Sometimes nothing feels better than a nice hot shower. But one of the worst experiences is a shower with cold water! A water heater is a luxury that many of us take for granted, but when it stops working correctly you’re going to want immediate repair. Head straight to your water heater to find the source of the problem so you can be on your way to a nice hot shower again.

Once you examine your water heater, you may find a pool of water forming under the tank. This means that there may be a leak somewhere that requires repair. The first step is determining the source of the leak. Turn off the power supply to the water heater and if the leaking is obvious, turn off the water supply at the shutoff valve. If you haven’t yet identified the leak source, leave the water supply on to help you locate it.

To find the leak, check each of the connections and valves. If you discover that your water heater is leaking from the top, you’re in luck because it is usually not as serious as a leak from the bottom. However you’ll want to repair the leak to avoid problems like further damage, electrical shorts or ruined flooring.

There are usually two primary culprits for a water heater leaking from the top:

  • Loose pipe fitting – a pool of water on top of the heater can mean the inlet or outlet pipe from your water heater is leaking. Examine where these pipes connect to the heater, and tighten a loose connection with a pipe wrench. Corrosion or a burst pipe are more serious problems that probably require a plumber’s help.
  • Temperature and pressure valve not watertight – the T&P valve, located on top of your water tank, can become worn. Feel the valve to see if you notice water leaking through its threads. If so, remove it for a closer look. If you can’t see the valve well enough to inspect it, drain the tank so that the water level is below the valve and open a hot water tap to empty air into the tank. Then unscrew the valve and look for corrosion or rust on the water tank. If this is present, you may need to replace your water heater. If you don’t see this problem, wrap Teflon tape on the valve to seal it better and return the valve to its location on the tank. Or, you can choose to replace the valve completely to be on the safe side.

After you have done your best to repair the top water leak, monitor your water heater to make sure the issue is gone. If leaking continues, ask a plumber for help. Once you’re certain the repair is successful, you may realize that you were too late to avoid damage to your flooring. Even small amounts of water can harm flooring. In this case, click here to find a trusted local flooring company to evaluate the damage and recommend solutions.