Most Common Causes of Water Heater Leaks - My Plumber Kelowna


By Dave Bangar

The Six Most Common Causes of Water Heater Leaks

Reading Time: 3 minutes

How to Troubleshoot and Resolve A Leaking Water Heater

For any Kelowna homeowner, your water heater is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your home. It’s what produces hot water for your morning shower, gets your dishes sparkling clean, and keeps your Kelowna home functioning properly. But like any major home appliance, issues can arise due to age and poor maintenance, making your water heater less effective and severely impacting your day-to-day life. This includes leaks. When left unchecked, even the smallest of leaks escalate into a major problem, causing expensive water damage and repairs.

In this article, we will be focusing on the issue of water heater leaks, including what causes them and how to resolve this common issue. Keep reading to learn more.

What May Be Causing Your Water Heater to Leak and How to Fix the Issue

Water heater leaks can be a common frustration for Kelowna homeowners. Even more frustrating is the fact that water heater leaks can occur due to a variety of different reasons, which makes it difficult to troubleshoot the issue if you don’t know what to look for. Below, we’ve outlined some of the most common reasons water heater leaks occur, along with some recommendations for how you can resolve the issue.

A Leak From the Pressure Relief Valve (PRV)

A Pressure Relief Valve is a component in your water heater that releases excess pressure. Sometimes, due to age or a defect, this component can malfunction, causing water to leak from your water heater. If you determine that this is happening with your water heater, you will need to replace the PRV with a new one.

Loose or Faulty Connections

Water heaters have many different connections and fittings, like inlet and outlet pipes. If they aren’t properly installed or the water heater is not well maintained, they can loosen over time, causing leaks. If your water heater is leaking and you suspect this is the issue, tighten any connections that seem loose or call a plumber to have any damaged pipes or components replaced.

Old Age

Just like any type of home appliance, water heaters don’t last forever. Typically, you can expect a gas water heater to last between eight and 12 years, while electric ones can last between 10 and 15 years. If your water heater is approaching the end of its lifespan and you’ve noticed that it has started leaking, there’s a good chance it will need to be replaced.

Freezing Temperatures

If you live in Kelowna, where temperatures can often drop below 0 degrees Celsius during the winter months, this can lead to issues with your water heater. The reason for this is that the water inside the water heater can freeze due to cold weather. When this happens, the water expands, and cracks can form, damaging the tank and causing leaks.

A Buildup of Sediment

Minerals and debris, also known as sediment, can build up at the bottom of hot water tanks over time, leading to a variety of issues, including corrosion and leaks. When this happens, simply drain all the water from the tank and flush it out. This task should be done at least once a year to prevent sediment from continuing to accumulate.

If your water heater continues to leak after draining and flushing it out, the sediment buildup may have caused damage to the unit that will need to be repaired by a plumber.

Loose or Damaged Drain Valve

A water heater’s drain valve is located at the bottom of the water heater and is used for draining water from the tank. When this valve becomes loose or damaged, it can cause the tank to leak. To fix the issue, tighten the loose valve or replace it if it has become damaged.

If you are dealing with a leaking water heater and are unsure of what may be causing the problem and how to resolve it, give us a call. At My Plumber Kelowna, we have a team of trained HVAC professionals who can help you troubleshoot and resolve any issues you’re experiencing with your water heater. Or, if we find that your heater needs replacing, we’ll help you select the perfect unit for your needs and install it for you. 

Call us today at 250-601-0000 or fill out a form on our website and we will be in touch ASAP.

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