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My Water Heater is Leaking from the Top

You just got your water bill and it seems to be higher than usual. You head to the basement to gather clues for the high bill and realize that your water heater is leaking from the top. There are a few things that could have happened, but the first thing to do is to check and see if you can find the area that is the source of the problem.

Sometimes the problem is obvious… sometimes not.

There is water spraying everywhere!
Quick, turn the water supply off! The pipes that supply the cold water to your water heater, located just above it, should have a lever or dial. Turn this lever/dial clockwise. If this does not turn the water off, head to your main water shut off and turn it off. Obviously there was a burst pipe or a failed connection. Call Godby and request a plumber to come out and solve the problem with your pipes. The pipes may have been old and corroded and need to be replaced or the seals failed and need to be fixed.

Don’t have a leak that is quite that dramatic? You should still check your pipes for small leaks.

There is a small, slow leak in the pipes connected to my water heater.
If you find that there is a small leak coming from the cold-water inlet pipe or the hot water outlet pipe, the problem may be an easy one to fix. You may simply have a loose connection and need to have the connections tightened. You can either try and do this with a pipe wrench or call Godby. We will send a plumber to determine the problem and get it fixed.

If the leak is not coming from the pipes or the connections, check the temperature and pressure relief valve.

I think my leak is coming from the temperature and pressure relief valve.
There is a valve that is either located near the top of your water heater or on the side. This is the temperature and pressure relief valve. This valve has a tube connected to it that runs from the valve to the floor. If the temperature in your water heater gets too hot or the tank has too much pressure, the valve is set to drain some water in order to release the pressure in the tank. Also check the valve itself. It could be faulty. Is it leaking from where the pipes enter the water heater? The seal is supposed to be watertight. This will need to be taken care of.

If the leak doesn’t seem to be because of the temperature and pressure relief valve, check around the tank for cracks or corrosion.

My tank has rust or corrosion.
If your water heater is old or it hasn’t been maintained correctly, there could be rust and corrosion causing your tank to leak.  If this is the case, you will probably need to replace your water heater. Call Godby Heating Plumbing Electrical and have a plumber come out. He will check out your water heater’s condition. If it needs to be replaced, our plumber will suggest the water heater that will work best for your home and family’s needs.

Once you have determined where the leak is coming from, turn of the cold water supply. As said before, the lever or dial is located above the water heater tank. Pull the lever or turn the dial clockwise to shut off the cold water supply. If this does not work to shut off the water, you can turn your water off at the main water shut off. Once the cold water supply is shut off, turn your water heater off. If you have an electric water heater turn off the circuit breaker that supplies power to the water heater by simply flipping the switch to off. If you have a gas water heater, you should have an on/off switch or dial that simply needs to be turned to off.

Whenever dealing with your water heater, use caution. The water temperature in a water heater is usually set to about 125°F, directly from the factory. Water at this temperature can cause first-degree burns. Also, try to avoid touching the tank. Depending on the issue with your water heater, your tank could be hot.

Whether you need HVAC, plumbing or electrical service, call Godby. Godby has technicians on call 24/7 and will make sure you will receive top-notch service at a fair price. When you have your old water heater replaced with a new Bradford White water heater, join Club Godby. With Club Godby, you will receive 20% off all three trades, priority scheduling and more! Locally owned and operated, the Godby name has been serving Indianapolis and surrounding areas for over 40 years!

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