Water Trade Service plumbing and water installation in Mooresville, NC area

Why Water Heaters Leak

The water heater is an essential part of your home. Without it, you would not be able to take a warm shower or a bath. While most homeowners do not think about the water heater until something goes bad with it.

According to the American Water Works Association, 50% of homes in the U.S. have experienced a hot water heater leak at some point in their lives. 

So if you are wondering, “Why water heater leaks?” and “What to do when water heater leaks?” then don’t worry, Mooresville, NC’s most trusted water heater repair and installation specialists are here to help. 

We’re going to cover everything in this article. 

This guide will provide you with information about the different signs that indicate that your water heater is leaking and what causes these leaks in the first place. You will also learn how to prevent these leaks from occurring in the future and when it is time to call a professional for an electric/gas water heater repair in Mooresville, NC, for help with repairing or replacing your water heater.

How does a water heater work?

Do you know how you put water on the top of your water heater, and it comes out hot at the bottom? That’s because it’s magic. But seriously, there are a few simple ways that a water heater works to heat up the water.

Here’s how it generally works:

  • Cold Water Supply: The water heater is connected to the primary water supply line of the building. Cold water enters the water heater through an inlet pipe near the bottom of the tank.
  • Heating Element or Burner: Inside the water heater, there is a heating element or a burner, depending on the type of water heater. Electric water heaters have one or two electric heating elements, while gas water heaters use a burner that is powered by natural gas or propane.
  • Thermostat: The water heater has a thermostat that controls the temperature of the water. It is usually located near the top of the tank. When the water temperature drops below the set level, the thermostat signals the heating element or burner to start heating.
  • Heat Transfer: The heating element or burner transfers heat energy to the water. In electric water heaters, the heating element is immersed directly in the water, while in gas water heaters, the burner is placed at the bottom of the tank, and the heat rises to heat the water.
  • Storage Tank: The heated water is stored in a tank, which is usually insulated to minimize heat loss. The tank keeps the hot water ready for use whenever it is needed.
  • Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve (TPR Valve): Water heaters are equipped with a TPR valve to ensure safety. This valve releases excess pressure or temperature inside the tank, preventing the tank from exploding in case of a malfunction.
  • Hot Water Outlet: When you open a hot water tap in your home, the hot water comes from the top of the tank through a hot water outlet pipe and is delivered to the desired location.
  • Cold Water Inlet and Circulation: As hot water is used, cold water enters the tank through a dip tube connected to the cold water inlet near the bottom of the tank. This helps maintain a constant supply of hot water.
  • A cycle of Operation: The water heater cycles on and off as required to keep up with the desired water temperature. When the water temperature reaches the set level, the thermostat signals the heating element or burner to stop heating until the temperature drops again.

How to tell if your water is leaking slowly?

You’re enjoying a relaxing bath when suddenly the water stops flowing. You can’t help but wonder: “Is my water heater leaking?”

You don’t want to start panicking, but you’d really like to know the answer. Here are some signs that your water heater might be slowly leaking.

Increased Water Bill

Your water bill may not be significantly higher than usual, but if you’ve observed an increase recently, it might result from a leaking water heater. Check your meter to see if there are any changes in the readings on the dials, and keep track of them over time.

Water Meter Reading

If your water meter is showing higher numbers than normal, then there’s a chance that you have a leak somewhere in the house that’s utilizing more than its fair share of water. Check with your local utility company for more information about how they determine what counts as “normal” usage levels before deciding whether you want to make repairs or replace equipment.

Water Stains and Discoloration

If you notice stains on the wall or ceiling, chances are your hot water heater leaking. This can lead to mold growth and mildew if left untreated.

Mold and Mildew Growth

If you notice mold or mildew growing in your home’s bathroom or kitchen, this could be a sign of a slow water heater leaking. It’s important to get this taken care of sooner rather than later because it can lead to serious health problems down the line!

Dampness or Moisture

If you have water damage on walls and floors near your water heater, it could be a sign that it’s leaking. If there is an accumulation of moisture in some areas, it could be because of a leaky hot water heater.

Soft or Sagging Walls and Floors

If you notice that walls and floors near your water heater are soft or sagging, then this could be another indication that your hot water tank is leaking. A soft or sagging wall will indicate excess moisture in the wall itself, which can be caused by an ineffective hot water tank or your water heater leaking from bottom.

Rusty Water Pipes

Rusty water pipes are another sign that something’s wrong with your hot water tank—usually because your water heater leaking! If you notice rust-colored stains creeping into your sink or tub faucets, this could be due to mineral deposits left behind by corroding metal pipes inside your home’s piping system (and possibly even within the walls themselves).

Low Water Pressure

If you notice your shower or sink isn’t working as well as it used to, or if your water pressure has been low for a while, there’s a high chance that your hot water heater leaks occasionally. Low pressure can also indicate other issues with your plumbing system, so this isn’t a good sign for any home plumbing issue.

