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How To Fix Troublesome Water Heater Leaks

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Leaks in water heaters can lead to serious water damage, so any suspected cases must be attended to quickly. If you suspect yours might be leaking, turn off both its water and power sources; use a ladder if necessary for better access if using this strategy.

Next, inspect the drain valve at the bottom of the tank; this should be drained and flushed annually to prevent sediment build-up and any potential leakage issues. If it appears leaking, tighten it securely.

If you’re looking for a top-notch plumbing company, you should consider contacting one of the team members at J. Blanton Plumbing. J. Blanton Plumbing is your trusted partner for Water Heater Services in Chicago, IL and the surrounding areas.

water heaters

Check the cold-water inlet valve

Finding the source of water heater leaks may be challenging. Too much pressure in the tank could be contributing to cracks and leaks; to alleviate this situation, reduce pressure by opening valves on other appliances or opening up windows to let in fresh air. To fix this problem quickly and permanently, try lowering pressure with one or both measures below.

One way of doing this is to turn off the water at the cold-water inlet valve – usually marked by a blue handle – that feeds cold water directly into your heater. You can also use this valve for maintenance purposes by draining it down.

Before inspecting your tank, it is important to examine its piping. Check that all connections are tight and there is no excess corrosion; if any leakage exists, use a pipe wrench to tighten it quickly and use a pipe wrench if required to tighten a connection further.


Check the drain valve

The drain valve located at the base of your water heater tank enables you to empty it for maintenance or repairs, and serves as an important safety device that prevents hot water from spilling out and damaging your home. However, over time this valve may become damaged and leak or clog, potentially becoming dangerous to use.

To remedy this problem, first turn off the water heater by turning its valve clockwise. Next, locate and connect a garden hose to its drain valve at the bottom of its tank – with one end going directly into a floor drain or bucket for disposal.

Make sure your drain valve is open by turning it counterclockwise; water may start pouring out. After opening up the valve, check its mouth for signs of lime buildup; this can be removed using a screwdriver by swirling it inside its mouth – repeat as necessary.


Check the tank

Water heaters typically consist of an outer shell that holds water inside, and an inner steel tank for storage. If either component’s internal connections loosen, leaks can occur; to determine this for yourself, cover your water heater with paper towels and check periodically for dampness or wet towels as a sign that there may be leakage from either. 

If dampness appears between checks, this is likely an indicator that something is amiss within its tank.

Before beginning repairs on your water heater, turn off power by switching the circuit breaker in the service panel (older homes may feature double breakers; in such instances both should be switched off.).

After taking care not to touch any wires or electrical terminals, remove both access panels and plastic safety guards from each of your water heater’s two heating elements on its top surface. Carefully move one lead of a multimeter from its lower thermostat terminal to its upper thermostat terminal – you should read between 125 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit when conducting this step.


Check the connections

Even if your water heater doesn’t seem to be leaking, a pipe may still be the source. You can expect inspect this by placing a paper towel under where you believe water may be gathering; monitor this paper towel hourly for signs of dampness and condensation.

If none appears, that likely indicates you don’t have an actual leak but instead have condensation caused by humidity and changes in temperature for your hot water source.

Before beginning work on the water heater, first make sure that both its gas and electric supply valves have been shut off, as well as its power. Use a continuity tester to check that all wires have completely de-energized; remove the junction box cover at the top of the tank if necessary to verify this (it may take several hours for it to warm back up).

Furthermore, connect your home’s bare copper wires to those of the water heater’s two service wires as well as any green ground screw (if applicable); reconnect unions on gas lines as needed and install new unions where applicable – before proceeding further with repairs on any repairs to your water heater!







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