If you’ve noticed that your hot water system is leaking water, it’s a good idea to identify the cause as soon as possible. Often, hot water system leaks are caused by minor issues, though in some cases you’ll need to get a qualified plumber to repair or replace your unit.
Common Causes of Water Heater Leaks
Why do hot water systems leak? There are plenty of potential causes – the most common ones include:
- The age of your water heater
- Holes in the tank or pipes
- A loose drain valve
- Excess pressure in the tank
The best way to avoid hot water system leaks in the first place is to have your unit serviced as per manufacturer instructions.
How To Stop Water Leaking
Before calling a plumber you can follow these steps to identify the cause of your hot water system leak. Safety should always come first, so if you’re not experienced with gas/electrical appliances, or you need to climb onto a roof, get in touch with a professional.
- Inspect: The first and most obvious step is to inspect your system thoroughly, including the tank, pipe and valves. If you notice water on the pipework, it could be condensation (meaning that the hot water system isn’t actually leaking). Dry any parts of the unit that appear wet and then check back after a few hours to see if they’re still dry. If they are, it’s unlikely that your system is leaking.
- Switch off the electricity source: Turn off the electricity supply if you have an electric-boosted solar or electric storage hot water system. You’ll find the main circuit breaker in the switchboard or power box. Don’t forget this step as it’s crucial to your safety if you do discover a leak.
- Shut off the gas supply: There will be a yellow valve near the gas booster or the gas storage tank. For many older gas storage systems – the valve is on the copper pipe supply that connects to the front of the hot water tank. After doing this, monitor the leak to see whether it stops or improves.
- Check the valves: The water could simply be leaking from one of the valves. Try to lift the lever on the valve gently and then put it back gently. There could be some debris caught in the valve and this might clear the blockage.
- Isolate the cold water supply: Try this if the steps above have not been successful. You can do this bynection if you have a tank on the ground, and will generally have a blue handle. If your system is turning off the duo valve. This valve will be located on the lowest copper pipe conmounted on the roof – the valve could be located on the wall or next to the system on the roof. Do not access the roof if it’s not safe to do so, call a licenced plumber.
- Note the season: Sometimes roof mounted solar hot water systems will leak water from the overflow valve. This generally happens in summer when the tank is too hot and the valve activates to release the super-heated water from the tank. If you notice the water ‘dumping’ from the system in summer, you can install a thermosiphon arrestor valve to prevent this from occurring.
- Call Solargain: When it comes to hot water systems it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Solargain’s team of hot water experts are on hand to troubleshoot over the phone as well as provide qualified plumbers to your address. Our aim is to have you enjoying hot water (safely) in as little time as possible.
Contact Solargain online or call us on 1300 73 93 55.