Even with appropriate water heater maintenance, your water heater has a limited lifespan. First we need to be clear: Unless you are one of our ACE Home Services expert technicians, we do not recommend that you try to fix a leaky water heater yourself. No amount of duct tape and chewing gum will work, so please keep in mind we are talking about having your leaky water heater professionally repaired or having it replaced.
If you have water leaking from your hot water heater, here’s some free advice.
Water heaters have consumable parts. One of these parts is even called a “sacrificial anode” because it is intended to get “used up” as a way to prevent your water heater’s liner from getting eaten up. With parts inside that do break down, even the best, most expensive water heaters eventually will fail. Two determining factors:
1. Age of Your Water Heater
Your unit may last a decade or as long as 15 years. If you get it serviced annually and have especially pure water, it may reach two decades. A water heater only a few years old has plenty of life in it; consider repair instead of replacement.
2. Amount of Usage
If you and your spouse take one shower a day and run mostly cold water laundry, your water heater could provide years of valuable service.
Location, location, location. If your water heater is located where a leak could be devastating—an attic or an upper floor—replace it. Replacement is cheaper than paying for water damage from 40 gallons running through ceilings, down walls and into carpets.
Where is the Leak?
Heaters have many parts for something that seems to just sit there. Any one of these parts could be the source of a water leak:
- Tank—If the tank is a disgrace, ACE says replace.
- Gaskets—Element gaskets are easily replaced.
- Pressure relief valve—This, too, is easily replaced.
- Pipes—Pipe joints often leak, but this is an easy repair.
Another source of what you may assume is a leak (but is not) is condensation on the outside of the heater. This can happen if the tank water is cold (you have not called for hot water in a while).
ACE Home Services
Only a trained professional from ACE Home Services can assess your water heater’s condition. The technician can determine the source of a leak, how “used up” your heater is, and help you decide whether to spend a little for a repair or spend a bit more for a newer, more energy-efficient unit. Contact ACE Home Services at (602) 943-2000 today to learn more about water heater service.