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Residential water heaters play an important role in ensuring your home has hot water for bathing and washing dishes. These heaters are often designed to hold anywhere from 50 to 60 gallons of water or even more, depending on their size, and that means if your water heater ever springs a leak, you could end up with a sizable flood by the time you notice it. Here’s what to do if you find your water heater is leaking.

Step-By-Step Instructions for Leaking Water Heaters

If you notice your water heater leaking from the bottom, it is a dangerous sign that should be resolved as quickly as possible. Here’s what you should do in the form of step-by-step instructions.

  1. Stay calm. This is perhaps the most crucial step of what to do if your water heater begins leaking. Panicking is not going to help your situation! It’s important to stay calm and assess the problem rationally. Don’t try to fix the leak yourself if you’re uncomfortable doing so, if you lack the tools to do it properly, or if you don’t have the expertise necessary.
  2. Find the source of the leak. Knowing where the water heater is leaking will be important later, as the location of the leak will determine how it is resolved. Fixing a leak from the hot water outlet, for example, is likely to involve different steps from the drain or the pressure relief valve. Once you’ve found the source of the leak, you can take steps to stop it.
  3. Turn off the water. Shutting off the flow of water to your water heater will prevent long-term issues. If the leak is coming from the water supply line, for example, you’ll need to turn off the water supply to your water heater. This will stop the leak from getting worse as water continues to flow into the heater until that flow is interrupted.
  4. Turn off the heater. Once you’ve turned off the water supply, you’ll need to turn off the heater. This will prevent the heater from working and potentially causing more damage. The heating elements inside many water heaters can burn out unless they’re in contact with water, and a leak can lower the water level within the tank to the point where this may happen.
  5. Drain the tank. If the leak is coming from the tank itself, you’ll need to drain the tank. Most water heaters have a built-in drain spigot for this purpose. Be sure to drain the tank only after you’ve shut off your heater to prevent excess damage, both to your tank and your home!
  6. Call an expert. If you have the tools and knowledge to fix a leak on your water heater yourself, you can do so at this point. However, if you’re not able to fix the leak yourself, you’ll need to call an HVAC professional or plumber. They will be able to assess the damage and make the necessary repairs to prevent the leak from returning.

Burns & McBride has been fixing water heaters in Delaware and throughout some areas of Pennsylvania and Maryland for more than 70 years. Feel free to call us at tel:3022197098 to discuss any issues.

Tips on How to Prevent Water Leaks

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is much better to avoid the dangerous possibility of a water heater leak than to deal with costly repairs. Even worse, you may find yourself in a situation where you have no choice but to completely replace your water heater due to such a damaging leak.

To that end, here are some additional tips to help you prevent a dangerous water heater leak in your home:

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to have your water heater inspected by a qualified professional as soon as possible. You can reach Burns & McBride anytime at tel:3022197098.

Preventing and Fixing Leaking Water Heaters

Just like any other appliance in your home, your water heater needs regular maintenance and servicing to keep it functioning properly. With your water heater playing such an important role in the ability of your home to be safe and comfortable, it’s always a good idea to pay close attention to it so that you can keep leaks from getting out of hand. Again, if you’re unable to fix a water leak directly, do what you can to stop the leak temporarily by shutting off the water and the heater itself, and then call a qualified professional immediately for further help.

Here is more information on water heaters, including repairing, replacing, and maintaining them.

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