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What To Do if Your Water Heater is Leaking
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Blog 07/20/12

What To Do if Your Water Heater is Leaking

What To Do if Your Water Heater is Leaking

There may come a time where you get ready to turn on the hot water and only frigid, cold water appears and you think, “Is my hot water heater leaking?”  If this occurs, a walk to your water heater is necessary.  Don’t let the lack of hot water go down the drain.  Inspecting your water heater for a leak is good first step.  Use this handy guide on what to do if you find a leak at or near your water heater.


Steps To Take if Your Water Heater is Leaking

A few indicators may present themselves if you notice that your water heater, drain, a hot water outlet, or a nearby pipe are experiencing a leak.  Of course, you may notice that you only receive cold water from your plumbing fixtures.  You may also notice water at the base or around your water heater.  If you find that your hot water heater has sprung a leak, follow these simple steps before you call the San Diego water heater experts at Bill Howe Plumbing:

1.) Shut off the water supply to your water heater – the shut off valve should be on the top of the water heater. By turning off the water supply, you are reducing the source of the leak which will help to reduce further water damage.

2.) Turn off the water heater – turn the black knob on top of the gas control valve (there should be instructions on how to do this directly on your hot water heater, if you have any questions, give Bill Howe Plumbing a call and we will walk you through it).  Turning it off at your circuit breaker may also be necessary.

3.)  Call the certified technicians at Bill Howe Plumbing! We have experts who specialize in gas, electric and tankless water heater repairs and installations.  We can help with any hot water heater concern while still delivering the same high quality and top-notch customer service you have learned to trust over the last 40 years!  We can also help guide you on how to safely and properly drain any gathered water near your hot water heater.

Electric Water Heater Leaks versus Gas Water Heater Leaks

While some water heaters create a huge leak with an excessive amount of water that is clearly noticeable, other leaks may not be so apparent. There are very little differences between an electric water heater leak versus a gas water heater leak.

One sign that you might have a water heater leak is if you don’t have hot water coming through other plumbing fixtures in your home. The leak may have put out the pilot light and stopped the heater from producing any additional hot water. Another sign is if the temperature and pressure relief valve begin to drip or releases a stream of water. It does this because the temperature or pressure of the water has exceeded its safety limits. A plumber should then be called to check the pressure to the house and make the necessary corrections. Another sign of a leak is if the water heater stand is wet or damp. Placing a drain pan underneath your water heater stand is a way to keep water damage at bay before a plumber can come and assess how to best address the problem of your water heater.

Your water heater is insulated and therefore should never release condensation and your stand should be completely dry. And last, but not least, if there is any pooling of water, whether it be hot or cold water, near your water heater, you should have a San Diego water heater expert at Bill Howe Plumbing inspect your water heater immediately. If you do notice condensation or water pooling on or near your water heater, it may not be a leak at from your hot water heater.  If you do notice condensation on your water heater, a call to a plumbing expert is in order.  Because cold water is being supplied to your water heater and the temperature outside of the water heater may be warmer, condensation may occur, although it should not be felt on the outside of your water heater.  Simply wiping down your water heater free of the condensation will help combat this problem in the meantime, but should be addressed by a plumber to ensure that your water heater is functioning properly.


Water Heater Leak Prevention Measures

To keep your water heater leak from getting worse and becoming a problem, follow the easy steps of turning off the water supply to your water heater as well as turning off your water heater should help tremendously.  By doing this, you will help prevent further water damage to the area surrounding your tankless, gas or electric water heater.  If you notice that the area continues to accumulate water, leak detection may be necessary to determine if a nearby pipe has a leak or drain is blocked.

Also, a certified plumber can check your water heater’s anode rod.  The anode rod helps to keep you water heater from rusting.  The anode rod’s sole duty is to corrode and prevent corrosion to the inside of your hot water heater.  Making sure to replace the anode rod in your hot water heater every 4 – 5 years or sooner if you have a water softener system, is crucial in extending your life of your water heater. Replacing the anode rode also helps to prevent a future problem from occurring.

Having a Bill Howe plumber check the temperature pressure relief valve to see if a leak has occurred from the overflow pipe can also help to determine whether an easy water heater repair can occur or preventing a future problem.


Possible Solutions for a Leaking Water Heater

If you notice that your hot water heater has a leak or experiencing any one of the common water heater problems, it may be time to call the experts at Bill Howe Plumbing.  A certified technician can help diagnose the problem and determine if you need a water heater replacement of your gas or electric water heater or a water heater repair can be completed.

To schedule an appointment to receive an estimate to fix a leak, install a water softener, address a drain issue, common water heater problems or to help with a water heater replacement, please contact us at 1-800-BILL-HOWE (1-800-245-5469).


Leave a Reply


  1. Tilo STANLEY


    Thanks for the tips.Are there Industrial type of Water Heathers available ? Possible with a Stainless or Copper Tank.I use three Heaters in my Tryplex and it seems they dont last long.The last one was a General Electric,made in Mexico and purchased at Home Depot.It had a 12 year Guarantie and sprung a leak after four Years.They replaced it with a new one ,but Charged me close to 400 Dollars for the Exchange Work.It seems,they dont make them like they used to.

    • Bill Howe

      All water heaters on the market today are glass lined tanks. Many years ago there were copper tanks but obviously the cost has become outrageous. There are a few alternative choices today with tankless heaters that use a copper heat exchanger and they do make an indirect water heating system that uses a stainless steel tank and an external boiler to heat the water. The tankless heater will cost approximately 2 to 3 times the cost of a normal tank heater for the original installation and the indirect system will cost 6-10 times the cost of a normal tank.

      Yes, you are probably right that the new water heaters are not what they used to be. The best way to extend the life on water heaters is to do some maintenance on a regular basis. The heater should be drained and flushed and the anode rod should be checked and replaced if necessary. – Bill Haws, General Manager

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