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Why Do Water Heaters Leak?

There are many signs it is time to replace your water heater. In the event the water quality drops significantly and has not been properly maintained over the years, then you may need to replace your unit after about 10 years. One of the most common problems you can expect is a leak. To determine if you need a repair or a replacement, you need to hire a professional to locate the source of the leak.

Pressure Relief Valve

The pressure relief valve in a water heater plays an integral role in maintaining the water temperature. It also regulates the water pressure, and if too much pressure builds up, then the water could become overly hot. In the event there is a problem with this valve, you will see water running down the side of the heater. In a worst case scenario, you will need to replace the valve, and a licensed plumber can tell you what exact component you need.

Corrosion at the Bottom of the Tank

Regular maintenance is crucial for your water heater. Without maintenance, sediment will build up and fall to the bottom of the unit. This sediment will continue to build up for years at a time until it eventually degrades the bottom of the structure. This corrosion will lead to leaks forming at the very bottom, and you will find puddles forming directly underneath your water heater. In the event your heater is simply too old, then you will need a full replacement.

Hot and Cold Water Outlet and Inlet Connections

This is one of the easiest problems to repair. In this instance, the outlets and inlets have simply become too loose. When that happens, they just need to be tightened. You may be able to tighten the components on your own. However, you may also need to fix a faulty pipeline, which will require the help of a trained professional. Out of all the signs of water heater issues, this is one that is relatively easy to fix.

Heater Drain Valve

A professional plumber will be able to tell you whether the source of the leak is coming from the heater drain valve. The first thing the plumber will do is check to see if the valve is completely closed. In the event the plumber tightens the valve but a leak remains, then the unit likely needs to be replaced. Luckily for you, it is relatively affordable, and your plumber can effortlessly attach it for you.

No matter what the source of the leak is, you will always be better off by hiring a professional to fix the problem for you. Even if you believe you can fix the issue on your own, you need to be extremely careful when you are around a water heater. Trying to repair something when you do not know what you are doing can result in serious injury and burns. Additionally, a professional will inspect the surrounding area to see if water damage affected the nearby walls or flooring. Get peace of mind by hiring someone to help you.

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