leaking water heater
Turn off power: Do not touch wet water heater
Turn off water... open bathtub spout
Automatic shut off valve at Amazon
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Troubleshoot leaking water heater

Flue pipe leaking
Electric water heater
Flue pipe leaking
Gas water heater

Identify electric and gas water heaters

Emergency leak
Emergency steps for leaking water heater

Do not stand in water
Do not touch any wet appliance

Electrocution danger
Do not touch water heater that is wet or was flooded
Turn power OFF
Applies to electric and gas water heaters

Water detectors at Amazon
Turn off water heater

Emergency steps:

-Turn off water to house and turn on cold tap if pipes are leaking
-Turn off water to heater and open tub spout on hot side if water heater is leaking bad

Water key at Amazon
Emergency steps for leaking water heater
Automatic water heater shut off valve
Automatic shut off valve

Prevent water damage:

Buy automatic shut off valve:
Water heater shut off valves at Amazon
Water detectors at Amazon
Water heater drain cap

Drain valve leaking: Use hose cap

Put garden hose cap over dripping valve
If water is coming out crack in shut off, then replace shut off valve.
If leaking is coming from behind shut off: electric heater the element might be leaking; gas water heater tank is probably rusted and needs replacement
Applies to gas and electric heaters

Buy hose cap
Brass hose caps at Amazon

How to replace drain valve
Shower shut off
Shower shut off

Shower dripping... use shut off

Stop drips.
If shower drips when valve is off, and valve is off in center position, or if double handle faucet leaks on hit side, then hot water is leaving tank and new cold water is entering tank.
Reduce flow.
Reduce consumption.
If shower head is turned off between lather and rinse, this action will save water and save hot water
Remove shower head. Apply teflon tape to threads. Install shut off. Apply teflon tape to shut off threads. Re-install shower head.

Shower shut off at Amazon
Water-loss-with-one-drip/ pdf
Shut off valve
-Turn off water to house and turn on cold tap if pipes are leaking
-Turn off water to heater and open tub spout on hot side if water heater is leaking bad

Inspect pipes and valves for pinholes and leaking joints

Replace leaking pipes and valves
If pipes are not leaking, then inspect water heater.
Other leaks from side or top of heater can indicate that tank is rusted out, and needs replacement

If pipes are wet from condensation, then insulate pipes

Identify water heater valves
Troubleshoot Low hot water pressure
pipe insulation

Insulate pipes that drip with condensation

Inspect pipes for condensation.
Insulate pipes.
Do not let water drip on gas control valve or other metal products
Pipe insulation at Amazon
TP valve

Inspect TP valve and overflow tube

TP valve leaking: Lift lever on TP valve and gently lower to closed position
Don't snap lever closed
Do NOT cap off overflow tube

Buy TP valves:
Replacement TP valves at Amazon

How to troubleshoot and  replace TP valve
TP valve discharge tube code
Leaking TP valve
More detail: How to troubleshoot and replace TP valve

Check if TP releasing water?

Causes TP is releasing water: Gas and electric:
1) TP valve bad > inspect markings on valve > replace with same pressure and temperature 
range. More detail: How to troubleshoot and replace TP valve
2) Thermostat temperature set too high See how to adjust temperature  / Temperature setting to kill bacteria
3) Stacking condition
4) Closed system causing back-pressure. Use Rainbird PS2 gauge on drain valve. Pressure over 80psi, then install pressure reducing valve and expansion tank shown below.
More detail: Low and high pressure
5) Gas water heater thermostat is bad: How to replace gas thermostat
TP is releasing water: Electric:
6) Thermostat not seated flat against tank > solution: open covers and inspect  > this condition causes thermostat to misread temp and causes overheated tank.
7) Thermostat is bad: How to replace thermostat on electric heater
8) Insulation that normally covers thermostat has been removed > thermostat not sensing correct temperature after receiving cooler air from outside tank
Leaking water heater
Gas or electric

Ruptured tanks cause massive damage inside house, and water runs until water valve is shut off <> do not assume insurance will cover loss <> home could be uninhabitable until repaired
Read insurance data on tank failure

Water and rust along bottom rim of tank?

