Among the devices that cannot be replaced with anything in an apartment or a country house it is a water heater. And that’s why problems arise when equipment fails. What to do if your water heater is leaking?

If the water heater leaks, then you must immediately find the cause of the breakdown and eliminate it. If you do not take timely measures, then the consequences can be the most unpredictable. Moreover, to eliminate them, you will need a lot of time.

Let’s not forget that any repairs involve considerable costs. Note also that a faulty boiler often causes flooding. The problem is that not only your apartment can be flooded. If you live in a high-rise building, you can also flood your neighbors. Human safety issues are also associated with such a breakdown. The fact is that there is a risk of electric shock.

Therefore, it is your responsibility to eliminate the issues as soon as possible. And to do this, the first step is to find the reason why the boiler is leaking. We remind you that this should be done when the device is disconnected from the network, and the water supply is shut off. The practice has shown that such a problem often arises: water flows out of the upper or lower part of the boiler, which does not allow the equipment’s normal operation.

This article is to help those who encounter such a problem. Here you can read about why the tank is leaking and methods to eliminate them with your own hands. We will also tell you about how to prevent such damage to the device.

Reasons For A Hot Water Heater Leak

You find that the tank is leaking from the top or bottom. What to do? Unplug the appliance immediately. Use a flashlight and inspect. It would help if you determined where the water is flowing.

The boiler can leak for various reasons. The ability to perform repairs on your own depends on how quickly and correctly you determine the cause. 

It is possible that after inspection, you will determine the body is leaking from below. The gaskets or the heating element sheath may have worn out. If the leak is on the side or bottom, then look for a hole in the tank.

The main reasons due to which the case becomes leaky:

  • Defect admitted in production. In this case, the leak will start shortly after the device is installed. 
  • Production preventive work has not been carried out. The casing should be inspected for damage and scale formation at least once a year. 
  • There was no replacement for the magnesium anode. 
  • The water used is hard; it contains a lot of impurities. 
  • There is no grounding of equipment.

However, the reasons do not depend on the water heater brand such as Ariston, Novatek, Termeks. They are common to any brand. How to pinpoint a fault? How to fix it yourself?

Installation Violations

Most often, water leaks because the outer shell is deformed. This problem usually manifests itself if the rules for installing the boiler have been violated. Don’t look for the manufacturer’s fault here. Water dripping over a water heater’s outer shell can often be found almost immediately after the appliance has been installed.

Shortly after you have connected the appliance, you will notice water dripping from the tank. And the shell of the body can be swollen or deformed. Why?

You carried out the installation yourself and did not remember the safety valve or its connection was incorrect. That is why the container fills with water, inflates, and then begins to flow.

It is necessary to install a valve that will protect the system from overpressure. If the valve is installed incorrectly or is broken, then the tank will deform when water is drained from the system.

Note that you turned off the boiler, turned off the water. Inside, hot water begins to cool down, decrease in volume. The tank shrinks. When the water is drained from the entire system, a vacuum occurs inside the tank. When the safety valve is out of order or not at all at this time, the deformation of the container cannot be avoided.

Then the product will be filled with liquid again. When heated, it expands. As a result, the tank is inflated. If the deformation is strong, then there can be no question of repair. The installation of a new device is awaiting you.

Negative effects of corrosion

If you haven’t changed the magnesium anode, then don’t be surprised that the boiler leaks.

Magnesium attracts salts in water. Gradually all sorts of dirt settle on the anode. From this, it begins to collapse. At first, the tank and the heating element remain undamaged. But when the anode was destroyed a long time ago, it will lead to the metal body’s corrosion.

Prevention can work well. It only needs to replace the rod once or twice a year. The dry heating element has a steel and enamel shell. Its wear also leads to corrosion. Can a leaked item be restored? Not! Salvation is only in its replacement.

Other common causes of leaks

  • Pipes of poor quality or incorrectly connected

If water drips from pipes or connections, then the connections need to be sealed. Replace gasket or fum tape. Reinforced-plastic pipes are better suited since the body suffers after a water hammer.

When the supply ducts are not tightly connected, the boiler is leaking. Check all connections.

  • Worn flange (gasket)

The heating element and magnesium anode are located on the flange. A gasket is needed for tightness. In the case of wear, it flows from below. Replace the gasket, tighten the retaining nuts.

No grounding

The device must be grounded. When the current breaks through to the case, it will be susceptible to electro corrosion. There is also a danger to life: water from the tap or the tank’s surface breaks through the current.

If the problem is not in the water heater parts, which are worn out, then there is no point in repairing the tank. A broken case means you need to purchase a new device.

Where else can there be leaks?

Heating element leaks

Not every model has a special hole through which water flows when the heating element begins to flow. You need to check its availability when you buy a boiler.

Safety valve leaking

This boiler element is a small tap with a hole. You need to replace the part with a new one.

The storage tank lid is leaking.

Possible leakage of the heating element, which was provoked by a large accumulation of scale.

The storage tank is leaking.

Leakage of liquid through the line means that the storage tank is leaking. This is a consequence of violations of the installation or connection rules.

When connecting a water heater, do not use plastic pipes. Otherwise, a water hammer will be transmitted to the tank. And this leads to its destruction.

Leaks at the top, although no visual damage is visible.

If it leaks in the upper part of the water heater and no deformations are visible. The installation and connection were correct. The magnesium rod was checked and changed, then returned the device to the store until the warranty period has expired.

Is it possible to repair a leaking boiler?

To begin troubleshooting the problem, prepare the tools:

  • Hoses for water drainage;
  • A screwdriver, adjustable wrenches, tubular and end wrenches;
  • Multimeter.

If there is a leak, disconnect the appliance from the mains and drain all the water. Empty the tank. And start inspection to establish the cause of the breakdown.

The reasons for the leak, as we have already found out, are different. Therefore, in some cases, a simple repair awaits you. In others, you have to change the boiler. It is better to do this within the warranty period.

If the device is leaking (in particular, the tank), as indicated by water leaks from the pipes’ joints, it will not be possible to repair it. Need a replacement.

If you followed all the maintenance rules and promptly changed the magnesium rod, then leakage from above will require replacing the boiler. Repair is out of the question. The boiler is changed when the magnesium rod has not been replaced for a very long time. As a result, the tank is rotten, unless, of course, the inner surface has no enamel.

The water supply system’s alteration is started when the rules for connecting the boiler to it have been violated, especially when plastic pipes were used and when there is no special safety valve.

If the boiler tank is in good working order, and only the valve itself is leaking, it needs to be replaced.

To get rid of the leakage of the water heater’s tank lid, it is enough just to replace the heater.

Note: When the tank itself leaks, there is no way to restore it since the boiler is a monolithic structure. And her insides are covered with enamel.

If the enamel inside the water heater is damaged, it cannot be repaired. There is only one solution to the problem – we buy a new boiler.

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