Water Heater Leaking? Here are Some Common Causes
None of us wants to find ourselves in a shower without hot water or with insufficient water pressure. Even more importantly, though, is knowing that your water heater is operating safely. A leaking water heater could be a serious problem and should be taken care of right away in order to protect your Denver home.
There are several common causes of leaks. Some leaks are easy to take care of yourself, including:
A loose drain valve.
If the drain valve is loose, over time it will begin to slowly leak water. Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Carefully tighten the valve with a wrench just until it is snug. Don’t over tighten it or force it.
Condensation is not actually a leak, but may be mistaken for one. Condensation occurs when cold water enters the tank and the outside air is hot. Simply wipe down the hot water heater. This is not likely to lead to a serious problem.
Others leaks may require expert assistance, including:
Too much pressure.
There are several reasons the water pressure may build up enough to create a leak. One is if the water temperature is set too high. The Department of Energy recommends setting your tank-based hot water heater to 120 degrees for safety and efficiency, but many water heaters come from the manufacturer set at 140. If you’ve never checked the temperature, this is a good place to start. Another possibility, however, is a defective temperature pressure relief valve. The water supply to your home may also be coming in at a pressure that is too high. Talk to your HVAC professional about how to correct this.
The age of the water heater.
Water heaters typically last approximately 10 years. Eventually, corrosion and rust will take a toll and the heater will start to leak. If your water heater is more than 10 years old, and has begun leaking, it is likely time to replace it. Don’t wait for the tank to completely fail, because that will result in serious flooding and damage.
The good news is, a new Energy Star water heater will be more efficient than your old one, and will save you money on your energy bills.