Leaking hot water systems can cause serious damage to your home. Even small leaks can lead to large areas of water damage if you do not take action to resolve them right away. Leaks can also lead to large water bills and leave you with an insufficient amount of hot water for daily showers or baths. Here are a few troubleshooting steps you can work through to find a leak and resolve it.
1. Find the Leak
Leaks in a hot water system most often arise close to the pressure valve on the hot water tank. Less commonly, a water pipe can also spring a leak, most commonly at a joint. Rarely, hot water tanks become so badly corroded that the main body of the tank leaks.
2. Shut off the Water
The next step is to find your mains water stop tap. In general, this is located outside if you live in a house or in a service cupboard if you live in an apartment. When you find the stop tap, firmly turn it clockwise to stop the water from flowing.
3. Contact a Plumber
Once you know where the leak in your hot water system is located, the best approach to dealing with it is to call a professional plumber and explain the situation. Repairing pipes and water heaters is a difficult job to do yourself at home. A faulty repair job could put you in danger if it disrupts the pressure balance in your water heater. Don't take the risk; ask a professional plumber to help you out with your hot water system repair.
4. Repair or Replace the Damaged Parts
Most hot water system leaks result from a damaged water heater. In many cases, a plumber can safely carry out a repair. However, in some situations it is better to replace the old heater with a new unit. Modern water heaters are much more efficient than older models, which means they could save you money in addition to being less likely to break again in the near future. Ask your plumber whether repair or replacement is the best option for your home.
5. Choose a New Water Heater
One option is to replace your water heater with a model that is similar to your old heater, but you might want to consider switching to a different type of heating. For example, switching from a standard water heating system to a solar heating system can help you to save money as well as to protect the environment.