We receive many calls for hot water heater repair in Altoona, PA because people notice puddles around it in their home. When you see water accumulation or humidity around your tank, it can run the gamut from minor, temporary circumstances to needing a full replacement. If you suspect your hot water heater is leaking, here are some possible causes, as well as tips on when to call us:
- Condensation: People frequently mistake condensation for leaking. This arises when there are multiple demands on a hot water tank. If you run your dishwasher, wash towels on the hot water setting and take a shower all at the same time, this can reduce the water load in your tank by half. The upper portion of the tank that no longer holds hot water meets the warm air of your home, and that produces condensation. That will eventually drip down the sides and produce small puddles. If you notice smaller puddles and see water dripping down your tank, assess your recent hot water usage first before assuming there is a leak. You may just need to give your hot water heater a break.
- Leaking pipes: Many pipe leaks are attributed to water heaters. Each heater has a cold water line in and a hot water line out. Elbow joints in the pipes bend and eventually start to wear out. Water leaking from these pipes can appear to come from your hot water tank. Local plumbers can repair these leaks quickly by replacing the pipes and fittings.
- Old gaskets: Over time, the seals on gaskets wear out and puddles form near your hot water heater. Like the leaking pipes, this will appear to be coming from your tank. To repair, plumbers drain the tank first and turn off the water. This is time consuming, but usually less expensive than replacing your hot water heater.
- The pressure relief valve: Each hot water heater has a component that opens when pressure rises in the tank, producing steam until the temperature returns to normal. Steam turns to condensation, and that also causes water accumulation around your tank. Check the water temperature first, as when that is set too high, it also increases the pressure. A temperature of 120 degrees or lower should not increase pressure. If it does, you will need to replace the pressure relief valve.
- Your tank is worn out: Like any other home appliance, hot water tanks will wear out. After eliminating these other causes, it is likely that the leak is from the tank itself. This is unfortunately one problem that cannot be repaired. You will need to replace your tank before your situation becomes critical and produces a hot water flood in your basement, storage closet or other location where your hot water heater is stored.
If you are looking for reliable hot water heater repair in Altoona, PA, call Caporuscio Plumbing & Heating Inc. We also offer 24/7 emergency plumbing and HVAC service in case your hot water heater quits functioning at an inconvenient time.