Running Water Sounds

If you hear running water coming from under your house or outside of it during non-use hours (when no one is home), then you may have a leak somewhere in your house’s drain system. This could be because the pipes near an exterior wall have frozen and started to leak water out of them. It could also mean that there’s a broken pipe inside your home somewhere—possibly near where you hear sounds coming from outside of it.

What Causes Water Heater Leaks?

Wondering, “Why would a water heater leak?”

Water heater leaks can be caused by a number of things. If you’re experiencing a leak, it’s important to know what might be causing the problem so you can fix it quickly and effectively. Here are some common causes of water heater leaks:

Pressure and Temperature Valve (PT Valve) Malfunction

The pressure and temperature valve is one of the essential parts of your water heater. It regulates the flow of gas or electricity to the burner, which in turn heats up the water. When it malfunctions, it can cause leaks from the gas or electricity lines to your water heater. This can also lead to a dangerous buildup of gas in your home, which can cause an explosion if it isn’t remedied quickly.

Corrosion and Rust

Over time, corrosion and rust can build up around pipes that connect a water heater to other appliances, such as sinks or dishwashers in your home. This causes damage over time, leading to leaks where these pipes meet other parts of your home. If you notice any signs of corrosion or rust on these pipes, contact state tankless water heater repairs in Mooresville, NC, immediately so they can fix them before they cause even more damage than they already have!

Loose or Faulty Plumbing Connections

Make sure all of your plumbing connections are secure and tightened properly. If any of your pipes are loose or leaking, they can cause damage to other areas of your home as well as cause leaks in other areas of your home.

Sediment Buildup

Sediment buildup can occur when hard water flows through pipes over time without being filtered out by softening systems or other filtration systems installed on faucets throughout the house. This can cause corrosion and leaks within the system itself, as well as clog up faucets throughout the house with mineral deposits.

High Water Pressure

Excessive water pressure can strain the tank and plumbing connections, potentially leading to leaks. If the pressure exceeds the recommended range (typically 40-80 psi), it may cause damage to the water heater.

Age and Wear

Aging and wear are two of the main causes of water heater leaks. Using your hot water heater over time can wear it down, especially if you do not treat it properly. When this happens, the seals or gaskets around the bottom of your tank may break or leak. The same thing can happen if you drop something heavy on the tank or hit it with a hammer. 

Physical Damage

This is another common cause of hot water heater leaks. If your water heater is old and has been leaking for a long time, it is time to replace your inefficient and leaked water heater with a new model. If you suspect your hot water heater is leaking but are unsure whether or not it needs to be replaced, contact Wicker Trade Service Inc. today!

Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing defects are often caused by low-quality materials or poor workmanship during the manufacturing process. If your water heater was made by a company that has a history of producing faulty products, you may have a defective water heater on your hands!

What To Do When Your Water Heater Leaks?

When it comes to water heater repair, you can either do it yourself or leave it to the professionals. Many homeowners choose to take on this task themselves and save money by doing so. But if you have no idea where to begin, we’ve got some easy steps on what you will have to do when your water heater leaks. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Turn Off the Power or Gas

The first thing you’ll want to do is turn off the power/gas to your water heater. You don’t want any more damage done while trying to fix it! For electric hot water heaters, find the circuit breaker and switch it off. If you have a gas water heater, turn off the gas supply by shutting off the gas valve near the unit. This step helps prevent potential electrical hazards or gas leaks.

Step 2: Shut Off the Water Supply

In order to ensure that no further damage is done while you’re working on fixing your leaky water heater, it’s important that you shut off its water supply. You can do this by turning off a valve or lever on the side of your hot water tank (or inside). This will prevent any further damage from occurring while you’re working on getting things back into shape again!

Step 3: Drain the Water Heater

The next step is to drain the water from your water heater. This helps prevent any leaks from spreading and damaging surrounding areas. You can do this by shutting off the power to your water heater and opening up the drain valve on top of it. If there’s no drain valve, locate the nearest faucet and turn on a hot water faucet until the water has completely drained out of the tank.

Step 4: Collect and Remove Water 

Next, collect any remaining water around your water heater using buckets or other containers (make sure not to use any containers that have been used for food). The last thing you want is for this collected water to drip down into other areas where it could cause even more damage than what’s already been done! Then dispose of all these containers as soon as possible—you don’t want them sitting around while they could still hold any moisture inside them!

Step 5: Assess the Leak

Try to identify the source of the leak. Examine the tank, valves, fittings, and plumbing connections to decide where the water is coming from. This information can be helpful for the plumber when they arrive for repairs.

