Few things have the ability to wreak havoc on the structural integrity of a home like a water leak. Hot water heater tanks play a vital role in ensuring that your home has access to a constant supply of hot water, but these appliances can also serve as a source of water leaks over time.
If you notice water pooling around your hot water heater, here are two potential leak sources to examine so that you can address the leak before it has the chance to cause mold, mildew, or rot.
1. Water Inlet and Outlet
Cold water is fed into your water heater's tank, and hot water is released from it throughout your home. The inlet and outlet connection points can become vulnerable to water leaks over time. If you notice water pooling around your hot water heater, check the inlet and outlet connection points on the top of your tank for signs of leaking.
Run your fingers around the fittings to feel for moisture. If you do detect a leak, you can use a wrench to tighten the bolts fitting the inlet and outlet pipes to your tank. If this doesn't eliminate the leak, contact a plumber to examine the fittings for stripped threads or other types of damage.
2. Temperature and Pressure Release Valve
The temperature and pressure release valve allows your water heater to release some of the water inside the tank if the temperature or internal pressure becomes too high. This is a critical function, since high temperatures and pressure inside the tank could result in significant expansion and a potentially dangerous bursting of the tank itself.
The temperature and pressure release valve is connected to a plastic pipe that flows into a drain on your floor. If you notice water coming from the plastic pipe, check to see if the temperature and pressure release valve is in the off position. If the valve is not engaged and water is leaking from your hot water tank, this usually means the valve is malfunctioning.
Contact a professional emergency plumber to come out and replace your faulty valve immediately to not only eliminate water leaks, but to keep your home and family safe.
Being able to identify some of the areas in which hot water heater tanks commonly leak will allow you to address these leaks before they have the chance to cause serious damage. Be sure to investigate the inlet and outlet connections and temperature and pressure release valve for damage if you notice water pooling around your hot water heater in the future.