Hot Water Heater Repair: How To Repair A Leak

The average hot water heater holds approximately 40 gallons if it runs on gas and 65 gallons if it runs on electricity. That's a lot of water that you don't want spilling out, which is why it is important to conduct thorough annual examinations in order to determine whether there are any leakages that need to be addressed. If there is water dripping from your hot water heater, don't fret just yet. The water may be condensation. Even if it's not, the hot water heater may still be salvageable and repairable. Here's how:

Safety First

Before working on repairing any leaks, you first want to shut off the main water supply and the electric power supply that goes to the hot water heater. You don't want any hot water rushing out from the tank if anything goes wrong, as you could potentially burn yourself. While it may be necessary to have some of the water inside the tank in the first place when identifying where the leaks are, consider draining the hot water heaters when you are actually working on fixing the leakages in order to avoid horrible spills.

The Steps Involved With Repairing A Leakage

Hot water heaters that are leaking are typically old and used. The fittings may have corroded or may no longer be as tight anymore. That's why you will want to check the drain valves and the pressure relief valves for leakages first. If the fittings have corroded, they will be difficult to work with. In the process of tightening the fittings, you may just end up breaking it. That's why most experts typically recommend replacing the fittings with new ones. You should find fittings that will fit your model at a home hardware store. Simply remove the original fittings and replace them with the new ones before tightening them up again. It should work just like new.

If the fittings are in perfect condition, then take the time to check out the piping that leads to and away from the hot water heaters. They may also be leaking. Depending on the size of the crack, you can generally patch up the cracks with epoxy paste or some patching material found at home hardware stores as well. If a large section of the piping has cracked, call in an expert hot water repair technician.

Determining If It Is Condensation

If there are no problems with the fittings and the piping, then consider whether the water is coming from condensation. Initially, the hot water tanks get filled with cold water, and the cold water gets heated up. This causes condensation to form. Generally speaking, condensation only happens if the hot water heater has been recently installed. If the problem is condensation, then you can rest assured that the condensation will disappear within the next morning or within the next few days. It is not a problem that you have to concern yourself with. However, if the problem persists, then you know for sure that the water is not coming from condensation, and you may have missed a leak.

Replacing The Hot Water Heater

In some rare circumstances, you may have to replace the entire hot water heater. If the tank of hot water heater is leaking, then patching it up won't do any good. Call in an expert repairman immediately to get a quote on how much installing a new hot water heater may cost. Most homeowners can expect the average lifespan of their hot water heaters to be around 8 to 12 years.


A leaking hot water heater can be a nightmare to work with. There is nothing as inconvenient as not having any heated water in the household. You will be surprised at just how much you can miss hot showers. Although small repairs are easy to deal with, consider calling a water heater repair expert if you have no experience at all in order to ensure that an accurate diagnosis of the problem is made.