Water and rust: Electric:
3. Water at bottom of tank or coming out of side panel:  Element can be leaking around rubber gasket > Turn power off  > remove covers and check for water leak at element > If leak is not from element, then tank has rusted and failed
How to replace element

Causes for rusted/ failed tank: Gas and electric
Is tank 6-12 years old? Yes = high risk of rust.
PDF to decode serial number and find age of water heater
Has anode rod been checked and replaced regularly? No = high risk of rust.
House has water softener? Yes = high risk of rust.
                Read about anode rods and affect of softened water.
Tank flushed regularly to avoid build-up inside? No = high risk of rust.
See how to clean and flush tank.
Water pressure over 80 psi? Yes = high risk of rust.
             How to check water pressure
Other water heaters have failed at same location?
Yes = high risk of rust.
                Electrically bond water pipes together, and ground tank. Bond means connect hot and              cold pipes with ground wire. Make sure main electric panel is grounded to ground rod              and not to water pipes. Scroll down page to see example image of bonding.
Rusted tanks must be replaced before rupturing.
Water heater leaking
Water bubbling up
Gas or electric
Tank must be replaced

Emergency steps for leaking water heater

Water bubbling up from top: Steel tank rusted:

There is steel tank located under the exterior shell of water heater
Inner steel tank can be seriously rusted and all that shows is water at bottom of tank or bubbling up at top of tank.
Anode rod prevents tank from rusting.
Inspect and replace anode each 1-3 years and prevent rusted tank.
Read about anode rods
How to maintain new water heater

1) Large leak: How to turn off water heater and drain tank
2) Small leak: Turn off water heater, Turn on tank only when you need hot water.
This will give time to shop and replace tank.
If nipples are leaking, then remove and put 6 wraps teflon tape and it might seal, but tank will probably fail soon.
How to install gas water heater
Which is best gas water heater
More bills Do you need to replace heater right now??
"It is possible to limp along with a failed water heater if the leak is slow and if you turn off power and water when not using hot water. A hot tap needs to be left open also to prevent pressure build-up in tank. This trick could buy you some time, possibly up to 3 months. With time, you can consider how to make the system do more for less as well as comparison shop, get competitive bids, etc" Forum
Read insurance data on tank failure
Which is best gas water heater
How to install gas water heater
How to remove water heater from attic
clogged water heater

Water heater will not drain:

Flush open with garden hose for few seconds or siphon water out of TP valve opening
Resource: Water heater will not drain
Glass lined steel water heater

Prevent & stop rusting:

If tank is already rusted and leaking, then replace tank.
Steel water heater tanks are made from enamel-coated steel that is called 'glass lined.'  This technique was created by Rheem in the 1950s and replaced prior water heater technology, some which lasted longer than modern tanks, but much more expensive.
Once anode rod is depleted, water quickly rusts tank.
Enamel coating does not stop rusting.
Eventually tank develops pin holes and water starts seeping.

Read about anode rods
Buy anodes at Tank forum
Buy anodes at Amazon
Rusty brown water

Rusty hot water

Rusty hot water at faucet or drain valve means galvanized water pipes have rusted, or water heater heater anode rod is depleted and tank is rusted
1) Inspect tank immediately for leaking.
tanks should be inspected each 6 months.
2) Replace anode rod and flush tank
Replace anode rod, and Flush tank.

3) If tank is leaking or anode rod cannot be replaced:
Shop for best deal and replace water heater.
How to install gas water heater
Which is best gas water heater

4) Rusty cold and hot water mean that water heater is probably not causing rust. Rusty cold and hot water can be caused by deteriorated galvanized pipes and/or water well tank, and also city water pipes, or incoming pipe between water meter and home. Check which outdoor tap is located nearest to water meter, and see if water is rusty ... this will say if problem is inside outside home.

