Isn’t there enough water in Seattle, WA? Do you really need to worry about water heater leaks? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. But there’s no need to let a minor hot water heater leak ruin your day! Once detected, water heater leaks are quite simple to fix. 

Before a repair, it’s important to identify whether your water heater is actually leaking. Below is a step-by-step guide to follow if you suspect your water heater is leaking. Continue reading to learn more! 

Dealing with Water Heater Leaks

Your water heater is an essential appliance in your home. It’s important to focus and take your time when assessing it for damage. The last thing you want is to miss something obvious that causes you to spend extra time or money in the long run. 

Step One: Turn Off the Water 

This puts a stop to the slippery mess and gives you time to properly investigate the problem. The last thing you want is a small puddle from your water heater pipe leak forming around your feet. 

You only need to cut off the supply to your water heater, not the main supply to your home. There are dedicated shutoff valves that take different forms. Below are two kinds of valves and their shutoff procedures: 

  • Gate-style valve: Turn it clockwise as far as you can
  • Ball-style valve: Turn the handle 180 degrees

If the shutoff valve is broken or turning the valve doesn’t work, you’ll have to turn off the main water supply.

Shutoff valves are typically beside the water heater or under the kitchen sink. If you’ve got a water heater hose leak and you’re not sure how to shut off the water, call a professional plumber.

Water Heater Leak Detectors

Water heater leak detectors monitor the flow of water. If abnormal behavior is detected, the detector cuts off the water flow to the household and sets off an alarm. 

This technology works great — the only problem is detectors can malfunction and aren’t entirely reliable. Leak detectors, when paired with knowing how to inspect your water heater, are the best promise for a dry, leak-free water heater. 

Step Two: Turn Off the Power Supply 

Turn off the power supply before looking over your water heater. A water heater leak from tops of units or anywhere else could cause serious damage. 

How to shut off your water heater depends on whether you own a gas water heater or an electric one. 

  • Gas water heater: Find the gas shutoff valve at the base of the tank, near the gas line 
  • Electric water heater: Find the circuit breaker and flip the water heater switch to OFF

Turning off the power supply is a crucial safety step in hot water heater leak repair.  

Step Three: Find the Leak 

While it’s common to see a water heater leak from tops of units, there are other places where leaks form. They’re found in pipes or hoses, at the bottom or top of the unit, and many other places. The leak’s location will determine the best course of water heater leak repair. Here are a few places to check:

Check the Inlet and Outlet

The two pipes connected at the top of your water heater are the cold supply inlet and warm supply outlet. The inlet pipe takes in cold water while the outlet pipe transports hot water to your home. Plumbers will use pipe wrenches to loosen screws on water heater pipe leaks.

Check the T&P Valve

The pressure relief valve (T&P) is another place you can find leaks. Every water heater has a T&P valve. Its primary function is to release water if too much water pressure builds up. 

If you see water leaking from the T&P valve, the water temperature may be to blame. This kind of water heater leak from the top of a tank causes pressure buildup and water leaks on the sides and bottom of the tank. 

Check the Drain Valve

You can find the drain valve at the bottom of your water heater. The drain valve drains the water heater for maintenance. If you see water leaking from the bottom of your water heater, make sure the drain valve is completely closed. If your drain valve continues to leak, it may need to be replaced by an experienced plumber. 

Step Four: Clean Up!

Leaking water can cause a whole heap of preventable problems. Water from the leak is best cleaned up with towels and a wet/dry vacuum. 

Step Five: Schedule a Consultation with Us! 

Sometimes you need a partner when working on your home. At Craftsman Plumbing, we make sure you never feel alone when you need plumbing services. 

If you’re dealing with a water heater leak, schedule a consultation with us. We’ll drop by, give you a full diagnosis, and take on what’s next! Don’t lose sleep over your water heater in Seattle, WA. 

For more information on water heater leaks, or to schedule an appointment for service, contact us online or give us a call at (206) 855-6110. Our friendly professionals are standing by to assist you. Ask about our No Mansplaining Guarantee!