Imagine that you come home from a wonderful evening with your family or significant other and you’re greeted by a puddle under your water heater. Although a leaking water heater is certainly not the end of the world, it instills dread into even the most intrepid home owner. First, ask a couple of questions before you panic. Where is the leak coming from? Is the leak coming from the plumbing leading up to the water heater or is it coming from the bottom of the water heater itself? These questions are absolutely crucial in determining what course of action is needed for your leaking water heater.
- The leaking water heater is coming from the plumbing: That’s good news. Plumbing can be fixed. For instance, sometimes the flex-line leading into the water heater get worn or cracked. That’s easy, just replace them. Sometimes solid copper lines may do the trick. Look for other signs of leaking plumbing around the water heater.
- Check the safety valve: Sometimes a safety valve on the water heater may be leaking. If that is the case, it’s no big deal. A safety valve can be fixed.
- The leak comes from under the water heater: That’s not good. If the leaking water heater is releasing water from the bottom itself then that’s a problem. You need a new water heater. The bottom has probably rusted through. It’s not a matter of if you need a new water heater; it’s a matter of how soon. The leak will progress rather quickly. Most emergency service plumbing companies offer same day installation if you’re not sure of how to put in a water heater yourself.
If the water heater itself is leaking, check the warranty on the old water heater. If it’s still under warranty will the manufacturer cover the installation or any damage caused by the leaking water heater? The most important thing to remember is that a leaking water heater is not the end of the world, only a minor setback.