Step 6: Call a Professional Plumber

It’s recommended to contact a licensed water heater repair plumber to inspect, diagnose, and repair the water heater. Water heater repairs can be complex and require specialized knowledge. A professional plumber in Mooresville, NC, can assess the issue, determine the appropriate course of action, and make the necessary repairs or recommend a replacement if needed.

Step 7: Clean Up and Restore: 

After the plumber has addressed the water heater leak, thoroughly clean and dry the area to prevent mold and mildew growth. Ensure proper ventilation to aid in drying. If there is any water damage to walls, floors, or belongings, consider contacting a professional restoration service to help with the cleanup and restoration process.

DIY Vs. Professional Water Heater Repair 

When it comes to water heater repair, there are two major options: do it yourself or hire a professional. However, if you’re not sure which one to choose, here’s a quick comparison chart highlighting the differences between DIY (Do-It-Yourself) water heater repair and professional water heater repair:

AspectDIY Water Heater RepairProfessional Water Heater Repair
Expertise and KnowledgeRequires a certain level of plumbing and electrical knowledge. Depending on the issue, understanding water heater components and troubleshooting are necessary.Professional plumbers have extensive knowledge and expertise in water heater systems. They are trained to diagnose problems accurately and have experience repairing various water heaters.
SafetyDIY repairs can pose safety risks, especially when dealing with electrical components or gas connections. If not appropriately handled, there is a higher risk of electrical shock or gas leaks.Professionals are well-versed in safety precautions and follow industry standards. They have the equipment, experience, and training to handle repairs, minimizing risks safely.
Tools and EquipmentBasic tools are usually sufficient for simple valve or element replacement repairs. However, specialized tools may be required for more complex repairs.Professionals have access to a wide range of specialized tools and equipment specifically designed for water heater repairs. They can quickly and efficiently perform repairs using the appropriate tools.
Time and ConvenienceDIY repairs can be time-consuming, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the process. You may spend significant time researching, troubleshooting, and attempting repairs.Professionals can save you time and effort. They have the knowledge and experience to diagnose and repair issues efficiently, reducing downtime and inconvenience.
Warranty and GuaranteesDIY repairs may void the manufacturer’s warranty if not performed correctly. Successful repair is not guaranteed, and any mistakes could lead to further damage.Professional repairs often come with warranties and guarantees. If something goes wrong, you can rely on the plumber’s expertise and have recourse for any issues that arise post-repair.
Long-Term Cost ConsiderationsWhile DIY repairs may seem cost-effective initially, improper repairs can lead to more significant damage or recurring issues, resulting in higher repair or replacement costs in the long run.When done correctly, professional repairs can ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your water heater. They may also identify underlying issues that could save you from future costly repairs.
Complexity of RepairsSimple repairs like replacing valves or elements can be DIY-friendly. However, complex issues, such as leaks within the tank or gas line problems, require professional expertise.Professional plumbers have the skills to handle both simple and complex repairs. They can diagnose and address underlying issues that may not be apparent to an untrained individual.

Preventive Tips For Water Heater Leak

Water heater leaks are a common problem, but they can be prevented. Take these seven steps to prevent a water heater leak and keep your home safe and dry.

1. Check the pressure relief valve

2. Keep the water heater clean

3. Check the water heater’s insulation

4. Do a professional inspection twice a year

5. Add a tankless water heater or solar power system to your home

6. Have your water heater replaced every 10 years

7. Get a water heater that has an energy efficiency rating of at least 95%

Call Water Heater Repair Experts in Mooresville, NC!

If you’re having issues with your water heater, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced professionals at Wicker Trade Service Inc. We are a full-service plumbing company that provides 24/7 emergency plumbing services, so we will be there when you need us most. 

We serve all of the Carolinas, including Charlotte and Denver. We have been in business for many years now and are proud to offer our customers an extensive range of plumbing services, from water heater and air conditioning installation and repair to home inspections. Our Leak Detection and Water Heater Services in Mooresville include:

– Water Heater Installation

– Tankless Water Heater Installation

– Gas Valve Installation

– Tankless Water Heater Repair

– Gas Valve Repair

– Tankless Water Heater Replacement

Our technicians are experienced in all brands and types of water heaters and will be able to quickly diagnose your situation and come up with a plan for your repair or installation. When you work with us, you can expect:

– Friendly customer service and professional technicians who will arrive on time and get the plumbing job done right the first time around

– A commitment to excellence that is unmatched by any other plumbing company in the area

– Affordable rates and flexible payment plans to make sure you don’t break the bank when it comes time for your next service call

Our skilled and licensed technicians are able to diagnose and repair any issues with your water heater quickly so that you can get back to enjoying hot showers or baths as soon as possible. We also provide preventative maintenance plans that will help keep your system operating smoothly for years to come.
Give us a call today at (704) 340-4810 if you need assistance with your water heater installation Mooresville, NC needs!

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