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Like any other home appliance, your water heater needs constant care and repairs. A burst or leaky heater leads to bigger issues down the road. Even a minor leak can cause disasters on your walls and floors if it goes unnoticed. And let’s not mention the extreme inconvenience of waking up on a chilly morning to find a stagnant water puddle under your heater. Well, the moment you notice it, call experts for water heater repair immediately.
Leaky water heaters can be dangerous for the older homes in San Antonio, TX, as a bursting tank can lead to flooding in your home while damp areas cause mold and mildew growth around the house. Leaving the task to professionals ensures nipping the issue in the bud. In the meanwhile, you can locate the underlying cause that may or may not be apparent.
What Causes Leaky or Bursting Water Heaters?
Before you jump to conclusions and contact a plumber for a repair, ensure that the water puddle under the unit is due to a leakage, not condensation in the pipes or other surrounding appliances. Water heater leakages happen due to some primary reasons. Here, they are:
With time, the unit may wear off to the point where leakages become unavoidable in your water heater. You may not notice, but your unit starts corroding in the unseen areas hidden from your plain sight. Call an experienced plumber to check the signs of rust and assure proper water heater repair before the entire unit crumbles down.
You can find the fittings for the water inlet and outlet at the top of your water heater. If a leak happens at this location, it needs an easy fix by tightening the connections with a pipe wrench. However, if the connecting tubes are corroded, it’s time to replace them. And you need a repair specialist for the task.
Damaged Drain Valves
The water heater valves in most San Antonio, TX, homes are made from brass or composite materials. This valve allows cold water inside the heater, and it sustains wearing in its nuts and washers over time. Luckily, it isn’t a severe problem, and you can fix it by tightening the washers and nuts.
Problems in the Internal Tank
Your water heater’s internal tank is insulated and enclosed inside an external layer. When leakage occurs in this component, none is the wiser, as you can’t even see the source.
The water drips from the heater’s bottom and pools on the floor when the internal tank is deteriorated due to age. In this case, water heater repair may not cut it, and you will need a new unit installed by the professionals.
Broken Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
Every water heater unit has a horizontal lever located at the tank’s top near the water outlet connection. When water heats inside the unit, it expands and releases steam. The temperature and pressure relief valve allows this extra steam to escape the heater to prevent an explosion. So, you see, it’s an indispensable component that needs immediate water heater repair if it starts leaking.
If you suspect this valve at the root of your leaky water heater woes, inspect the T/P valves closely where it enters the water tank. If you find water flowing from the attached tubes even when the valve is closed, it is defective and needs replacement.
In the open position, too, the valve may be relieving excess pressure from the tank, causing leakages. Whatever is the reason, don’t delay calling the pros for a repair before it’s late.
Now that you know a probable cause of leaks, you may entrust water heater repair to specialists. In some cases, repairing the unit may be fruitless, and it may need replacement almost immediately after a massive repair. Determining the right course of action requires proper inspection and evaluation. While you may feel like handling the issue on your own by tightening the valves and connections, it isn’t enough sometimes.
What to Do If the Water Heater Is Leaking
Depending on the type and cause of leaks, you need to repair or replace your water heater without delays. Unless you have professional knowledge and the right tools, things can go south and lead to significant issues. So, when you notice water puddles under your heater, follow these steps:
Step 1: Examine the Heater and Look for the Probable Cause
Whether it’s a drain valve leakage or loose connection, you can find the problem with a close inspection even before calling a water heater repair expert. However, a corroded internal tank is a different issue where plumbers can understand better.
Step 2: Turn the Power Off
After determining the source of the leak, turn the power off in your water heater. You can do so by locating the circuit box of your electric heater and switching off the breaker. Gas water heaters come with an on/off switch on the tank’s exterior.
Step 3: Turn Off the Water Supply
Shut off the cold water supply valve to cut the water supply to the tank. However, you shouldn’t attempt to close this valve if it involves getting in contact with water. In this case, shut off your home’s main water supply line and wait for professionals to arrive for water heater repair.
Step 4: Call the Professionals
The process of fixing the water heater leaks may require flushing out the water. Instead of draining the heater yourself, please wait for the plumber as they have a special vehicle in which they can flush out the contaminated water. Also, the water can be scorching hot and cause injuries if you aren’t careful. So, call your plumber for water heater repair as soon as you notice the leakage.
Local Plumbing Experts at Your Rescue
Water heater repair can be complicated if it has internal leakages. At bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio, we can resolve the issue immediately, whether your water heater needs repair or replacement. You can hire us for preventive maintenance of your unit along with all your other plumbing needs. Call us today at 210-876-1629 to schedule an inspection.