Tucked away in a closet or perhaps living out in the garage, the water heater is one appliance many take for granted. That first cold shower after a failure is often what reminds people what a luxury hot running water truly is, but discomfort during bathing is just a minor risk. It’s important to notice any evidence of a leaking water heater, as this can quickly become a broken water heater, a problem capable of causing major damage to your home.

Warning Signs To Watch For

There are numerous red flags that may arise to warn you about a leaking water heater, both inside the home and near the unit itself. These include but are not necessarily limited to:

• Banging or rattling noises when running hot water caused by sediment deposits in the tank
• Rusted or corroded connections extending from the heater
• Clouded or bad-smelling heated water
• Visible signs of water near the tank

Often, homes continue to rely on heaters that are over 10 years old. This is the approximate time frame wherein these appliances frequently begin to fail, so pay extra attention if your home is running an older unit.

What To Do When Problems Occur

The first step is to confirm that a leaking water heater is actually the root of your trouble. Ensure that pipe problems aren’t the origin, and rule out any other possibilities before proceeding. If the heater’s the culprit, terminate its power source (electric or gas) if you can do so safely. The water supply should come next, at which time you can begin necessary repairs or replacement. If a failed water heater has already created any type of flooding, make sure to counteract the effects as soon as possible. Restoration professionals can help remove floodwater and advise you on how to prevent any further damage that may result from excess moisture or humidity in the home.