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How to Tell if You Have a Leak in Your Water Heater

How to Tell if You Have a Leak in Your Water Heater

A water heater leak may not seem like a big deal. But if left unaddressed, it can turn into a bigger problem that can lead to damaged personal property, health issues, and hefty repair bills.

Leaks in your water heater can waste thousands of gallons of water and cause damage to your home. It can also encourage mold to grow in your home. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t realize that there is something wrong with their water heater, until it’s too late. Regular inspection and maintenance is a must to ensure that your heater stays in good shape.

Here’s how to tell if you have a leak in your water heater.

Puddle of water on the floor

If you notice a puddle of water under or near your water heater, it may be a sign of a leak. Try checking your water heater, along with its plumbing fittings to determine the source of the problem.

The bottom of the tank is always the best place to start. Check the drain valve and T&P valve. Then, inspect the pressure relief valve near the top of the tank, pipes, tubes, and the entry points where they meet the tank. Because of the high pressure, the tubes entering the tank are vulnerable to leaks. If there is no apparent sign of leak, try checking nearby appliances. They could form condensation, which can accumulate and drip to the floor.

Strange noise

If you suspect that you have a water heater leak, stand beside your water heater and try to listen very carefully. If you hear a rumbling or strange noise from the tank as it heats up, this may be indicative of sediment build up.

Sediments accumulate at the bottom of your water heater. Over time the hardened particles will cause the metal to become brittle and develop some cracks and small holes.

Rust-colored water

There are multiple circumstances that can cause the water heater to dispense rusty water. This may be due to corroded galvanized iron plumbing. Or maybe your water heater is rusting away on the inside and it may start to leak.

To rule out rusty water caused by iron pipes, try turning on a cold water tap anywhere. If the water is discolored, the pipes may be the culprit. But if clear water comes from it, that means your water heater is about to fail and may need to be replaced soon.