Hugh Cairns: Hot water tank failure

A leaking hot water tank is not good news. While a small leak may seem somewhat of a nuisance, it can quickly turn into a big problem.

Hot water tanks often have large storage capacities. Most tanks I inspect are in the 40 gallon range, which is a lot of water. It isn’t so much about the volume of water in the tank, but that the tank is under pressure. When homeowners experience a plumbing leak on the supply side of the plumbing system, the leak usually continues until someone discovers it. The longer the tank leaks the higher the probability of major damage. In extreme cases a complete failure of the tank can occur causing a significant flood. Repair bills are sure to follow and damage to personal property a reality.

Be careful to check out the other mechanical components in the hot water tank area. There can be other sources of water that cause puddles near tanks. Other sources may be plumbing waste lines, appliances near the tank or condensation which can accumulate and drip to the floor.

A water heater leak does not diminish or go away with time. Tank leaks usually accelerate so it’s best to move quickly to fix the problem. Your first move is to shut the power and water supply off to your heater off and call a professional plumber.

For more information on hot water tank leaks click here.

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About the Author

When you need advice or guidance with DIY home improvement and repairs, Hugh Cairns can help you with the answers.

Home improvements can be rewarding, turn your home into a nicer more comfortable place to live, and increase its value.

Whether you are renovating your kitchen, converting a loft, giving a room a lick of paint or making improvements to your home’s energy efficiency, this column is here to guide you with useful information and key things to remember.

Do you have a renovation question or concern? Please feel free to send Hugh your questions. Contact him through www.subject2homeinspections.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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