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Whether gas or electric, a typical water heater should last 8-15 years with proper maintenance. However, along the way, your water heater may experience some malfunctions, such as leaking. Water heater leaks often start small and gradually expose your home to property damage.
What causes water heater leaks, and how can you remedy the situation? Below are the most common water heater leaks causes, and when it’s ideal to contact a water heater repair to check your plumbing fixture.
1. Old Water Heater
The traditional tanked water heater averages a 15-year lifespan on the higher end. As with most old fixtures, you can expect an old water heater appliance to experience eventual tear and wear. Most traditional water heaters past the 15-years lifespan tend to leak more than new fixtures.
In addition, as tanked water heaters age, so does rust from inside the tank. This leads to corrosion, allowing water to seep/leak via the tiny spaces. Unfortunately, a simple repair won’t suffice for leaks caused by old age. Consult with your water heater repair expert on the possibility of a professional replacement.
2. Excess Pressure
As with any typical plumbing fixture, a water heater also deals with naturally-present water pressure. Water pressure is also controllable in some fixtures. Water pressure in a water heater results from the hot water forming steam and filling the empty spaces. The pressure then increases since the steam has nowhere to go.
Water then leaks via any available spaces to relieve the pressure. The heater pressure also magnifies if water enters the system at top pressures or you set the water temperature too high.
3. Drain Valve
A water heater expert uses the drain valve to empty the tank for replacements and maintenance visits. Most people also use the drain valves to clean the water heater tank. Unfortunately, the valve loosens with time, allowing water to leak through.
If you notice a leak from the valve’s base, this could signify that the part isn’t watertight. As such, a plumber expert may recommend a new drain valve. Luckily, this replacement is an easy task that you can perform or hire a water heater repair expert to replace it for you.
4. Malfunction Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
The temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P) helps relieve pressure within the tank. In the case of a faulty T&P valve, the tank pressure increases. In some instances, the valve may become loose, requiring occasional tightening. It is crucial to reduce the pressure in the tank before a water heater repair tech fixes your faulty or loose valves.
5. Loose Inlet and Outlet Connections
Due to old age, improper installation, or wrong sizing, these connections loosened over time. It is rare for inlet and outlet connections to experience other issues apart from loosening.
6. Sediment Buildup
Due to regular usage and eventual wear, sediments tend to collect at the tank’s bottom. As a diligent homeowner, you will likely experience any sediment buildup trouble by cleaning your tank regularly.
However, failure to schedule regular tank cleaning allows sediments to collect and eventually cause cracks. Water leaks through these cracks, increasing water bills and property damage.
7. Less Efficient Anode Rod
Anode rods function as the water heater’s sacrificial component. The anode rode attracts corrosive particles to keep the water heater safe and functional. Unfortunately, the rod deteriorates due to excess corrosion, leading to water heater leaks. Water then leaks where the rod used to be.
8. Cracked Storage Tanks
Select water heaters feature an additional storage unit to increase the capacity of water stored. These tanks may be lined with glass. With time, minerals gather and calcify on these glass surfaces causing glass cracks and water leaks.
We still recommend hiring a water heater repair expert instead of conducting DIY diagnosis and repair even with this knowledge. This is to prevent further damage and possible injuries.
Leak Location—Where is the Water Coming From?
The leak’s location tells the water heater repair a lot about the cause. It helps in ruling out a few possible causes for an accurate diagnosis. Knowing how to determine where the leak comes from helps you explain your situation to the plumber beforehand.
If you are experiencing water heater leaks in your Myrtle Beach, SC, here are a few possible leak locations you can try checking for before calling in a water heater repair expert.
Not every water you see is a leak. On the other hand, you may have noticed condensation due to the varying room temperatures. For instance, condensation happens if the tank is scorching but the room is cold. Fortunately, condensation doesn’t indicate any water heater issues.
- Bottom Leaks
This could be a problem with the drain valve or the tank itself, which causes leaks. The drain valve may require slight tightening, and the tank may need a full replacement.
- Top Leaks
Water leaking from the top is most likely a problem with the inlet and outlet connections since it is rare for a tank to crack at the top. Other possible causes could be anode rode corrosion or loose T&P valves.
- Interior Tank Leaks
Unfortunately, these are almost impossible to spot from the outside. Wear and tear are the most common causes of this leak.
- Undetermined location
Leaks may often appear from no particular place. You will likely notice water pooling under the water heater in such cases. The most likely cause is usually excess water pressure. Fortunately, an expert water heater repair guy should pinpoint the exact leak location and the source.
Water Heater Repair, Myrtle Beach, SC
Is your water heating leaking suddenly? Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Myrtle Beach is an expert plumbing company and the surrounding areas. We repair a wide range of water heater issues and plumbing fixtures generally. Rest assured, we will come on time to mitigate any plumbing issues and avoid further property damages and increase utility and repair costs. Call us today for fast and reliable water heater diagnosis and repair services in Myrtle Beach, SC, and the environs.