Applies to gas water heater
Some water is ordinary
Also look for soot
Action: Check the draft

Water dripping down vent

Applies to Gas water heaters
Some dripping is common.
A lot of water can mean missing vent cap on roof
Can also indicate improper venting
Improper vent can cause water drip down flue, and sooting on top of heater indicate risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Action: check the draft:
Checking the draft .pdf
Applies to gas water heaters

 Flue pipe hazard
Loose flue: CO Poison Danger

Water heater vent hood
Larger image attach vent hood

3" vent hood
Attach vent to vent hood with 3 screws

CO carbon monoxide poison gas from vent pipe

Vent pipe must be attached to vent hood with 3 screws
Vent hood must be attached to water heater with 3 screws

All connections must be made with 3 screws at each join
Pipes covered in white condensate must be replaced

Applies to all gas appliances including water heater

Carbon monoxide CO is odorless deadly gas.
Burning hydrocarbon fuel releases carbon monoxide. And other by-products.

Symptoms: Family gets headaches and sleepy when inside home, and headache goes away after leaving home.

Deadly condition: Family goes to sleep never wakes up

What to do/ first aid: Remove people immediately from home and lay on side.
Do not lay on back, or person will suffocate/ die.
Call 911 for medical emergency.
Open windows and doors.
Call plumber to locate source of CO gas

Read troubleshooting at forum
See u-tube video
Read about CO detector
Read checking the draft

Buy carbon monoxide detector:
Carbon monoxide detectors at Amazon
More detectors at Amazon

New Gas water heater: Normal to have dripping water at startup that stops when tank fully heated

'First time a gas water heater starts up, it will produce condensation. You may hear dripping and see small puddle. Once heater warms up, the problem disappears.' 'Condensation can also be caused by heavy water draw and very cold inlet water temperature.' Condensation is temporary and stops when water gets warm.
If leak continues after water heater warms up, then check vent pipe for dripping condensate. If vent pipe is dry, then water heater is rusted out and needs replacement.
How to install gas water heater
New water heater making noise

Actions to avoid leaks and water damage

pressure gauge

Avoid high water pressure

Water pressure: Pressure over 80 psi can damage water heater Read
Symptoms: TP valve goes bad frequently. Cause: Closed system because of check valve or faulty pressure valve, or community water problem or water well pressure set too high.
Connect BTG 100 or Rainbird P2A pressure gauge to water heater drain valve to check pressure.
Install pressure reducing valve. Replace check valve. People with water well > turn down pressure on water well > save both hot and cold water, save electricity, and well equipment lasts longer

Water pressure gauges
Temperature-pressure gauge
Safety Equipment for Professionals
Industrial and scientific Amazon

Read about low water pressure
Low hot water pressure
expansion tank

Expansion tank prevents leaks

When thermostat must be kept high, or water pressure is high
Expansion tank on incoming cold water line can stop TP from constantly dribbling hot water > take photo of water heater label and then ask plumbing supply for correct size expansion tank

Expansion tanks at Amazon
Expansion Tank Installation pdf
Pressure reducing valve

Pressure reducing valve

High pressure over 80psi can damage water heater and plumbing
Install expansion tank, and/or pressure reducing valve
Pressure reducing valve is installed on supply line to regulate and stabilize flow pressure

Pressure reducing valves
Pressure regulating valves at Amazon
Drip pan
Drip pan saves damage

Prevent water damage to home:

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
Drain pan no greater than 1-1/2” deep and at least 2” wider than tank.
Pan must not restrict air flow to bottom of gas water heater that has 3-legs. Set 3-legged water heater on bricks..
TP discharge pipe cannot be lower than top rim of drain pan.

Flexible Copper Water Heater Connector at Amazon

Flexible copper connections:

Use stainless or copper flexible connections when using flexible connections for water heater.
Use reinforced connections for washing machine and softener.

Inspect water heater each 6 months
9-ways to save with water heater
How to maintain water heater
How to solder copper pipe

Connect water heater using di-electric nipples.

Prevent clogs and extends life of water heater.

If nipples are leaking, then remove and put 6 wraps teflon tape and it might seal, but tank will probably fail soon.
Dielectric nipples at Amazon
Low Hot Water Pressure
How to replace short nipple
9 ways to save with water heater
remove water heater nipple
brass elbow and nipple

Use brass connections when connecting copper pipe and galvanized pipe.

