When you’re warming up this winter with a nice hot shower or hot bath, you can thank your water heater for the hot water. It’s working around the clock 365 days a year to provide you with hot water for cooking, cleaning, drinking, and those nice hot showers and baths. When you have a problem with your water heater, such as a water leak, you certainly want it fixed and taken care of right away.
Further, acting quickly can save you an even bigger headache of water heater replacement and/or emergency water cleanup in Twin Cities Metro homes. So, read over these seven common causes of water heater leaks if you see that your water heater has a problem (or to help prevent the problem with a plumbing check-up!).
Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve (TPRV)
The TPRV is a safety feature required on all water heaters. It is located near the top of the water heater. It looks like a regular drain bib with a flip handle and a long tube extending from it. The TPRV has an extremely important function: to prevent the water heater from exploding! If the temperature or pressure reaches too high level inside the water heater, hot water and steam are released at the TPRV. If the TPRV is leaking, call your plumber immediately!
The drain bib is located near the bottom of the tank. The drain bib is used to drain the water heater for water heater replacement in Twin Cities Metro or water heater repair. A leak at the drain bib usually indicates a worn-out gasket or the drain bib needs to be tightened or replaced.
Water Inlet Valve
On top of your water heater, you’ll find two water pipes with a valve on each. One pipe and valve is the hot water outlet. The other pipe and valve is the cold water inlet. When a faucet, fixture, or appliance calls for hot water, hot water flows from the water heater through the hot water outlet pipe. At the same time, cold water flows through the cold water inlet to refill the water heater. If either valve or pipe is leaking, it should be professionally repaired or probably should be replaced.
The anode rod is a component located inside the water heater. The anode rod’s job is to attract minerals and impurities found in the water. By removing impurities from the water inside the water heater, you are supplied with cleaner water for cooking, drinking, bathing, and cleaning, and your water heater is better protected from corrosion and damage. Since the anode rod is itself taking on the corrosion to protect the water heater, the anode rod seal could be worn out which would cause a leak on top of the water heater.
If the worn-out anode rod isn’t replaced in a timely manner, minerals will begin to accumulate inside the water heater, which can be recognized by the water heater making strange noises like popping sounds. What’s more, if the anode rod isn’t replaced when it should be, your water heater will start to corrode from the inside out. Eventually, corrosion will eat through the water heater and rupture the tank. This would spill dozens of water into your home. If you see that the water heater tank is leaking anywhere, call your plumber immediately!
Heating Element Gasket
A heating element is used to heat water in an electric water heater. The heating element will be located near the bottom of the tank. Newer electric water heaters often have two heating elements. The second heating element will be located in the middle of the tank. Over time, the gaskets for the heating elements can wear out and leak water.
Some water heaters utilize expansion tanks. An expansion tank helps prevent excessive wear on pipes and helps prevent a water heater from rupturing due to high temperature and/or pressure (like the TPRV). If the expansion tank or fittings are leaking, call your plumber to repair or replace the worn-out part(s) right away. If you have an old expansion tank, it could be replaced with a more cost-effective TPRV.
If your water heater is leaking, call the plumbing pros at MN Roto-Rooter Plumbing and Water Cleanup right away at (320) 207-1079! It is much better to call us for a water heater repair or water heater replacement than it is to call us for water damage cleanup! We’re available 24/7 and we never charge overtime!