Help! My Water Heater Is Leaking - What Should I Do?
Your water heater is leaking. It might be water trickling down the side of the tank or a puddle on the floor. You need to take care of it right away.No one likes thinking about cold showers or buying a new water heater. Let's think about DIY solutions instead.Often, a leaky heater just needs minor repairs. We know because we take care of plumbing and pipe leaks all across Chicago, IL, and the suburbs.Here's everything you need to know about fixing a leaking water heater.Why Is My Water Heater Leaking? 6 Common CausesYour water heater is an efficient, self-contained system. Cold and hot water enters and leaves the tank through inlet and outlet pipes on top of the unit. An electrical component or gas flame heats the water to a desired temperature. The heated water rises to the top of the tank where it remains until you turn on a hot water tap.All water heaters feature a temperature and pressure relief valve as well as a drain valve. The T&P valve helps ensure safe operation, and the drain valve allows you to empty the water tank.While most water heaters last 10 to 12 years, daily use takes a toll on system parts.These are common problems that can make a water heater leak:â¢ Loose connections and fittings on inlet and outlet pipesâ¢ Cracks or pinholes in walls of the water heater tank liningHow to Tell If the Water Heater Is LeakingWater heater leaks often pool under the unit. However, there can be other sources for water on the floor:If your home's furnace drain line or AC condensate line and drip pan are nearby, check the equipment for leaks. Wall leaks and condensation can also collect and pool on the floor in a damp basement.Once you are certain the problem is a water heater leak, do a little investigating. Bad leaks are obvious, but small leaks can be tricky.Often, puddles under the unit are caused by the water heater leaking from a top element. Wipe heater surfaces dry, and wait for a few minutes.If you do not spot the leak right away, place dry cloths around the intake and outlet pipes. Run your fingers along the T&P valve, and put a small pan under the drain valve. Check back in a few hours.If the leak still is not obvious, you may be dealing with a cracked tank.Pro tip: Water damage restoration professionals use specialized equipment and cameras to detect moisture behind walls and floors to detect damage, so if you are not sure if you are dealing with a leaky water heater, call a restoration professional like ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba in Chicago, IL as soon as possible.Exploding water heaters are rare, but a leaky water heater should be fixed as soon as possible. In addition to running up the water bill, a heater leak can cause damage and even pose a threat to your health. These are a few examples of the problems that can result from putting off repairs.â¢ A small drip turns into a big leak that floods the room.â¢ Water dripping from the unit seeps into sub-floors and crawlspaces.â¢ A water heater leaking from the relief valve compromises its safe operation.â¢ Water leaking down the unit's exterior shorts out electrical components.â¢ Mold growth in the damp atmosphere aggravates allergies and respiratory problems.Who to Call If the Water Heater Is LeakingMost homeowners can fix a leaky water heater with tools found around the house. However, some problems need professional solutions. For example, if the leak is due to interior tank damage or requires replacing major components, it's best to call a licensed plumber.A leaky heater often causes secondary water damage that results in long-term structural problems. If you are dealing with wet floors or damp drywall, contact a company that specializes in water damage mitigation.The best water damage professionals handle cleanup, sanitation and restoration. Their certified technicians also repair leaking pipes and take care of mold removal.Get your water heater repair job off to a safe start by turning off power to the unit. If it's an electric heater, flip off its breaker at your home's breaker box. Turn off a gas water heater by closing the valve on its gas line or turning the thermostat to the "off" position.Next, shut down the tank's water supply by turning the valve on the inlet pipe clockwise. If it's a ball-style valve, turn the handle 180 degrees. If the valve is broken or you can not reach it, turn off your home's main water supply.Now, you are ready to fix the leaky water heater.Depending on which component is leaking, follow these steps for DIY water heater repairs.If Your Water Heater Is Leaking From the TopTake a look at the cold water inlet pipe and hot water outlet pipe. If you are not sure which one is leaking, wipe the surface dry. When the leak reappears around one of the pipes, tighten its connection with a pipe wrench.The leak might be coming from the pipe valve. In this case, tighten the nut that connects the handle to the pipe. If neither fix stops the leak, you may need to replace the valve.If the Water Heater Leaks Around Its T&P ValvePlace a bucket under the T&P pipe. Open its valve by pulling up the valve tab. This flushes out any built-up debris. Once the pipe is clear, close the valve, dry the surface, and check back later for signs of leaks.If water continues to leak around the T&P valve, drain the tank to just below the top of the T&P pipe. Using channel locks, unscrew the valve. Clean out any corrosion or rust in the connection. Wrap valve threads with plumber's tape before securing it back on the T&P pipe.A water heater leaking from the pressure relief valve can be the result of excessive water pressure. Measure your home's water pressure with a pressure gauge. Ideally, it should read between 40 and 50 psi.If Your Water Heater Is Leaking From the BottomWater leaking from the bottom of the heater is usually caused by a bad drain valve. Try tightening the valve