One of the most catastrophic sources of water damage in homes is the water heater. When functioning correctly, the water heater provides incredible comfort to daily life, but when water heaters leak, it causes major destruction. Here is everything you need to know about your water heater and how to help prevent water damage cleanup from a faulty water heater.
Traditional water heaters are sized according to how many gallons of hot water they can hold at a time. The most common residential water heaters range from 20-100 gallons. Water heaters are designed to continually fill themselves, so leaks from water heaters cause extensive flooding due to the continuous availability of water. The most common sources of water heater leaks from your water heater are:
When a drain valve becomes loose, it will slowly, and continually, leak water. It is easy to stop a leaking drain valve; you simply tighten it with a wrench. However, you must be cautious to not over-tighten the drain valve, because if you force it you could cause more damage and even a rupture. If you notice a leak, check the drain valve first. If that is the cause, it will be the simplest fix that you can cover on your own.
If the water heater tank builds up too much pressure inside, water will leak out of the tank in an attempt to reduce the pressure. So, what causes an increase in water pressure? It most commonly occurs when the temperature on the hot water is set too high. Another factor that can lead to increased water pressure is if the exterior water supply to a house comes in at too high a pressure. If the temperature pressure relief valve is defective, it can also lead to an excess buildup of pressure in the water heater. Check the hot water setting to make sure it is not too high, and if you think it could be the water supply pressure that is extensive, install a water pressure reader to monitor it.
Hot water heaters are built to last, but as they age they will begin to rust and corrode. When corrosion gets bad enough, it will cause water to leak out. Leaks from corrosion are serious and should not be ignored. Failure to replace a water heater that is corroded will result in horrible flooding.
It is natural for condensation to occur on a hot water heater. When cold water first enters the tank, it will lead to condensation if the outside air is hot. While this is not a major problem, and can just be wiped down, if major condensation occurs to the point where water is running down the sides of your water heater and collecting on the floor, you should get your water heater serviced.
Since water heaters are a necessary appliance for the necessary functions of day-to-day life, it is good to be proactive about checking your water heater and keeping up on maintenance so you can avoid water damage cleanup to your home. Even then, water damage cannot always be avoided. If you find yourself faced with water damage in your Columbus home, whether from your water heater or any other source, call the cleanup professionals at Southeast Restoration.