Over the past few years, the use of heaters in home has become increasingly popular. They are a very effective way of keeping any home warm in a safe and convenient manner. However, if you are not careful with the way you care for them, you might find them to dramatically increase the heating costs in the home. This is particularly so if they have a major problem such as having a leak. One of the problems you might run into when using the heaters is isolating some of these problems. For instance, if the heater leaks, it might be days or weeks for you to notice the problem. Fortunately, there is an algorithm you can use to identify and sort out such problems.
How do you know that the heater is leaking?
The best way for you to identify a leak in the water heater is through a visual inspection. You should look at the water heater and find out if there is any water around it. However, this has to be done using the correct technique, lest you end up coming to the wrong conclusions. Some of the tips you can use when doing this include:
• Figure out if the wetness is intermittent: If you find that the area around the heater is not constantly wet, it could be the result of condensation rather than leakage. This is especially so if you discover the problem during very cold months, in which case the water coming into the heater will be very cold and cause condensation around the pipes. This also means that for you to effectively determine the presence of a leak, you will need to regularly check the heater tank.
• Assess how much water is leaking: Finding a lot of water around the heater might indicate a major leak, in which case you would need to get help in sorting it out as a matter of urgency. Ignoring such a leak for too long could increase the cost of running the home, since you would waste a lot of water and energy.
• Make sure the leak is not from another source: For instance, if there are pipes running close to the heater, check them for sources of a leak before assuming that the leak is from the heater.
• Check the points of contact: Most heaters leak at points of contact where pipes lead to and from the heater. Some of these areas include the inlet pipe, the outlet and any valves that might be present. If you suspect a leak, you should check these areas first for signs of moisture or rusting.
What to do when you find evidence of a leak
If you find a leak after taking into account the above, you would need to arrest the problem. This is done by shutting both the inlet and outlet valves, and turning off the power supply to the heater. Most electric heaters have a circuit breaker or an on-off switch that you can flip. You might need to consult the user manual to find out how to do this if you have never done so before, but you can be assured that it will be a very simple procedure. If you have a gas water heater, you would need to shut down the gas supply.
The goal of doing all the above is to minimize the potential damage associated with the leak, particularly if it’s a large leak. For instance, the presence of a large leak could result in water being spread everywhere in the basement, leading to problems such as electrical fires and damage to other structures in the facility.
The fact that you will need to stop using the heater also means that you should have it repaired as fast as possible. This is especially so if you find the leak during the winter, when you will be depending on the heater for your health and comfort. In such cases, you might need to make alternative arrangements to keep the house warm, such as by using portable heaters.
Who should repair the heater?
You might be tempted to fix such a leak on your own by either intuition or by getting guides online. This is a move that might seem affordable, but it’s one that you should avoid at all costs. Remember, heaters are very expensive and sometimes delicate pieces of equipment. Attempting to fix a leak particularly if it comes directly from the heater might lead to damage to the heater, and also injury to yourself.
You should instead consult a plumbing contractor to sort out the issue for you. The very high quality ones tend to respond fast and work quickly, which means that you won’t need to have the heater switched off for too long. They should therefore be your first choice when you need to have the leak fixed.