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Ken Neyer Plumbing, Inc. Blog

All You Need to Know About Leaking Water Heaters


You probably don’t need professionals to tell you that a leaking water heater is bad news. Leaks are bad news for just about any appliance! However, people often don’t know what to look for when it comes to leaks in their water heaters, how they may start, or what to do about them. Our professionals have a long history of installing and repairing water heaters in Erlanger, KY, and we’d like to give you a short rundown on what you need to know about water heater leaks.

Watch out for false leaking signs

This is something important to know about water heaters—they can be tricky when it comes to creating the illusion that they’re leaking. The first time you see a puddle of water near where the water heater is, don’t panic right away. This could be the result of condensation on the outside of the water heater. Mop up the puddle, then keep checking every day to see if any water comes back. If a few days go by and nothing happens, you’re probably in good shape.

You may also see water dripping out of a valve on the water heater. This is normal: it’s the pressure relief valve and occasionally allows water to escape from it.

Dealing with an actual leak

If the water puddle returns, then you almost certainly have an actual water heater leak. You can also look for a rise in your heating bills since the loss of water from the tank will force the water heater to run longer.

As soon as you think you’ve got a leaky water heater, shut off the water heater and the water to it. There is a shut-off valve for the water entering the water heater at the top of the tank. These steps are important because scalding hot water may escape from the tank through the leak.

Now that the water heater is secure, call for a professional plumber to investigate the problem and find a solution.

Possible sources of the leak

Why is the water heater leaking in the first place? There are several possible culprits. The worst-case-scenario is corrosion or other damage to the tank itself, most likely due to excessive age. In this situation, the only repair that will work is to replace the entire water heater. However, it’s probably overdue for this service anyway.

Smaller problems include loose fittings, poor soldering on connections (a common mistake with amateur installers), broken temperature and pressure valves allowing water pressure to spike too high, and a broken drain valve. A technician can narrow down what needs to be repaired so they can do the job and get your water heater back to work.

Never DIY a Water Heater Repair!

You don’t want to mess around with attempting to repair a water heater on your own, especially not a gas-powered one, which is the most common. Leave the task to the experienced and properly equipped professionals at Ken Neyer. We have 24-hour emergency service for whenever you need us.

Repair your leaking water heater with just a call! Ken Neyer Plumbing, Inc. has served Greater Cincinnati and the surrounding Tri-State area since 1972.

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