Prevent electrolytic corrosion/ deterioration of galvanized pipes and clogs
Use 6 wraps teflon tape on threads
Brass nipples at Amazon
Brass elbows at Amazon
Low hot water pressure
leaking di-electric union

Di-electric nipples are better than di-electric unions

Rubber washer inside union will eventually leak
Replace washer periodically

If nipples are leaking, then remove and put 6 wraps teflon tape and it might seal, but tank will probably fail soon.

Keep insulation away from top of gas water heater. Insulate both hot and cold pipes.
Larger image

Electrically (bond) ground water heater pipes on gas and electric water heaters.

Water heaters that rust out quickly might be connected to water pipes that are not grounded.
Hot water pipes are not grounded in many homes. Read Pdf  
To get 'rid of stray current corrosion, jumper between hot and cold pipes with #6 solid copper wire. And check that cold water pipe is grounded to main panel and to grounding rod. Read1  Read2 

Example image shows
: ground wire, di-electric nipples, heat-traps, and pipe insulation
With gas water heater, keep insulation above top of tank
With electric water heater, pipes can be fully insulated
Attach vent hood to water heater using 3 sheet metal screws
Connect each vent join with 3 sheet metal screws
Do not solder pipes directly to water heater. Keep propane torch 12" away. How to solder pipes
Flooded water heater
Larger image

Keep water heater out of flood zone

What to do when water heater floods: Replace water heater
Flooded water heater

Read PDF on flood-damaged water heaters
Earthquake-proof water heater

Earthquake straps/ Save damage and possible fire

Earthquake straps help prevent gas leak and fire in event of earthquake.
Prevents damage to property and injury from falling tank.
Read pdf
See seismic map
Dropped water heater, or water heater fell over

Earthquake straps at Amazon

How to install gas water heater

Troubleshoot gas water heater

Re-purpose old water heater / Recycle water heater
water heater safety precautions Water heater safety precautions
Flue pipe safety
Larger image

During typical water heater combustion, hydrogen content of fuel is burned and the result is hot gases. One of these hot gases is steam or water vapor. Adequate venting or air draw up vent is required so gases vent outside. 
When there is inadequate draw, the water vapor cools and condenses on inside wall of vent pipe. This condensation water is acidic (pH 3-5) and corrosive. It will corrode steel metals and other materials.
Improper venting causes water to drip down vent into combustion chamber of gas water heater. Parts inside combustion chamber rust. Holes develop in bottom of water heater. Inspect combustion chamber for rust and water.

If steel vent pipe is not venting, the vent pipe will rust and get holes, or joints will fall apart. This situation causes hot gases to enter home and poses serious risk of odorless CO poisoning.

Flue Pipe Safety

Rusted flue pipe -or-water on top of gas water heater could indicate serious problem.
Call a plumber if you are uncertain.
Check pipes and flexible connectors for leaks.

If water coming from flue pipe:
1. Vent cover could be missing > rain water entering flue (replace cover)

2. Flue pipe clogged with bird nest or come apart or damp from improper venting: danger of odorless Carbon Monoxide poisoning

Serious danger from CO poisoning, a plumber should be called if you are uncertain about vent pipe water leak
Read troubleshooting at forum
See u-tube video
Read about CO detector

"Excessive corrosion of vents, burners, or heat exchangers, is caused by contamination of the supply air.  It turns out that traces of chlorine bleach vapors from clothes dryer vents can do considerable damage when ingested by a burner and then deposited with condensation onto metal surfaces such as vents, etc." Read troubleshooting at forum

Protect gas water heater parts. Do not install cold water line above gas valve where condensation drips on valve. Annually clean burner area with wire brush and vacuum cleaner. Read Remove chemicals from same room as water heater. Chemicals corrode water heater parts. 'Spray propellants, cleaning solvents, refrigerants, swimming pool chemicals, calcium and sodium chloride, household bleach, waxes and process chemicals are corrosive at very low levels with no odor."
Test water heater vent How to test water heater vent.
Let main burner operate for 5 minutes.
Then put match near vent hood.
Smoke from match should get sucked into vent and draw upwards.
Repeat same test with all household vents turned ON, such as kitchen range hood and bath vent fans.
Water heater vent test/ pdf
Checking the draft
Read more at Tank

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Including Z-wave
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