Plumbers 911 - Boston
15 Sep

Hot water tank leak? What to do immediately to prevent water damage

A leaking hot water tank is a critical problem that demands immediate action.

While the actual tank size may vary, the average length of a water heater is 40 gallons.

Once a hot water tank starts to leak, it can cost you money because it forces the unit to work more. If left unchecked, it may damage floorboards, subfloors, walls, carpeting, and other items on the floor near the tank. As a result, your water, gas, or electric bill may increase.

Hot water tanks last for years, but even the best ones will leak and eventually break. If you discover your water heater is leaking, take immediate action and call Boston Plumbers 911. Get referred to a licensed plumber in Boston who can come to your home, inspect the problem and make any necessary recommendations or repairs.

Is your hot water tank leaking?

If you notice a puddle of water below your water heater, do not fret because it may not be the leaking water heater. Clean up the water and inspect the surrounding areas. Are fittings wet? Do you notice any other signs of leakage? Check around for water sources such as a window, washing machine, or another water pipe.

Check back to see if the water has returned in a few hours. If it has, your water heater is likely the culprit. If you cannot immediately determine the cause, place a few paper towels where you cleaned up the water.

Turn off the water supply

If your water tank is leaking, shut off the water supply to the tank. Closing off the supply will prevent more cold water from flowing in and potentially damaging the tank. Your water heater should have a dedicated shutoff valve on the cold inlet pipes. Sometimes a wheel needs to be turned clockwise or a ball valve.

If the valve breaks, you can shut off the water to the entire house at the main shut-off valve.

Turn off the power supply

For electric water heaters, shut down the tank at the breaker box. For gas-powered heaters, locate the valve on the gas supply line, usually within a couple of feet of the water heater. Turn the valve clockwise until it stops moving.

Determine where the hot water tank is leaking

Look at the inlet and outlet where pipes connect to the tank. The connections are likely the source of the leak. The lines may be loose-fitting and can be tightened with a wrench.

Check the temperature. If the water is too hot, this can cause pressure to build up, resulting in leaks. If that is not the case, check the pressure relief valve, also known as the t & p valve, which is another common source of leaks.

Also, check the tank bottom. Keep in mind that leaks from the t & p valve or an inlet may run down the side of the tank and pool at the bottom, which looks like the bottom is leaking when it is not. If you can confirm the bottom is leaking, there may be a crack. In that case, you will need to hire a licensed Boston plumber to install a new water tank.

You might also have a problem with the drain valve near the tank’s bottom. It should be closed but may leak if an interior washer has warped and needs a replacement.

Need help with your hot water tank? Call Plumbers 911 Boston

If you need help with your hot water tank, call Plumbers 911 Boston. A Boston plumber can inspect your hot water tank, make any necessary repairs or install a new tank if necessary. Call Plumbers 911 Boston to take care of the problem quickly.

All our Boston Licensed Plumbers are highly trained, vetted and drug tested. Call Plumbers 911 Boston and schedule a time for a trusted, licensed Plumber to come to your house.


To all our friends and customers regarding COVID-19

We will get through this together To say we are living in “unprecedented” challenging times would be an understatement. We hope this finds you and your family safe and healthy. We would like to list a few pieces of information and websites that we think will be helpful for you during this time.

  • To get the most current information on the COVID-19 virus, please check the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) website at:
  • icon showing hand under faucet with large water droplets falling on hand Please wash your hands frequently. Washing with soap and water for twenty seconds is the preferred method, however when water is not available, please use an alcohol based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • icon of person covering mouth while coughing and a border separating from displeased person close by Practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from another person.
  • For those of you with children that are looking for something fun to do, there are virtual field trips you can take with your kids that are fun and educational. Here is a link:

Plumbers are considered essential workers during this time and we will continue to work as our number one priority is to “protect the health of the nation.” Stay well, stay safe and we will get through this together.

Your Friends at Plumbers 911

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