It is never a good sign to see pooling water around any major appliance in your home. When the standing water is found around your hot water heater, it is even more disconcerting. Standing water suggests a leak, which can lead to serious water damage, making time of the utmost essence.
Continue reading for some tips on how to detect the source of a water heater leak, how to stop the leak on your own, and what to do if you have a more serious water heater leak problem than you originally thought.
Detecting the Origin of a Water Heater Leak
Typically, a puddle of water around your water heater means leakage. Fortunately, there is probably a simple solution for this leak. Before calling your local Indianapolis IN plumbing company, try to put a stop to the leak on your own. The sooner you can do this, the less water damage is likely to occur. Plus, you don’t want higher water and energy bills because of wasted water. You will need to examine where the water is coming from to better gauge the underlying issue.
Is the Leak Coming From Under the Water Heater?
There is a valve located at the bottom of the water heater, called a temperature and pressure relief (T&PR) valve. In most minor water heater leaks, this is the culprit. You see, water heaters only have three connecting lines, the hot water outlet line, the cold water inlet line, and a third water line that is attached to a brass valve with a lever on it. When there is an accumulation of water around the water heater, it usually means the T&PR valve is doing its job. It is a safety mechanism that is designed to relieve the excess water pressure inside the appliance, which prevents water pressure from overheating and causing an explosion.
So, if you see a leak coming from under your hot water heater, it usually suggests that the temperature and pressure relief (T&PR) exceeds the appliance design limitations. Generally, the heat limit is 120 degrees. At this point, the T&PR valve is designed to release this excess water and pressure. It is a sign that your water heater is reaching unsafe temperature levels. If you know how to refute this problem yourself, then do so with this newfound information, otherwise, call a professional plumber to take a look and fix the problem.
Side of Tank Leaks
If you notice that the leak is coming from the side of the water heater tank rather than from beneath it, you may have a shell rupture. In this case, you would need to call a plumber for emergency water heater service to plug the leak and repair the water heater shell.
The Importance of Annual Water Heater Inspections
Once a year, you should test your T&PR valve by simply lifting the lever attached to the third connecting line, as mentioned earlier. Once you release some water by lifting this lever, let go to see if it closes back up and stops the hot water flow. This simple test that only needs performed once a year can greatly reduce the need for repairs and reduce the cost of repair altogether by discovering water heater issues early on.
Is your hot water heater in need of service or repair right now? Contact Weilhammer Plumbing Company at 317-784-1870 for Indianapolis Indiana plumbing services for water heaters, today. We provide residential and commercial plumbing services all throughout Central Indiana.