If you’re like most of us, you don’t give your water heater much thought—even though it is one of the most-used home appliances. But neglecting to maintain your water heater can lead to costly problems down the road. Often, homeowners don’t realize that there is a problem until they notice a telltale puddle of water collecting on the floor.

There are three main sources of water heater leaks:

1.  Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
The T&P (or Temperature and Pressure) relief valve is a safety feature that allows water to be released if there is too much pressure in the tank or if the water inside gets too hot. The discharge tube attached to the valve ensures that any water leaking from the valve is released toward the floor rather than spraying outward, which might cause injuries. To determine if the T&P valve is the problem, check the bottom of the discharge tube for moisture. If it is wet, the T&P valve is faulty or there is too much pressure inside the water heater tank.

2. Drain Valve
Water heaters are equipped with a drain valve that is used to drain water from the tank before performing maintenance or replacing the entire water heater. Drain valves can accidentally get knocked loose and can simply be tightened to stop the leak. However, if tightening doesn’t do the trick, the drain valve might be faulty and will need to be replaced. A faulty drain valve will only get worse over time, so it needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

3. Internal Tank
Sediment can collect inside a water heater’s tank, especially in regions with hard water. This sediment needs to be drained regularly or it can cause the tank to crack, rust, or leak. Once this happens, the tank will need to be replaced. Flushing the sediment yearly will prevent these problems and will add years of service life to your water heater.

Water heater leaks can lead to expensive water damage to your home, so take action as soon as you notice that puddle. If you observe a change in water quality or temperature, if your water heater tank looks rusty, or if it is making noticeable noise, a leak might be imminent. It is important to deal with these problems before they get worse. Our team at Veteran Plumbing is expertly trained to inspect your water heater, find the source of the leak, and recommend the appropriate maintenance and repairs. If necessary, we can replace your damaged unit. Don’t wait! Give us a call as soon as you think there might be a problem, and we will get your water heater up and running in no time!