Imagine this scenario, you go down to your mechanical room or wherever your hot water tank is located. You turn on the light to discover your hot water tank is leaking. Don’t panic, I’ll teach you how to calmly assess the situation, prevent further damage and find the best possible solution.
Shut Off The Power Source
This part is especially important if it is an electric hot water tank. You will want to shut off the power source. If it is an electric tank, go to the breaker panel and shut-off the breaker labelled “hot water tank”. This will prevent you from being electrocuted. Most hot water tanks run off 240 volts which can be deadly. If it is a gas hot water tank, shut off the gas valve. At the bottom of the hot water tank, there will either be a black steel pipe or a yellow flexible hose. This is your gas supply line. Trace that pipe back until you find a shut-off valve and close it. The flame will extinguish itself without gas to feed it.
Turn Off The Water Supply
Next, you will want turn off the water supply. The shut-off valve for the hot water tanks water supply is usually on top of the tank. Look for 2 vertical pipes coming off the top of the tank. This is your cold water supply in and hot water coming out. There will be a shut-off valve on the cold water pipe. If there is not or the valve is defective, find your homes main water shut-off valve and turn it off there.
Make Sure That In Fact, The Hot Water Tank Is Leaking
A lot of times when there is water near the hot water tank it may not be the source of the leak. Before assuming the tank has sprung a leak there may be a couple other culprits you may want to rule out first. If you have a high-efficiency furnace it drips out condensate. If there is a defect in the condensate trap or a pump has failed, it will leak. Make sure the water is coming from the tank and not the furnace. One other thing you will want to check is whether the water is coming from the temperature and pressure relief valve or T&P as we in the industry like to call if for short. The T&P is the brass elbow on the side of the tank, close to the top. It has a pipe running down from it. If the pipe is dripping water either you have faulty T&P or there is excessive temperature or pressure.
By now you have stopped your tank from doing any more damage to your property or yourself. You have also determined if, in fact, the hot water tank is leaking or not. Unless you are a brave do-it-yourselfer, it is time to call a plumber. When selecting a plumber make sure to pick one who has a good reputation and the right qualifications. At Boundary Bay Mechanical we can help you with your hot water needs in White Rock, Ladner, Tsawwassen and South Surrey. Contact us today for a free estimate. Remember the best way to avoid getting into this situation is proper maintenance.