How to fix a leaking water heater

Who doesn’t love a nice warm shower at the end of the day? You work hard every day, so does your water heater. Water heaters are often some of the most overlooked appliances in our home. Sometimes we forget to perform regular maintenance, handle leaks, and more. When it comes to your home’s water heater, though, it’s critical to deal with these issues before they cause catastrophe. What may seem like an inconvenience now can turn into a problem quickly. In today’s post, we’re going to tell you how to fix a leaking water heater. We’ll also cover the basics of water heater maintenance and how to prevent future leaking and issues. 


Getting Started On How To Fix A Leaking Water Heater

Water heaters leak for many reasons. Some of the most common causes are corrosion, faulty joints, and aged systems. First, let’s see what you’ll need to fix the problem. 

Before you do anything, though, make sure the power to the unit is off. Then, you’ll want to cut off the water supply to the heater. Now, let’s talk about where to look for leaks. 


Check The Water Pressure

One of the most common causes of water heater leaks is incorrect water pressure. The cold water supply may be the culprit when it comes to leaking. If the pressure is too high, this puts unnecessary stress on the (TPR) temperature/pressure relief valve. Proper home water pressure is around 50 to 70 PSI. If your water pressure is higher than that, you need to have it adjusted by your city water provider. The best way to measure the pressure is with a water pressure gauge. All you have to do is screw it onto an outside spigot and turn the valve on full blast. 


Adjust The Water Temperature 

Water heater pressure changes based on two key factors—temperature and water pressure. If the water in your heater reaches a dangerous pressure level, the TPR valve opens up to relieve the pressure. You’ll find this valve near the drainpipe on the side of the heater. If you notice a leak coming from the pipe or near the valve, it’s time to adjust the water temperature. 

The average water heater temperature is around 140ºF. Anything higher isn’t safe. The Department of Energy suggests a temperature of 120ºF is adequate. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, that temperature prevents scalding. Second, it relieves pressure on the system and TPR valve. So, if your water heater is set on high or more than 120ºF, turn it down to medium or 120ºF. 


Replace The Drain Valve

If you notice water around the drain valve, replace it. Before you replace this valve, you need to drain the tank. To do this, you attach a hose to the valve. Then, locate the screw that opens and closes the drain valve. Once the tank empties, grab a wrench, and replace the valve. 


Preventing Future Leaks 

Moving forward, the best way to prevent leaks is to maintain the system. You should drain and rinse out your heater every year. Mark the calendar, and don’t forget! All you need to do is empty the tank, turn the cold water supply on, and continue draining until water runs clear. Finally, the best thing you can do to prevent terrible leaking is to use a leak detector. The leak detector will be on the floor and alert you any time there’s water on the floor or nearby.


Call The Pros

So, now you know how to fix a leaking water heater. If you still need help with your water heater or want to replace it, give Drain Express a call. We’re drain cleaning experts here to help you with anything you need.