Planning for the Unexpected
It goes without saying that there is never a good time for plumbing and heating problems to occur. But what do you do if your tank suddenly sprouts a leak and you’re not there to catch it? Minor boiler leaks and a dripping water tank are one thing, but rupturing tanks, especially those that aren’t caught right away, can cause major property damage and lead to significant repair bills.
Of course, when it comes to fixing a leak or rupture, the first thing to remember is safety – the liquid coming out of your boiler is, obviously, hot! But you would be surprised how many people forget that in the heat of the moment and get significant burns. The first thing to do is to turn off the supply of water to your tank, otherwise it will just keep filling and your leak will be endless.
Next, you want to drain the reservoir in as controlled a fashion as possible to prevent as much water damage as you can. Most water heaters, especially the newer ones, come with a spigot to drain the tank where you can even hook up a hose. If you’re lucky, your heater is close to a drain. If not, be prepared to carry several buckets of liquid, depending on just how big your boiler is.
Familiarize Yourself With Your Hot Water Tank
One of the best things that you can do to minimize problems is to become familiar with your existing system as much as possible, especially the ways of draining the vat and shutting off any gas supplies if necessary.
Obviously, the best way to solve hot water heater leaks and other problems with your system is to prevent them through regular maintenance. The last thing you want is to find yourself with no hot water so prevention is key. You’ll be surprised at how much gunk in the way of minerals and sediment can build up in the bottom of your vat and then slowly eat away at the reservoirs inner lining.
To prevent any ill-timed seepage’s, you should drain your tank regularly, thus removing the harmful sediment from your boiler and extending the lifespan of the container, which can be costly to replace. It’s also an excellent way to become familiar with how your system works in case the boiler starts leaking later on.
Periodically Inspect Your Heater
Use caution when draining your hot water heater! Always obey all signs and warnings that are displayed on your tank and if you have any misgivings about performing maintenance tasks – or with any hot water problems and repairs – you should consult a plumbing and heating professional.
Another thing you can do to prevent boiler leaks is to visually inspect the container and the incoming and outgoing water lines for any signs of wear or damage. The base of the reservoir is a major source of seepage’s so be sure to check this too. Sometimes a tank is leaking and it’s hard to determine where that leak is coming from.
Rubbing a little dish soap on the area that you suspect where the problem is will cause bubbles to form and can lead you straight to the source of the seepage. Depending on the type and severity of the drip, you may just be able to fix the problem yourself before it turns into a major disaster.
Purchase a Water Leak Monitor
High efficiency water tanks are very popular right now, but although these vessels will save you money in the long run, they are not immune to the problems that will lead to seepage’s. All liquid containers are prone to cracks and punctures and to minimize the damage caused by a faulty product, you can invest in a water leak detection system that automatically shuts off and sounds an alarm when liquid escapes.
These little water damage prevention marvels are relatively easy to install and are generally under $200 and can save you major money in the event of a rupture. They do just what they say they will, and give you that extra piece of mind knowing that a breach won’t go undetected and cause unnecessary damage. Of course, if you want to completely do away with hot water heater leaks, then you can look into tankless hot water heaters, sometimes called “on-demand” water heaters.
Because these residential plumbing systems don’t rely on heating water in a big tank, you don’t have a huge store of liquid to spill out onto your floor. However, the lines coming into and going out of the system are still subject to plumbing seepage’s, so they won’t completely do away with hot water heater leaks.