with a wrench, but do not apply too much pressure. Check the washer inside the valve for signs of wear. If it's dirty or cracked, replace it with a new washer.Be very careful. Water draining from the valve can be extremely hot and can cause serious injury. If you have any concerns about working on this part of the water heater, call an experienced plumber.If You Need to Drain the Leaking Water HeaterThis is another job that's best left to a licensed professional. However, in case of an emergency, you can do it yourself:Start by turning off the unit's power. Attach a garden hose to the drain valve, and run it outside. Open the T&P valve, and then open the drain valve. Make sure the water drains away from the house. It probably contains sediment and rust that can stain the driveway and harm your lawn.If Your Water Heater Is TanklessA tankless water heater holds down energy costs and lowers household water consumption, but it can still develop leaks. This usually occurs around the cold water supply pipe or hot water tap. Tighten up any loose connections, and replace worn washers.If a tankless heater is leaking due to any of these problems, it's time to call the plumber:â¢ Condensation forming inside the heater because of improper ventingâ¢ Pinholes on interior components caused by hard water, rust or sedimentReduce the chances of leaks from the tankless water heater with regular maintenance. This includes changing out air and water filters, flushing the system and checking the heating element. Your plumber can take care of these chores with a service call.Does a Leaking Water Heater Need to Be Replaced?Most water heaters hold up to everyday use for 10 or 12 years. Tankless models can last as long as 20 years or more. Still, both heater types develop problems that can not be solved with DIY repairs.These are common signs that it may be time to replace your home's water heater:â¢ Badly corroded components such as valves or fittingsâ¢ Leaking that originates from inside the tankâ¢ The need for general repairs more than twice a yearâ¢ An unexpected spike in your electric or gas billâ¢ Showers and baths routinely running out of hot waterMake a note of your water heater's serial number. You can often determine its age by entering the information on the heater manufacturer's website. If you have to replace the old water heater or simply decide to upgrade, shop around, and compare energy efficiency ratings.Dealing With a Leaking Water Heater in Chicago, IL, or the Suburbs? We Can Help!You may not have the time to fix a water heater leak. It's not always easy to figure out exactly where the appliance is leaking. We are here to help.Our services include leaky pipe repair for homeowners in Chicago, IL, and the suburbs. We also take care of water-damaged floors, drywall and ceilings. Our industry-certified technicians know how to solve leaking water heater problems.Call us today here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba: 773-647-1985what does an automatic shift kit do?An automatic transmission's main focus is smooth shifting between gears. To accomplish this it often goes into two gears at once while shifting up, which is known as a shift overlap. In these cars, it is a kit that can reduce or eliminate the shift overlap. It will also reduce wear because the transmission wo not be trying to drive in two gears at once. The downside, the smoothness is sacraficed, resulting much harsher shock along the entire driveline. READ FURTHER TO UNDERSTAND HOW THIS IS DONE: A hydraulic automatic transmission consists of the following parts: Fluid coupling or torque converter: A hydraulic device connecting the engine and the transmission is replaced or even adjusted. It takes the place of a mechanical clutch, allowing the engine to remain running at rest without stalling. A torque converter is a fluid coupling that also provides a variable amount of torque multiplication at low engine speeds, increasing "breakaway" acceleration. Tampering with the torque converter you can let the transmission engage at a much higher RPM. Planetary gearset: A compound planetary set whose bands and clutches are actuated by hydraulic servos controlled by the valve body, providing two or more gear ratios can be also tampered with, but likely are not in most common shift kits. Adjusting the hydraulic control center that receives pressurised fluid from a main pump operated by the fluid coupling/torque converter is replaced with a more aggressive pressure. The valves use the pump pressure and the pressure from a centrifugal governor on the output side (as well as hydraulic signals from the range selector valves and the throttle valve or modulator) to control which ratio is selected on the gearset; as the car and engine change speed, the difference between the pressures changes, causing different sets of valves to open and close. Adjusting them as well can change performance dramtically. The hydraulic pressure controlled by these valves drives the various clutch and brake band actuators, thereby controlling the operation of the planetary gearset to select the optimum gear ratio for the current performance conditions. However, in many modern automatic transmissions, the valves are controlled by electro-mechanical servos which are controlled by the Engine Management System or a separate transmission controller. Adjusting the programming is needed to properly take full advantage of the shift kit. The multitude of parts, along with the complex design of the valve body, originally made hydraulic automatic transmission shift kits much more complicated (and expensive) to build and repair. And doing the Automatic-Manual Transmission.well, that was not asked so no need to mention. FURTHERMORE: Rather then automatic tranmissions, with a manual transmissions you control when to shift, and how hard to shift. Any true race boon will pick a manual transsmission first.