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Common Types of Water Heater Leaks

Published by 911 Restoration Washington DC on April 15, 2014 in category: Water Damage Restoration

water removal washington dcWater heaters do not last forever, especially because they are so critical to our everyday lives. We use the water heater to wash dishes, launder clothes, and take showers. When a piece of equipment sees this level of use, it will begin to degrade over time and develop leaks. This can be very problematic, as much of daily life relies on the water heater and leaks will undermine its functionality. In order to be able to fix the leaks, it is critical to be able to identify where they are and what kind of leak it is.

Valve and Gasket Leaks

There are numerous pipes running out of the water heater. Each of these pipes has a series of valves that control the flow of the water, as well as seals and gaskets that ensure that the water stays in the pipe where it belongs. The seals and gaskets are usually made out of rubber, which has the tendency to become brittle and break down over time. The valves, when used often, will also begin to degrade and develop minor gaps and flaws that will cause the water to leak out of the pipes. The water that leaks out of the water heater pumps will usually collect on the floor in large puddles and cause water damage.

Water Heater Tank Leaks

There are two main reasons why a water heater tank might begin to leak. The first is if there is an excessive amount of pressure in the tank. When the water pressure becomes too great, an excessive amount of pressure will be put on the walls of the water heater tank, causing them to warp and develop small cracks and holes. This will result in leaking. When this is the case, there is a high chance that the leak will simply need to be patched. The second type of water heater tank leak is rust. Rust develops as the coatings on the water heater slowly wear away and the tank begins to degrade. When a water heater tank starts to degrade to this degree, then it will either need to be recoated with a rust-proof substance, or the tank will need to be replaced entirely. Hiring a professional to inspect the tank will allow a decision to be made regarding whether or not the tank needs to be replaced.

Dip Tube Leaks

The dip tube is the tube within the water tank that takes the cold water from the tank and transfers it to the bottom where it can be heated and then rise to the top. When the dip tube loosens, it is considered to be an internal leak. This type of leak can be harder to discover because the main symptom is that the amount of hot water that is produced is greatly decreased, since the cold water will not constantly be heated. If there seems to be a significant decrease in the amount of available hot water, then the water will need to be drained from the tank and the dip tube adjusted.

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