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3 Causes of Water Heater Leaks & Steps to Shut Off the Water

Troubleshoot Your Water Heater Leak

Leakage from your water heater is typically the first sign of a bigger issue. If you’re experiencing occasional leaks from the top, bottom, or drain valve of your water heater, this is when your water system needs attention the most. Untreated water heaters may result in significant flooding, mold, mildew, property damage, and can spike up in costly repairs.  To help you determine why your water heater is leaking, we have created a list of common causes of leaks and ways to deactivate the water.

Broken Drain Valve

Drain valves are located at the bottom of each water heater tank and drain the system of water so that it performs to the best of its ability. However, with this process, residue collects over time, gradually causing damage to the inside of your tank. If you find water leaking from the bottom of your water heater or from the nozzle, the source of the problem can be a loose or broken drain valve.

If water is leaking from the nozzle of your drain valve, this issue can be fixed with a simple solution that consists of tightening the knob by hand. Over time, the nozzle may get rubbed against something and loosen, causing a water heater leak. However, if the nozzle continues to drip even after you’ve tightened it, your valve is faulty and will need replacement. Call your local plumber right away and get the repair you need.

Leak in Water Heater ServiceMark Blog PostTemperature and Pressure Relief Valve 

The Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve (T&R Valve) is a device that releases pressure if there’s too much inside the tank or if the water is too hot. A discharge tube runs from the valve to the floor, ensuring that any water leaking from the valve goes directly into the drain instead of in the air, preventing water from spraying outward and harming someone. 

If you notice a leak near the bottom of your water heater, perform an inspection of the discharge pipe for liquid. If you find water in the pipe, the problem is your temperature and pressure relief valve, and usually indicates that it’s either broken or has too much pressure. Call a licensed plumber to perform a repair or replacement on the valve.

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Damage to Hot Water Tank

Sometimes a leak stems from an internal issue. If your water heater is leaking, this is a sign of sediment build-up in the hot water tank. Once a water heater reaches the middle of its life cycle, a collection of calcium and magnesium will start to deposit at the base of the water tank. When the build-up of minerals becomes severe, cracks and holes can start to form in your water heater. The only way to fix a water leak that is caused by a damaged tank is to replace the entire hot water heater.

How to Deactivate the Power & Water to a Water Heater

If you are experiencing leakage, whatever the case may be, you should immediately turn off your water and power to the water heater to prevent any further damage. Typically, water heaters have an emergency shutdown procedure, located on the system itself. However, if you aren’t able to locate it, here is what you should do: 

Deactivate the Power

Gas: Find the on/off dial, located on the lower side of the water heater, and turn the dial to off. 

Electric: Go to the breaker and switch the breaker for the water heater to off at the main electrical panel. 

Turn Off Water Supply

Locate the dial on the water supply inlet, which is found at the top of your water heater. Turn off the water supply by turning the dial clockwise or to the closed position.

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Water Heater Repair & Installation Services

For trustworthy and exceptional service, the licensed technicians at ServiceMark are dedicated to keeping your home in good condition. We offer trustworthy water heater repair and replacement services to households in Maryland and Delaware. To schedule an appointment, give our team of contractors a call at (302) 367-7915.  In addition, our team of certified plumbers offers other types of plumbing services such as water line repair, and drain cleaning. Our team works 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure that you always stay comfortable in your home. 

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