Water HeaterIs My Water Heater Leaking?

Water heaters are known for appearing to leak, when really the leak is coming from somewhere else. There are various fixtures near your water heater such as plumbing, pipes, and other fixtures. These could actually be the culprit of the leaking on your floor. To properly assess the situation, here are some steps:

STEP 1: Determine where the leak is coming from

First, clean up any water and watch the surrounding pipes. If you don’t see any water building up after a few minutes, the water is most likely caused by the water heater and surrounding pipes and should be nothing to worry about. On the other hand, if the puddle returns and continues to increase in size, the source of the leak is most likely your water heater leaking.

STEP 2: Turn off the power supply

Once you’ve established your water heater is the source of the leak, it’s time to turn off your water heater’s power to figure out exactly where the leak is coming from. This step differs based on your water heater type. Here are the ways to turn the power off based on water heater type:

  • How to turn off an electric water heater
    • Go to your home’s circuit breaker box and switch off the breaker for your electric water heater.
  • How to turn off a gas water heater
    • There should be an on/off switch or dial located directly on your water heater. This controls the power to your water heater.

STEP 3: Turn off the water supply

home water heater

If you can’t safely maneuver around the water heater to turn the valve off, it’s best to call Home Comfort Alliance immediately for 24/7 emergency service at (425) 645-0404.

If the leak is significant, turn off the water supply at the cold water shut-off valve. This valve will usually be located above the water heater. It will have either a handle to pull down or a gate valve (dial) that can be turned to close it.

It’s important to keep in mind that closing this valve will turn off the water in other areas of your home, such as the kitchen and bathroom.

Step 4: Determine the location of the leak on your water heater

It may be time to call us to assist you in further finding a solution, but the more information you have, the better we can understand and assess the situation. Here are areas that are common culprits of a water heater leaking:

  • The cold water inlet and hot water outlet connections
    • The cold water inlet and hot water outlet connections are attached to the top of your water heater. Fixing a leak here might simply require tightening the fittings and connections. It could also require replacing the connections, which is inexpensive.
  • The temperature & pressure relief valve
    • The temperature & pressure relief valve is located on the side of your water heater with a pipe running straight to the ground. Check the valve for any leak near the point where it connects to the water heater. If it’s releasing water and steam, you may need to adjust the pressure and temperature of your water heater. Be cautious dealing with this valve, because if there is too much pressure within your water heater tank, the valve will release extremely hot water and steam.
  • The drain valve
    • The drain valve is located near the bottom of the tank and can leak due to normal deterioration. This is an easy fix.
  • The internal tank
    • This is where it gets tough. If you don’t see a source of leaking anywhere on the outside of the tank, it may be an internal problem. Have you had the water tank for a long time? It may be time for a replacement.

Home Comfort Alliance is the Pacific Northwest’s trusted HVAC company for all things cooling, heating, and electricity in your home. We will be able to help you assess the situation and repair or replace your water heater leaking problem. Call Home Comfort Alliance today at (425) 645-0404 or request a service or repair for your water heater here.


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