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How to Prevent Water Heater Leaks and Flooding

Tyler Toivonen

June 16, 2024

Water heater leaks and flooding can cause extensive damage and expensive repairs in your house. Proactively preventing these issues can save you a lot of grief. True Plumbing, based in Vancouver, WA, has provided a thorough advice on how to prevent water heater leaks and flooding.

Regular Maintenance Checks

Regular maintenance is required to keep your water heater in good operating order and prevent leaks. Schedule at least one professional examination per year. During these checks, the technician will look for signs of wear and tear, corrosion, and other concerns that could cause leaks. They will also flush the tank to remove any silt buildup that may cause the heater to malfunction.

Inspect the Pressure Relief Valve

The pressure relief valve (TPR valve) is a safety mechanism that removes excess pressure from the tank. If the valve fails, pressure can accumulate and cause the tank to burst. To test the TPR valve, lift the lever halfway and allow it to snap back. You should hear a gurgling sound when the valve releases some water into the drain tube. If you don’t hear anything and water keeps flowing out, the valve may need to be replaced.

Monitor Water Pressure

How to Prevent Water Heater Leaks and Flooding

High water pressure can strain your water heater and plumbing system, increasing the likelihood of leaks. The appropriate water pressure for most dwellings is between 40 and 60 psi. You may check your water pressure with a basic pressure gauge fitted to an outdoor faucet. If the pressure is too high, consider installing a pressure-reduction valve (PRV) to lower it to a safe level.

Insulate Your Water Heater

Insulating your water heater prevents condensation from accumulating on the tank’s outside, which can lead to rust and leaks. Furthermore, insulation can improve energy efficiency by limiting heat loss. Water heater insulation blankets may be purchased at most hardware stores. Follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions and don’t cover the thermostat or the pressure relief valve.

Check the Anode Rod

The anode rod is an important component that prevents corrosion inside the water heater tank. It attracts corrosive elements from the water, so protecting the tank liner. Over time, the anode rod will deteriorate and must be replaced. Check the anode rod every two to three years by unscrewing it from the tank’s top. If the rod is highly rusted or less than half an inch thick, replace it.

Use a Water Softener

How to Prevent Water Heater Leaks and Flooding

If your home has hard water, minerals can collect inside the tank, causing corrosion and leaks. Installing a water softener can lower the mineral content of your water, extending the life of your water heater and avoiding leaks. A water softener eliminates calcium and magnesium ions and replaces them with sodium or potassium ions that do not cause scaling.

Install a Leak Detection System

A leak monitoring system can detect water heater leaks early, before they cause severe harm. These systems often include sensors installed around the water heater that sound an alert or turn off the water supply if a leak is detected. Some modern systems can even transmit notifications to your smartphone, allowing you to take rapid action wherever you are.

Consider a Drain Pan and Flood Stops

Installing a drain pan under your water heater might help to limit minor leaks and minimize water damage to your property. Make sure the pan is connected to a drain line to remove water from the area. Additionally, flood stops are devices that automatically turn off the water supply when a leak is detected. They are generally affordable and can be extremely useful in averting flooding.

Replace Aging Water Heaters

Most water heaters have a lifespan of 8 to 12 years. If your water heater is nearing or has passed this age, it may be more susceptible to leaks and other problems. Consider replacing an old water heater with a newer, more efficient one. Newer water heaters are not only less prone to leaks, but they also provide higher performance and energy efficiency.

Regularly Check for Signs of Leaks

Regularly inspect around your water heater for signs of leaks. Look for rust or corrosion on the tank, pools of water on the floor, or a wet, musty odor. Pay attention to any strange noises, such as popping or hissing, as these could indicate sediment buildup or pressure concerns. Early detection of a leak can keep a minor problem from becoming a catastrophic catastrophe.

To Summarize

Preventing water heater leaks and flooding is critical for safeguarding your property from water damage and expensive repairs. Follow these tips to increase the life and efficiency of your water heater. Leak prevention requires regular maintenance, water pressure monitoring, tank insulation, and the installation of leak detecting devices. True Plumbing understands the value of having a dependable water heater. Our knowledgeable specialists are ready to assist you with all of your water heater needs, from routine maintenance and inspections to repairs and replacements.

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True Plumbing was formed in order to provide the residents and business owners in Vancouver WA and all surrounding areas with a local, dependable and trustworthy plumbing company. Concentrating on excellent service and effective repairs, our job is to make every customer happy! We don’t want your family or yourself to be without a working plumbing system for too long. We offer a comprehensive list of plumbing services including Residential and Commercial plumbing, Drain cleaning, Water heater replacement and repair, Whole house water filtration installation, Bathroom remodeling, Whole house repipes, Whole house water softening system installation, Fixture repair and replacement and many more. Consider us your friendly neighborhood plumber!

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