You get up one morning, ready to take an invigorating warm bath only to discover that there’s no hot water. You check your utility room to see that there’s a huge puddle of water for you to swim in.
A leaking water heater is bad news for any homeowner.
It could mean a flooded home, a damaged carpet, warped floorboards and walls, and even mold if the problem goes on long enough. Plus, getting it repaired can cost you a fortune.
Water heaters, in general, are very durable equipments. They have been built to last for years. The only time that you notice your water heater is when it starts leaking and it stops working like it’s supposed to.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent a leaking water heater and make sure you don’t encounter any of the major problems mentioned above. Here’s a brief guide on how to keep your water heater safe, sound, and at operating capacity.
Basic Monthly Check
Every month, check if there is any spraying near your heater. If yours is suffering from a slow leak, you might not see spraying but there would be water droplets or mist outside of the tank.
Check the walls and floors. Are they deteriorating? Do they feel soft to the touch? Are there mold and mildew build-up near the water heater? If you answered yes to any of those questions, chances are, you have a leaking water heater and it MUST be checked!
Check The Tank
Make sure every part on your tank is free from any leak or damage. If you spot a rotting one, plagued by rust, you should replace that part immediately. Such rusty portions of your water heater, especially those in the tank, can easily cause leakages.
Exhaust The Water Tank Twice A Year
After using it for a very long time, it’s possible that there is residue build-up near the bottom of your water heater’s tank. Such residue can cause rust, and rust can lead to leaks. To prevent such residues, empty your tank and clean it at least twice a year.
Take note, however, that you need to be extra cautious in performing this step. Shut down the electricity before emptying your water heater. Or, if you’re not confident about it, it’s better to get a trained individual to get the job done.
Check For Electrical Problems
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell if your heater is having an electrical problem. But you do need to stop, look, and listen. Do you hear crackling, popping, and other not-so-common noises coming from your heater? If you do, you better call an electrician. Such electrical issues can lead to problems worse than a leaking water heater!
Install A Drip Pan to Prevent a Leaking Water Heater
No matter how good you are at maintaining your water heater, it’s still a mechanical unit and will stop working like it used to. What should you do?
For around $10, you can get a drip pan for your water heater. The drip pan sits right under your heater and catches dripping water. From there, it takes the leaked water to a suitable drain. Keep in mind, however, that you need to remove the entire water heater to put the drip pan in place. It might be better to call a plumber for this.
Thanks Chris for this detailed guide for checking leaking water heater.