Just noticed your water heater leaking? A suddenly leaking water heater is never a good surprise, especially if you don’t know where the water leak comes from or how to fix it. You might be wondering over and over “why is my water heater leaking?” No need to panic, Performance Air Conditioning, Electrical and Plumbing has your back on this one.

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The difference between a small and a severe hot water heater leak is not as great as you may think. It’s important to note that a water heater leak does not get any smaller or disappear over time. A hot water heater leaking only gets worse, so it’s best to move quickly to fix the problem. Here’s what the experts at Performance recommend you should do if your water heater is leaking.

How to Turn Off Leaking Water Heater in 3 Steps

1. Turn off the Power Supply

Safety precautions should always be taken first, especially when it comes to water and electricity. You can turn off the power supply to your water heater by switching off the breaker or your water heater may have an on/off switch. Doing both won’t hurt either.

2. Turn off the Water Supply

This one seems a bit redundant but it is crucial to properly implement this step. Water heaters should all have a valve above the water heater that will switch off the water supply. The factory setting for water heaters is 125 degrees Fahrenheit, but this is not always the case since some homeowners turn their temperatures to the maximum heat setting ranging between 160-190 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures of 125 degrees Fahrenheit don’t pose too much of a threat but 160-190 degrees Fahrenheit can definitely cause severe burns so avoiding contact is pertinent!

3. Troubleshoot the Leak

  • Once you have taken the right safety precautions you can now troubleshoot the leak to see where it is coming from. There are a few different factors that could be causing a water heater leak. Here is a list of the most common problems:
    A loose connection between the water inlet and outlet pipes
  • Defective temperature and pressure relief valve
  • A leaking heater drain valve
  • Internal tank water leak

4. Check the Drain Valve

Hot water heating leaking from the bottom? This could be a simple issue with the drain valve. First, check that the drain valve is completely closed. It might have come slightly undone unintentionally. Try to tighten the valve using a pipe wrench but care not to overdo it and break it, which would result in a bigger water leak.

5. Check the Integrity of the Water Heater Tank

If you notice your water heater leaking from the top, it could be due to a crack or a hole in the tank itself, meaning there is severe damage to the entire hot water heater itself due to corrosion. This is especially common if your water heater is a bit on the older side and it often means you will have to replace your system altogether.