Most residential water heaters, if taken proper care of, should last for anywhere from 10 to 15 years before needing to be replaced. One of the most common reasons water heaters need to be replaced is due to a leak, and unfortunately, these leaks can create a lot of water damage due to the large volume of water (often 40-50 gallons) that the tanks carry. As such, all homeowners should be aware of the proper steps to take if their water heater starts to leak.
Shut Off the Water Supply to the Heater
The first step is to make sure there is no additional water being sent to the tank, as this will only lead to more leaks. Your water heater should have a shut-off valve located near the tank, so be sure to close the valve. Unfortunately, if there is any existing water in the tank, this will probably not stop it from leaking until it empties out--so hopefully the leak is a slow one.
Call a Plumber Right Away for Repair
In most cases, a leaking water heater will need to be entirely replaced. This is because leaks are usually caused by long-term rust and corrosion, which is not easy to repair. As soon as you spot a leak in your water heater, it's a good idea to call your plumber and provide him or her with the size and type of tank (gas or electric). There's a good chance he or she will be able to replace it as soon as the same-day. And if not, a plumber should at least be able to drain the water from the tank so that additional water damage doesn't occur.
Rent an Industrial Fan if Needed
If the leaking of your water heater led to soaked carpeting or other flooring, it's probably a good idea to rent an industrial fan or blower from your local home improvement store. These devices can be used to help dry out the affected area. In cases of severe water damage, however, you may need to call a damage restoration company (especially if you suspect mold or mildew).
Dealing with a leaky water heater can be a real pain for any homeowner, but by knowing the necessary steps to take, you can save yourself a lot of hassle and minimize damage to your home. A professional plumbing repair professional can also help you have your water heater replaced in a timely manner. Click here to learn more.