Water heaters have become a key appliance in providing comfort and convenience to daily life. Traditional water heaters can house anywhere from 20-100 gallons of water, making hot water instantly accessible. With such a great supply of water on hand, water heaters also pose a huge threat for water damage and restoration plans.
Water heaters are designed to continually refill themselves when hot water is used so that there is a steady supply of hot water available. While this feature is highly desired when showering or washing dishes, it also means that when a water heater tank leaks, the water supply is endless because of the continuous availability of water. With such great risk of extensive water damage, it is important to know the most common causes of water heater leaks to prevent restoration costs.
The first is loose valve drains. If you notice a leak around your water heater tank, check the drain valves before you do anything else. Valves keep connections to the water supply open or closed, and if a valve becomes loose it will slowly and continually leak water. This type of leak is the easiest to fix, it simply requires tightening the valve with a wrench. However, you need to be cautious to not over-tighten the drain valve. If you force it, you could strip the gripping on the valve and cause even more damage or possibly a rupture.
Another cause of water heater leaks is too much water pressure. If the pressure inside the water heater tank gets too high, something will eventually have to give to release the pressure. The best way to reduce pressure is to release water, so leaks can easily occur when pressure gets too high. The most common cause of increased water pressure is when the temperature on the water heater is set too high. Check the hot water setting on your water heater regularly to ensure that it is not exceeding recommended settings. Another factor in increased water pressure is the pressure of water coming in from the exterior water supply. You can install a water pressure reader or gage to any exterior faucet to check what the incoming pressure is. The last thing that could affect the pressure inside your water heater is the pressure relief valve. This valve is responsible for helping to release excess pressure before it gets too much, but if this valve becomes defective then there is no way for excess pressure to safely be released from the tank.
The age of your water heater tank is probably the leading factor in leaks. While hot water tanks are built to last, they will begin to build up rust and corrosion inside as they age. This buildup greatly weakens the integrity of the tank, making it much more susceptible to leaks. Keeping up with routine maintenance on your water heater tank is the best way to keep corrosion at bay and catch the problem before it becomes a major problem. Most flooding from water heater tanks can be traced back to excess corrosion and rust build up inside the tank.
At Rumsey Construction, we know the value of water heaters, and we also know the damage they can cause. Having your water heater serviced and inspected routinely is the best way to prevent water damage, but that doesn’t mean damage cannot still occur. If your water heater floods your home in Augusta, or you get water damage from any other source, let Rumsey Construction take care of restoration.