Emergency leaking water heater
Automatic shut off valve at Amazon
Emergency steps for leaking water heater
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Automatic water heater shut off valve
Automatic shut off valve
Prevent water damage:
Buy automatic shut off valve:
Automatic water heater shut off valve/ electric powered
Water detectors at Amazon
water heater shut off  1) Shut off water
Rotate valve clockwise
Use channel locks
Shut off water using shut-off located on cold water pipe above tank.
Or turn off main water shut-off to house
Also read: Diagnose leaking water heater

Rotate valve clockwise
Righty tighty, lefty loosey
Use channel locks if valve is stuck
water key 2) Shut off water to house/ if water heater does not have shut off valve shown above
Rotate shut off 1/4 turn so valve is perpendicular across water line
Image shows water key.
Located water meter box, remove lid, dig away dirt to find shut off
Shut off located on house side of meter
Water keyd

Buy water key at Amazon
Water keys at Amazon
Repair water heater valve
repair water heater 3) Relieve pressure on tank
Open tub spout on hot side for a few moments.
If you relieve pressure by lifting lever on TP valve, then stand away from scalding water that is released under pressure from overflow tube

If water does not shut off, then shut off main water to house, or call plumber.
4) If leak continues: Turn off electic or gas and Drain water heater
Use garden hose.
Open drain valve counter clockwise

Put hose on drain valve located on side of tank near bottom.
Open drain valve and check that water is flowing out of hose.
What to do if water heater will not drain
circuit breaker 5) How to turn off electric heater
If tank continues leaking after shutting off water to water heater and opening tub spout to release pressure, then turn off electric water heater and drain tank
Do not touch wet water heater
Find circuit breaker for water heater, and push breaker fully OFF
If leak is small, then turn electric heater ON for short while to make batches of hot water until new heater can be installed.

Do Not Touch Electric Water Heater that is wet
How to test if electricity is off
How to replace circuit breaker

Turn gas control OFF 6) How to turn off gas heater
If gas water heater is leaking, then choose either a) or b)
a) Small water leak that has stopped with steps shown above: rotate knob to Pilot so pilot stays lit but burner will not ignite, illustrated on left. Then when you need a bit of hot water, rotate knob again so burner will ignite. Do this until heater can be replaced.

b) Large water leak, or tank continues leaking after tub spout is open: turn off gas to heater, illustrated on right
Move gas valve handle so it is perpendicular across gas line, illustrated on right
Identify gas control valve + How to light gas water heater
Error codes, and replacement of gas control valves
7) Identify what is leaking/ Read below
also open resource link

Troubleshoot leaking water heater

Water heater drain cap
Drain valve leaking?
Buy garden hose cap with washer at hardware or home center.
Ace hardware shows brass cap online, most local home centers sell plastic cap.
Check Amazon for brass hose cap. Requires rubber washer.
Rubber washer will seal tank.

Buy brass hose cap
Brass hose caps at Amazon
Garden hose cap
How replace drain valve
TP valve leaking?  Do NOT cap off TP valve.
Do not cap off TP valve or cover TP with insulation or block TP valve or block overflow tube.
Lift valve and gently lower into place
If leak will not stop, then tank may be overheating (check if water temp is very high), or TP valve needs replacement

How to troubleshoot and replace TP valve.
Causes for TP leak
Water heater leaking Small leak
You can limp by on leaking water heater if leak is small and you turn on heater a few times a day to heat water.
 Leaving water inside tank will let you to make some hot water each day until water heater can be replaced.
This strategy can work 1-3 months.
Avoid damage to pipes: Do not turn on water heater unless tank is completely full of water and hot side of tub is running full stream.

Gas heater makes 41 gallons hot water per hour. Electric 21 gallons per hour.
Shower uses 9 gallons hot water, bath uses 15 gallons hot water.
If leak is small, turn heater on for short periods until heater can be replaced or repaired.
Water bubbling up, or leaking out of side or bottom, then tank is rusted
Replace water heater
Which is best gas water heater
How to install gas water heater
How to install electric water heater
Rusted water heater Replace Rusted tank
Rusted tanks that are welded to seal leak are subject to rupture and are risky.
New water heater is a few hundred dollars. Massive damage to home is more expensive.

Troubleshoot leaking water heater
How to install gas water heater
How to install electric water heater
How to drain tankless Drain Tankless
Resource: How to drain tankless
How to drain tankless/ pdf
Flooded water heater
Larger image
Flooded water heater should be replaced
Flooded water heater

Read PDF on flood-damaged water heaters
Rusty water Hot water is rusty: is not emergency unless tank is leaking:

a) Rusty water indicates rusted water heater.
b) Inspect tank for leaks.
Inspect water heater for leak
c) Replace anode rod and rusting will stop. New anode rod will not repair rusted tank, but will stop rust.
Check and replace water heater anode rod

If tank hull is rusted and ready to rupture, it is time to shop for a new heater before rupture causes massive damage.
Automatic water shut off
Water detectors at Amazon
Floodstop water heater shut-off at Amazon
Drip pan
Drip pan saves damage

Drip pan with 3/4" drain line/ Alway install water heater drip pan
Set water heater in drip pan
Water heater drip pans at Amazon
Water detectors at Amazon
Auto-shut-off valve at Amazon

See drip pan installation
Read about drip pan
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