What Do I Do? - Hot Water Heater Leaking
By Jon Ching on October 11, 2018
Uh oh! You’re experiencing a plumbing emergency at the worst possible time. You really weren’t expecting to see all of this water pooling under your heater, or water dripping directly from your water heater or the attached pipes. These are all signs that your hot water heater is leaking. Do you know what to do in a situation like this? Don’t fret. Read on to learn how to handle this plumbing fiasco and prevent further damage to your home.
First of all, you should know that you probably aren’t going to need a new hot water heater; the equipment you have should last upwards of 10-12 years, so don’t worry too much about that. This is likely an easy fix for your plumbing professional; although if there are extensive damage or your water heater is in dangerous conditions, they will let you know what to do next.
Follow the following steps to help maintain the problem until your plumber can arrive and fix it for good.
Shut off the power
If your hot water heater is gas, turn the dial or switch on your thermostat to OFF or PILOT. If your hot water heater is electric, go to your breaker panel and cut the power to WATER HEATER. This is a very important step, as you want to make sure the water heater is safe to work on. Be very sure that the power is shut off before you continue on to the next steps.
Cut the water off
So after cutting the power, you’re also going to want to shut off the water to limit the water damage to your home. The lever or dial attached to the cold water line should be above your water heater or somewhere around it. Just pull the lever to turn the dial clockwise to immediately stop the water flow. Make sure you are avoiding touching the water heater itself because it can still be hot.
Drain the tank
If water is still leaking and it’s causing dangerous or damaging conditions, you’ll need to drain the tank. First, you have to find the drain valve near the bottom on the water heater. You’re going to attach a hose to it and open the valve. Water will probably not drain because a vacuum has been created. You can simply break the vacuum seal by open a faucet in your house. Your tank will take about an hour to completely drain. It’s very important to be careful during this process because the water can be scolding hot. If you can avoid this process completely by calling an emergency plumber, then you should.
J2 Plumbing and Heating is an 24/7 emergency plumber that specializes in plumbing, air quality, and heating and cooling services. Contact us at 1-833-523-4948 if you are experiencing a plumbing or heating emergency and one of our experienced and licensed technicians can help you.