Leaky Hot Water Heater?

By Chuck Foertsch

June 15, 2019

Just. Great. You turned your faucet on and let it run and run and no hot water.  You check your hot water heater and you noticed water pooling around the bottom. So is this serious, do you need to call a plumber? The seriousness of the problem depends on WHERE the leak is coming from at the bottom.

Step 1: Look at these 2 places:

  • The drain valve (the spigot at the bottom of the tank that drains the water heater of sediment)

  • The water heater's tank

The drain valve: If the leak is here-good news-the repair is simple and relatively inexpensive. You just need a plumber to replace the faulty drain valve.

The tank: If the leak is coming from the tank you'll need to replace the water heater. Most likely, sediment (minerals) has built up at the bottom of the tank, corroding the tank's inner lining.

Step 2: Turn off the water heater and water supply Now that you know where the leak is, you'll want to slow the leak to prevent further water damage. First, turn off the water heater.

  • For electric water heaters, find the water heater's circuit breaker and flip it to "off."

  • For gas water heaters, look on your water heater for an on/off switch or dial. Turn it to "off."

Now, shut off the cold water supply. To do that, look for a lever or dial above your water heater. Pull the lever or turn the dial clockwise. WARNING: Your water heater may be hot. So be careful that you don't come in contact with the tank as you reach for the dial or lever.

Step 3: Call a plumber for help. If the drain valve is leaking water, call a plumber to replace the valve. Like I  said, it's a relatively inexpensive repair. If the water heater's tank is leaking, you'll need to call a plumber to replace your water heater.   Feel free to give me a call at the shop at Aurora. 701-242-7202,