On average, a traditional water heater has a life expectancy of between 8-12 years. But that estimate is based on the assumption that the unit is receiving proper care. That includes draining and flushing the tank at least once every 12 months or more in regions with mineral-rich water. But even with the best care and professional service, you could experience a leak before that decade mark. And knowing how to handle this annoying and often stressful event can help save you some money and worry.
In many cases, homeowners only notice a water heater leak when there is a puddle of water on the floor. And to be honest, inspecting the water heater regularly is not on most people’s weekly to-do list. But it is not a bad thing to add to a monthly or quarterly chore list. It only takes a minute or two and can save you the trouble and expense of water damage and an annoyingly cold shower.
But if you are waiting for a puddle on the floor before taking a look at the water heater, that is also an option. First, turn off the power to the water heater. Gas water heaters have a knob with three settings. Turn the knob to off. For an electric water heater, turn off the breaker for the water heater. It should e on a dedicated circuit and clearly marked for just such occasions.
Locate The Issue
Next, examine the water heater to locate the leak. It could be at a fitting on the water lines, at a valve, or even at the drain. But hopefully, the water is not seeping out of the side of the holding tank. A licensed plumber can repair any leak in a water line or fitting, a valve, or a drain. However, when the holding tank’s wall is compromised by corrosion and rust, it is time for a new water heater, no matter how old the unit might be.
Shut Off The Water Supply
Once you have located the leak, it is time to shut off the water flowing to the water heater. There is a valve on the cold water line running to the water heater. Turn the valve to the right until it is closed completely. If the leak is substantial, you will want to connect a hose to the drain valve on the bottom of the tank and drain it into a floor drain. Opening a hot water faucet in your home will break the vacuum in the water heater and allow it to drain more quickly.
Getting Your Hot Water Restored
With the leak stopped, it is time to call (334) 206-8878 for assistance from the licensed plumbers at Alabama Home Pros. Our plumbers have the experience and expertise needed to repair most leaks at or near your water heater. Replacing a valve or fitting can be done in just an hour or so and costs only a fraction of the cost of a new water heater. Or, if the unit is near the end of its life expectancy, we will be happy to provide you with a complete price quote for the repair and one to install a new water heater in your home.
If you were unable to shut off the water supply to your water heater, call us at (334) 206-8878 to request emergency water heater repairs. We have licensed plumbers available 24/7 to help our customers avoid costly water damage and the stress that goes hand in hand with any plumbing emergency.