A leaky water heater needs to be fixed as soon as possible or the water might damage the floor or lead to mold and bugs. Several factors can cause a hot water tank to leak. Some are serious while others only need minor fixes. A leak on the top of the heater is often a better situation than a leak on the bottom of the tank. Here's a look at what could be causing a water leak on top of your water heater and repairs that might be needed.
If the tank has rust holes that allow water to drip from the tank, the solution is usually to replace the entire tank. Rust holes are common on the bottom of the tank, and when they develop, you may see water that's pooling on the floor under the tank. A water puddle on top of the tank is less likely to be caused by rust, but if it is, your plumber will probably recommend getting a new tank before the rust spreads.
Loose Plumbing Connections
A likely cause of water dripping near the top of your water tank is a loose plumbing connection. Dry the top of the tank and then feel along the cold water pipe for water. If the leak is a slow drip, it may be difficult to see, so instead, run your hand along the pipe to feel for wetness after you've dried the pipe. However, before you attempt to work on your water heater, be sure to turn the power off to the unit. If you're uncomfortable with checking the pipes, then call a plumber for help. If a loose connection is the problem, then tightening it should stop the leak.
Leaky Pressure Relief Valve
The pressure relief valve is a safety mechanism that vents high pressure, so you want to repair a faulty valve right away. A leak can develop from worn parts or because sediment from the water gets stuck in the valve. A leak could also indicate the valve is doing what it's supposed to be doing, and in that case, you'll need a plumber to figure out why the pressure is too high in your heater and fix the problem. If the valve is just bad, then replacing it should put an end to the leak.
When your hot water heater is leaking, it's good to call a plumber to repair the problem in case the leak is caused by a malfunction. You don't want the leak to go on too long or you might have to repair water damage or the water could get into the electrical parts of the heater and cause even more damage. Plus, you don't want to risk your heater failing and forcing you to take cold showers and be without hot water until you can have repairs done. Instead, call a plumber when you first notice the leak so repairs can be done promptly.
Learn more about water heater repair today from a company like Arnold & Sons Plumbing, Sewer & Drain Services.