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Sweetwater Plumbing Blog

Why Is My Water Heater Leaking?

water-heater-modelIf you have noticed water starting to pool around the base of your storage tank water heater and you’re concerned about it … well, you’re already on the right track! The only place water should be escaping for a hot water tank is a few drips from the temperature and pressure relief valve. Anything else indicates trouble with the water heater. In most cases this will require calling for professional water heater services in Santa Ana, CA or wherever you are in Southern California. Fortunately, you have some of the best professional plumbers available any time of the day or night! Our plumbers are always here to help—because we’re always open for business!

Believe us, a leaking water heater isn’t something you want to ignore. Not only will the operation of your water heater be in jeopardy, but the leaks can also create water damage. (If this is already a problem, we offer water damage restoration services.)

But why is my water heater leaking?

It’s a good question to ask, and the answer will explain whether your water heater needs to be repaired or replaced with a new system entirely. We don’t recommend hunting around for the answer yourself—especially if you use a natural gas water heater. First, schedule work with professional plumbers: they can do the analysis that will find out why you’ve got a leaky water heater.

Here are some of the more common possibilities:

  • Poor soldering during installation: As with any service for a water heater, it takes licensed professionals to handle installation. A frequent problem we encounter with water heaters installed by amateurs is poor soldering on pipe connections. This will eventually lead to leaks at connection points. If the entire installation was done poorly, we may recommend replacing the water heater.
  • Corrosion on the tank: This is one of the most serious causes of leaks. Corrosion weakens metal sometimes to the point where water will start to leak out. Although water heaters are designed to resist corrosion for most of their life, lack of maintenance and age can cause it to happen. A corroded tank usually must be replaced.
  • Spike in water pressure: The water pressure inside a tank can rise for a number of reasons: excess sediment, mixing of hot and cold water at the top of the tank, a broken expansion tank, a malfunctioning aquastat. A rise in pressure can lead to leaks springing up at connection points. This is a good example of why you need professionals on the job: they can determine what is causing the pressure increase and have it fixed.

A Few Steps to Take in the Meantime

You’ve called us for help, and we’ll be there as soon as possible. Until we arrive, take a few steps to prevent further water damage or trouble with the water heater:

  • Turn off the power to the water heater. If it’s electric, shut off its circuit breaker from the electrical panel. If it’s natural gas, shut off the gas valve connected to the system
  • Turn off the water supply to the water heater. Find the inlet pipe at the top of the tank. There should be a lever there. Turn it parallel to the pipe to shut off the water flow.

Sweetwater Plumbing Serves All of Southern California with Residential and Commercial Plumbing!

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