storage tank, it may easily cause leaking. 

Sediment collection

As earlier mentioned, hot water tanks are investments for the long term. However, keep in mind that they collect sediment at the bottom of the tank. If you regularly clean the water out of the tank, you will rarely experience this issue. But, for those who don’t, sediment builds until cracks form from the bottom up. These cracks then allow water to leak through. If you don’t want to spend on expensive tank repairs, make sure to clean the tank as needed. 

Search for a leak

You can search for a leak by checking where pipes connect to your water heater. These pipes are often the sources of leaks. Also, check the cold water intake and hot water output connections. Make sure that the fittings are tight as they may also be an avenue for leaking. When you finally find where the leaking source is, you can assess which best solution will work. For complex water heating leaking, make sure to contact a team of professional plumbers to help you out. 

Shut off the gas valve or electricity

If you have a gas-powered water heater that is leaking,  we recommend that you shut off the gas supply before working on fixing it. There should be a dedicated gas shut-off valve leading to the tank, like any other tank fixture. In the same vein, shut off the power at the breaker before working with the tank if you have an electric water heater. The key here is to avoid further damage by shutting off the main energy supply for a much safer working condition. 

Plumber repairing a hot water tank, shutting off the valve

Shut the water supply off

When you notice leaking from your hot water tank, we recommend turning off the water supply to your tank. You can do so by turning shut-off valves located above the water heater.

  • If you have a gate-style valve,  turn the valve clockwise as far as you can until the water supply is completely off.
  • If you have a ball-style valve, turn the handle 180 degrees to turn it off

The need for hot water tank maintenance

Leak identification is important to resolve the issue efficiently. Hot water tank maintenance is generally easy, such as regular cleaning. Also, the faster homeowners identify a leak, the less likely they are to experience damage costs from water damage. With preventative measures and maintenance, homeowners don’t experience leaks most of the time. After all, you can prevent most water heater leaks by way of proper care. Of course, some leaks are unpreventable and complex for most homeowners to resolve. So, it would help if you left this to the professionals. Hot water is crucial for running for your home and keeping your family members comfortable. When the leaking is beyond your control, Midcity Plumbers is here to help! The team is composed of experts in hot water tank repair services. We can provide maintenance on an existing water heater or provide new installation when replacements are needed.

Is your hot water tank leaking? Are you struggling with how to disconnect the hot water tank? We can help you determine the issues!  Our plumbing experts offer a wide variety of plumbing services to all customers in Burnaby and the surrounding areas. We cover all your plumbing needs, from leaks, clogs to water heaters. If you also need emergency services for your leaking hot water system, give us a call on 📞 (778)-772-8676 today, and we are more than happy to help you deal with the problem in no time!

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