Exploring the Most Common Causes of Residential Hot Water Leaks
24 Oct 2018
In a perfect world, you’d be able to enjoy a constant supply of hot water at the taps without having to worry about much else. Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world and there are many problems that can occur with your hot water supply. One of the most insidious issues to deal with is a hot water leak, which can begin very slow and cause a great deal of damage over time. To help you avoid those issues, we’ll explore some of the most common causes of residential hot water leaks.
The Drain Valve
Your hot water cylinder is equipped with a drain valve at the bottom of the cylinder. This is used for maintenance – water is drained out of this valve when the heater is flushed. However, the valve can fail over time, allowing water to leak out. If this is the source of the leak, the repair is usually relatively simple. The water heater will be turned off, the water will be drained, and a new valve installed.
Cold water flows into your water heater, and heated water flows out. That means there’s both an inlet and an outlet connection at the cylinder. These can develop leaks over time. The leak might be where the incoming or outbound piping connects with the cylinder, or it could be a pinhole leak in the pipe itself due to age or wear (copper is particularly susceptible to this). Again, these should be relatively simple repairs once the source is identified (inlet or outlet), and will involve shutting down the tank, draining it, and then replacing the damaged section.
Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
At the top of the cylinder is another valve. This one is designed to provide protection in the case of overheating or if an overpressure situation develops. The TPR valve will open in either of these situations, allowing excess pressure and heat to escape. However, the valve can sometimes fail and cause a leak. A new valve will get you back up and running again in no time.
This problem is most common with aging water cylinders. Over time, sediment builds up in the bottom, it encourages corrosion of the tank over time. This will eventually eat through the bottom of the tank and cause a leak. There is no repair for this issue. You’ll need a new water heater installed.
This is perhaps the most difficult leak to spot because your pipes are tucked away within the walls or the ceiling. The best way to check for pipe leaks is to keep an eye out for wet spots on the wall or ceiling, and then call a professional plumber immediately if you spot one.
These are some of the most common sources of hot water leaks. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, or want to schedule water heater maintenance to avoid these problems, contact EasyFlow at 0161 941 5571.