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How to Prevent and Handle Bottom Leaks in Your Water Heater

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Drip…drip…drip. Can anything be worse than walking into the water closet and hearing that? Realizing your water heater is leaking from the bottom can be quite the inconvenience, but with the help of a professional, you won’t have to panic. 

Leaking water heaters are a common household problem that can be caused by various factors. Here are some possible reasons why your water heater is leaking from the bottom and how you can fix it.

What Causes Bottom Leaks in Water Heaters?

Understanding the common causes of bottom leaks in water heaters is the first step to prevention. These leaks can arise from several sources, including:

  • Tank Corrosion: Over time, water minerals can corrode the tank’s interior, which leads to leaks.
  • Faulty Drain Valve: A leak from the bottom may be due to a loose or damaged drain valve.
  • Internal Pressure: Excessive pressure inside the tank can cause it to leak from various points, including the bottom.
  • Sediment Build-up: Accumulation of sediment at the bottom of the tank can lead to corrosion and eventual leaks.

Signs and Symptoms Your Water Heater is Leaking From the Bottom

Identifying a bottom leak early can save you from potential headaches down the road. Some visible signs include:

  • Water pooling around the base of your water heater
  • A noticeable decrease in hot water supply or fluctuating water temperatures
  • Unusual noises or vibrations emanating from the tank

How to Handle Bottom Leaks

If you discover  your water heater is leaking from the bottom, taking immediate action is essential. Here are the steps you should follow:

1. Shut Off the Water Supply and Power

Before going any further, you need to immediately turn off the water supply to prevent any additional water from flowing into the tank. You can also ensure the safety of your home by turning off the electricity or gas supply to the water heater. 

2. Drain the Tank

Once the water and power supplies have been safely turned off, proceed to carefully drain the tank. This is an important step to prevent any possible water damage in the surrounding area and to thoroughly assess the extent of the leak. Make sure to connect a hose to the drain valve of the tank and direct the water to a suitable drain to avoid mess and water damage.

3. Inspect for Damage

After draining the tank, take the time to carefully inspect it for any signs of corrosion, cracks, or other forms of damage that may have contributed to the leak. Pay special attention to the tank’s inlets and outlets, as well as any connecting pipes, as these are common areas where leaks can occur. Identifying the source of the leak is crucial for determining the best course of action for repair or replacement.

Preventive Maintenance Measures

Preventing bottom leaks from occurring in the first place is always preferable to dealing with them after the fact. Some measures include:

  • Scheduling regular professional inspections of your water heater
  • Draining and flushing the tank annually to remove sediment build-up
  • Checking the pressure relief valve and drain valve for signs of wear and tear

Tips for Hiring a Professional

When it comes to water heater maintenance and repair, consulting with a professional plumber is crucial. To ensure you’re hiring a reputable service, consider the following tips:

  • Research and read reviews from past customers
  • Verify that the plumbing service is licensed and insured
  • Ask for references or examples of previous work

Keep Your Water Heater Running Smoothly With Dupree Plumbing

Regular maintenance and prompt attention to any signs of leakage can keep your water heater running efficiently for years to come. If you’re experiencing a water heater leaking from the bottom or have concerns about your system’s condition, we have you covered.

Dupree Plumbing is here to help with all your water heater needs. Our team of licensed and insured professionals is equipped to handle everything from routine maintenance to emergency repairs. Don’t wait for a small leak to become a big problem – contact Dupree Plumbing today.