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July 29, 2020

How to Fix a Leaking Hot Water Heater

how to fix a leaking hot water heater

The hot water heater is one of the most important appliances in your home. What happens when it springs a leak? Can it be fixed, or is it time to replace your hot water heater? The answer depends on the cause of the leak and other factors. In this week’s blog, Gold Star Services explains how to fix a leaking hot water heater or decide whether it is time for replacement.

How to Fix a Leaking Hot Water Heater: Step By Step

Read on for a step by step guide on how to fix your leak!

Step 1: Turn Off the Water

Before attempting to fix your hot water heater, turn off the water to the tank. There should be a gate- or ball-style shutoff valve on the cold inlet pipes. If the valve is broken or not turning, shut off the water to your entire home at the main water shutoff valve. If you can’t locate the valve or are unable to shut off the water for another reason, it’s time to call a professional. Working on the water heater without doing this step is unsafe.

Step 2: Turn Off the Power

You will also need to shut the power off to your hot water heater. For an electric hot water heater, simply shut the power off at the breaker. For a gas water heater, use the dedicated gas shutoff valve located on the gas line leading to the tank. Be sure to consult a professional if you are not sure how to do this safely.

Step 3: Determine the Location of the Leak

How to repair the leak depends on the location and cause of the leak.

  • Check the inlet and outlet (the pipes that connect to your water heater). Look for loose fittings. If you find any, try tightening them with a pipe wrench.
  • Check the pressure relief valve (AKA the T&P valve). This valve may release water if the pressure is too high. Check the thermostat to make sure the heat is not set too high. The recommended temperature is 120 degrees Fahrenheit, although most manufacturers have a default setting of 140 degrees. If the temperature is not set too high, the T&P valve may be faulty. Call a professional to diagnose the problem.
  • Check the water pressure by using a pressure gauge at the hose bib outside your house. The water should not be over 80 PSI. You may need a pressure reducing valve if the pressure is too high.
  • Check the bottom of the water heater. If the tank itself is cracked, it will need replacement and cannot be repaired.
  • Check the drain valve towards the bottom of the tank. It should be closed tightly. If it is still leaking, it may have a worn washer that needs replacement.

Can’t Find the Leak?

Sometimes it can be hard to determine exactly where the water is coming from if it’s pooling on the floor near your hot water heater. If you have checked all the above points and can’t figure out where the leak is coming from, it’s time to call a professional.

Gold Star Services are the Hot Water Heater Experts

Contact Gold Star Services at 1-302-947-8694 for expert hot water heater repairs and replacement. We look forward to fixing your leak and restoring your dry floors and peace of mind!

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