• Five Reasons (and Fixes) for Hot Water Heater Leaks

    By D. Jason Plumbing |

    Plumber Mississauga

    The hot water heater in your home is one of those comfort items that often is overlooked until there is water leaking, and it needs to be fixed. Some kinds of leaks coming from a hot water heater are easy fixes, while others require more extensive work.

    Below are five common issues that Etobicoke homeowners have experienced with their water heaters, and how to start investigating where your hot water heater leak could be coming from.

    Water Supply Lines

    The very first area you’ll want to check when it comes to a leak in your hot water heater is the supply lines to the water heater. Water supply lines can either be rigid or flexible, there isn’t a right or wrong option when it comes to the supply lines. There is a commonality though: the majority of leaking supply lines happen in flexible lines as they tend to wear out much more quickly than any other part of the water heater. If this is your source of water leak, the good news is that you can replace them yourself pretty easily and don’t necessarily have to call in a professional.

    Water Heater Nipples

    This portion of the water heater is where the cold water comes in and the hot water exits, and it’s another very common source of leaks in hot water heaters. The nipples on the hot water heater attach directly to the supply lines so it can be difficult to differentiate where the issue is coming from. If you’ve already checked the supply lines and they aren’t leaking, then you can check the heater nipples. If this does turn out to be the source of the problem, then this is a little trickier to fix. You’ll need a pipe wrench and some way to get some leverage.

    It’s also very important to make sure the water is completely off before starting this.

    Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

    Sometimes leaks can come from the temperature and pressure relief valve, and this can be a much more serious concern. This valve is in place to ensure that pressure does not build up in your water heater and explode.  For this reason you want to ensure it is always working properly, and to never cap this valve off.

    In this situation, it’s not common for a leak to come from this area, so you will want to further investigate exactly why a leak is coming from this area. There are a few reasons why it could be leaking: recent replacement not sealing properly, if you tested the valve a bit of sediment may have got caught in in the valve, water heater is heating the water too much and excessive pressure is being built up, or the overall water pressure in your home might be too high.

    Given the potential danger of a malfunctioning relief valve, this is an area where you will want to call in a professional plumber, or your water heater rental company, to look at the situation.

    Drain Line

    If you drain or flush your water heater, it is fairly common for the drain valve to not close completely. The valve can be capped off, or you can choose to completely replace the valve. If you choose to replace it, you will have to shut off the water and completely drain the hot water tank before replacing it.

    Leaking Water Heater Tank

    This isn’t something Etobicoke homeowners want to think about, but if you’ve checked out all the other potential sources of leaks and nothing has come of those then it is likely you have a leak in the actual tank. Typically, though, if you have a leaky tank it will not be a small drip but rather a large, major flood. If there is a leak in the tank it cannot be repaired and the whole tank will need to be replaced.

    Should you come across a leaking tank, be aware that this water will be hot enough to burn you. We recommend turning off the water supply to your house and allowing the water around your tank to cool before finding the correct valve that is supplying your tank with water.

    If you rent your water heater, you will need to call your rental company for it to get fixed or replaced. The number should be on the water heater.

    If you own your water heater, you’ll want to call a local plumber, such as D. Jason Plumbing.

    If you have noticed a leak in your hot water heater, contact us today to have one of our plumbers come to your home in Etobicoke, Mississauga, Brampton or Toronto.