“My Water Heater Tank is Leaking From the Bottom—What Now?”

February 17, 2015

Your water heater tank is leaking at the bottom, and you need to know what to do so it can be repaired.

We’ve got you covered!

This article will show you: 

  1. Step-by-step instructions to slow (and possibly stop) the leak
  2. How to determine if the water heater needs repairing or replacing

Step 1: Turn off the water heater

How you do this depends on the water heater type:

  • For electric water heaters—Find the water heater’s circuit breaker and flip it to “off.”
  • For gas water heaters—Look for an on/off switch on the tank and turn it to “off.” 

WARNING: Wait at least 30 minutes before going to step 2. We don’t want you to hurt yourself.

Step 2: Shut the cold-water valve to stop the water supply

OK, now that the tank has cooled off, we want to prevent more cold water from flowing into the tank.

To do that, you’ll want to pull a handle or turn a dial near the water heater.

Leaking Water 1

Cold-water valve handle on a small electric water heater

This should slow or stop the leak.

Step 3: Call a plumber

Now that you’ve slowed (or perhaps stopped) the leak, you want to call a plumber to assess what’s wrong and see what needs to be done now (repair or replace).

With that in mind, we’re sure the #1 question right now is...

“So how much is this going to cost me?”

It depends on whether you need to repair or replace the water heater. And that’s determined by WHERE the water is leaking at the bottom.

If the leak is coming the drain valve (the spigot at the bottom of the tank), then that just means a plumber needs to replace the faulty drain valve—a relatively inexpensive repair.

Leaking Water2

Drain valve on a small electric water heater

However, if the tank itself has a leak, then—we’re sorry—you most likely need a new water heater.

A leak in the tank usually means that sediment has built up at the bottom the tank and corroded the tank’s inner lining.

Have the plumber investigate the water heater thoroughly to find the problem and give you your options.

Do you live in the Kansas City area?

If so, we can check this problem out for you. Contact Santa Fe Air for help.


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