What to Do When the Water Heater is Leaking
When there’s water in the basement but there have been no recent rainstorms, the problem just might be a leaking appliance, and the water heater is the likely culprit. Water heaters can leak a large amount of water in your home quickly and this water can lead to serious damage without immediate action.
If your water heater is leaking, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need a brand-new unit; you may be able to have it repaired and save yourself some money. Here are a few tips to help you respond when you notice the water heater is leaking.
Find the Source of the Leak
Leak from Spigot and Drain Valve
It’s important to determine where the hot water heater is leaking. Fortunately, there are only two places to check.
- Look at the drain valve, which is the spigot located at the bottom of the tank that drains water and sediment out of the tank. Be sure the spigot is tightly closed; it may have gotten bumped or not tightened correctly if the tank was recently drained.
- If the spigot is closed but there’s water seepage, the news still isn’t all bad. The spigot itself is probably bad and can be replaced by a plumber.
Leak from Water Tank
However, if the leak comes from the tank itself, it’s bad news. Sediment, including minerals, have likely built up over time inside the tank and corroded the inner lining. There’s no way to replace a lining, so the entire water heater must be replaced.
Benefits of New Water Heaters
New water heaters are becoming more and more energy efficient, so at least your new unit will be easier on your utility bill than the old one. The internet is full of resources that will help you find a new water heater. Look for one that’s energy efficient and has enough capacity to handle all your family’s needs. Consider a tankless water heater for on-demand hot water. While these units are more expensive than conventional ones, you’ll never run out of hot water in the middle of your shower again.
While you wait for a plumber to arrive to repair or replace your hot water heater, there are a few important things you can do to mitigate any water damage:
- Turn off the power supply. On electric units, find the circuit breaker and turn it to “off.” For gas units, look for an on/off switch or dial and turn it to “off.”
- Turn off the water supply. Look for a lever or dial above the water heater. Pull the lever or turn the dial clockwise. Avoid touching the water heater unit itself, as it may be very hot.
- Check the area for water damage. Hopefully you discovered the water leak early, before too much damage occurred. If so, use a shop-vac, towels, a dehumidifier and fans to remove excess water and dry the area quickly before damage or mold growth can occur. If the leak went undetected for a period of time, you may need to call for professional water damage restoration.
Water Damage Cleanup Services
When you need high quality water damage restoration services for your home or business in the Dallas, TX area, you can trust the experts at ServiceMaster of North Texas. Our professionals know that structural materials absorb water quickly, so we arrive within 2-3 hours of your call to begin the mitigation and restoration process before it’s too late.
ServiceMaster of North Texas offers free estimates for their services, so you’ll never be surprised by costs. Their highly trained technicians use professional equipment and products to extract water and dry your structure and its contents before items are permanently damaged.