There could be two possible sources of leakage in a storage-tank water heater, from the valves to the tank itself. Let us first determine why there is a leak.
Why could there be leaks coming from valves?
There are different types of valves that are attached to the water heater tank. There is the cold water valve, the temperature value, pressure valve, and the drain valve. Water leaks more often through the pressure relief valve and the drain valve. Too high temperatures not being contained by faulty pressure-reducing valves could cause this leak. Be aware that there is a chance that the tank could explode if too much pressure builds up. When it comes to drain valve leaks found on the side or near the bottom of the tank, the problem could be that the valve has not been tightened properly or has loosened over time.
Why could there be leaks coming from the tank?
Water heaters were not built to last forever like most products. It is made of steel, so there is still a chance of corrosion. If it has been working properly, delivering good results over the years and suddenly starts leaking, then it might be that it has started to rust. Small rust spots eventually result in tiny holes if not treated properly and quickly.
What to do when a valve is leaking:
There is a possibility, although rare, that the leak is coming from the pipe and not the valves. To make sure of this, try tightening the fittings where the water is leaking. If that does not help, then you most likely need to purchase a new valve or pipe, whichever one is defective. If you are not 100% sure on how to replace the valves on your own, do not hesitate to contact a plumber. Leaks in valves could also be due to faulty gaskets. You ought to replace them with new ones if that is the case.
What to do when the tank is leaking:
As the metal corrodes, holes become inevitable and you may not know this until the leak starts. In this case the best thing to do is check for a replacement tank and install it. Call a qualified repairman or plumber to help you with this task if you are inexperienced.
Before doing whatever you need to do to repair a water heater, with great emphasis we remind you to turn off the power and the circuit breaker. Shut off the main water line that leads to the tank as well. Before any dismantling, allow some time for the tank to depressurize. Do not obstruct the vents and the source of leak. Do not touch any part just yet as it may be too hot.
There are hundreds of different designs and models of water heaters that you could choose from. How would you know which one is for you? Let us take a look at and compare different types of water heaters to help you decide.
Storage Tank Water Heaters:
A storage tank water heater is probably the most common heater internationally, especially in countries that have winter seasons. It heats the water then stores it so that hot water can be readily available anytime. Its heating element could either be gas, or electric. Storage tank heaters are efficient with extra tank insulation for better heat retention.
Tankless heaters are small. They only heat the water passing through them by using either electricity or gas. First time users usually require a handyman for the unit installation. When it comes to maintenance, tankless heaters need more care. Replacement parts include special valves and if you do not know how to fix the unit yourself, you will need to contact a plumbing service. A once a year maintenance is recommended for tankless heaters. The downside of tankless heaters when it comes to producing hot water is that sometimes, especially when the flow of water is fast, temperature levels vary.
Solar Water Heaters:
These solar water heaters are expensive, but worth the investment. Since they are sun-powered, expect for the saving when it comes to your electric bill. The two types of solar water heaters are active and passive. Active heaters have circulating pumps. Passive do not. There are also different types of solar collectors. These include flat-plate collectors, integral collector-storage systems and evacuated-tube solar collectors. If you’re interested, you may look up reviews about these types and visit different sites that sell solar heaters over the internet to view and compare models.
Once in a while manufacturers offer “super saver” deals – this is the best time to shop for a water heater because their prices are lowered significantly. For any kind of water heater you choose, there is a service menu and warranty included. A warranty for a typical model could run from 3 to 10 years. When you purchase a heater, do not only think about the upfront cost; think about the long-term costs as well. Water heaters consume a relatively high percentage of energy of your household consumption. Read customer reviews before ordering a particular model. If shopping online, make sure you are ordering from a reputable distributor.