As odd as it sounds, when a water heater leaks, it does not always have to be replaced. You may just need to call your plumber in to take care of water heater repair in Grand Rapids, MN or replace particular components, rather than the whole tank. However, there are some situations when it should be replaced, and perhaps with a more-efficient, on-demand design. Here are factors to eliminate first before you panic about replacing your water heater.
- Condensation: Many leaks are actually just condensation. If you are running a dishwasher, washing clothes and taking a shower at the same time, this high demand can reduce a water heater’s load by over half. The cold part of the tank with no contact with water reacts to the warm air in your home and produces condensation. It can drip to the floor and look like a leak. So if you see small puddles, assess your recent hot water use first before assuming there is a leak. It may just be a matter of giving your water heater a break.
- Pipes: Sometimes, it is not your water heater but the pipes that are leaking. Each heater has a cold water line in and a hot water line out. The elbow joints in these pipes bend and eventually wear out. Water can leak out of them and appear to be coming from your tank. This is fortunately an easy repair job for a local plumber. Replacing these pipes or their fittings normally solves this problem.
- Gaskets: Like pipes, gaskets are also easy to repair or replace without requiring investment in a new tank. When their seals wear out, the puddle that forms below the tank also looks like a leak. A plumber will have to drain the tank first and turn off the water, but at least you will spend less on repair than replacement.
- Pressure relief valve: This component opens when pressure rises in the tank, producing steam until pressure returns to normal. Since steam quickly turns into condensation, and a puddle on the ground, it will also look like the tank is leaking. Check the water temperature, as when this is set too high, that normally leads to high pressure. However, if your water temperature is kept at 120 degrees or lower, it is likely this component needs replacement.
Once you eliminate these causes, and find that the leak is actually from your tank, you will need to contemplate replacing it. While many components of a hot water heater can be repaired, there is no way to seal leaks in the tank itself. All tanks corrode eventually, as the strain of heating and cooling, plus any water minerals, will take its toll.
Rapids Plumbing & Heating, Inc. offers water heater repair in Grand Rapids, MN, as well as water heater replacement. Whether you need new pipes or wish to switch to an on-demand system, we offer the staff and skills to help you. Give us a call today so we can ensure you continue to have access to hot water.