Steps to Take When Your Water Heater Is Leaking

A little water can do a lot of damage to your home. If a water heater leak is severe enough, you might need to rip out drywall and carpeting, or else risk a mold infestation in your home. To minimize the damage as much as possible, you’ll need to take action right away. Here’s what plumbers recommend you do as soon as you notice a water heater leak. 

Avoid coming into contact with the water. 

The water coming out of the appliance can be hot enough to cause scalding burn injuries. Avoid making direct contact with it, such as by touching it. You should also avoid making indirect contact with it, such as by stepping into it even if you’re wearing shoes. 

Shut off the power supply. 

Electricity is dangerous around water leaks. Protect yourself by shutting off the power supply before doing anything else. If you have a gas water heater, you can shut it off with the on/off switch or dial on the appliance. If you have an electric water heater, go to the breaker circuit box. Flip the circuit breaker for the water heater to the off position. 

Do not obstruct the T/P valve. 

In some cases, the leak may be coming from the temperature and pressure (T/P) valve. This should be located on the side of your water heater, close to the top. A leak at this valve could mean that there’s excessive pressure inside the tank. Never try to plug up the valve to stop the leak, since this can cause an explosion. 

Shut off the cold water supply. 

After you’ve shut off the power supply, you need to shut off the cold water supply to the tank to minimize the amount of water leaking out. Look for a valve above the tank that has either a handle (which you’ll pull down) or a dial (which you’ll turn clockwise). Note that if you can’t reach the tank without coming into contact with hot water, you should instead use the main water shutoff valve for your home. As soon as you’ve taken these steps, call a plumber to request emergency hot water heater repairs. 

Got a leaking water heater? Call Ace Plumbing at (916) 455-4548 to request an emergency plumbing appointment. Our team of highly trained experts can perform prompt hot water heater repairs in homes near Sacramento. 

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