Why Is My Water Heater Leaking?

Our homes rely on water heaters for a variety of tasks, such as washing hands, bathing, laundry, and washing dishes. Many homeowners underestimate the importance of a water heater until they experience discomfort from a breakdown. Like many appliances, water heaters can malfunction and need repair every now and then. A common water heater issue is the system leaking and causing discomfort and damage. In this blog, we discuss causes of a leaking water heater in Mission, B.C. and surrounding areas.

How Do Water Heaters Work?

To understand what causes water heaters to leak, it is important to understand how the unit operates. Most water heaters run on either gas or electricity to generate heat. Water heaters typically use a storage tank, located in a closet, garage, or another tucked away area. The process begins by water entering the tank from the main water supply. The heating element is located at the bottom of the water heater tank and begins heating the water. As water becomes heated, it rises to the top of the tank and is easily accessible. When needed, hot water is ready at the top of the tank and distributed into your home when turned on.

What Should I Do If My Water Heater Is Leaking?

Due to water heaters being located inside your home, it is important to catch water leaks before too much damage is caused. Water damage can ruin floors, walls, and other personal items. We recommend regularly checking on the status of your water heater to ensure it is not leaking in your home. If you notice your system is leaking, the first thing you should do is turn off the main water supply to avoid more water from leaking. From there, give one of our trained technicians a call. While we are on the way, we recommend cleaning up as much water as you can to avoid further water damage. We can quickly identify the cause of the water leak and help determine the best solution for your home!

What Causes Water Heaters To Leak?

In the inconvenient event your water heater begins leaking, we have you covered at Rep-Air! Our technicians can help you find a cost effective and long lasting solution for your home with our water heater repair and replacement services in New Westminster, B.C. and surrounding areas. Below are five common causes of water heater leaks.

  • Cracked Storage Tank
  • High Pressure
  • Bad Drain Valve
  • Faulty Temperature & Pressure Valve
  • Old Tank

Cracked Storage Tank

While water heaters are designed to effectively hold hot water, the constant stress can cause cracks over time. Heat causes water to expand and can result in small cracks within the tank. If your storage tank is cracked, it will likely need to be replaced to best protect your home from future damage!

High Pressure

Water heaters experience large amounts of pressure due to the process of heating and handling water. Pressure can occur due to hot water producing steam and taking up space in the storage tank. The steam can become trapped and create cracks, which causes water leaks. Additionally when the water temperature is set too high, pressure rises and risks creating more cracks.

Bad Drain Valve

The purpose of a drain valve is for a technician to empty the tank during maintenance or repairs. If the valve loosens or breaks over time, it can cause water to leak. In some cases, homeowners can just replace the drain valve, but others require replacement of the entire water heater system. We value honesty at Rep-Air Heating and Cooling and will always provide truthful information to help you make the right decision for your home!

Faulty Temperature & Pressure Valve

If your water heater is leaking, the temperature and pressure valve, also known as T&P valve, could be the cause. This component works to regulate temperature and pressure within the water heater, and can malfunction just like any other part. If the T&P valve is faulty, pressure and temperature can rise and lead to cracks as we previously mentioned.

Old Tank

Much like any home appliance, the time will come when your water heater will need to be replaced. Well maintained water heaters can last anywhere between 15-20 years. As the system ages, it experiences wear and tear on all components and can leak more frequently. If your home has an older water heater, we recommend paying attention to the following warning signs to avoid a water leak or breakdown:

  • Rusty Water or Tank
  • Frequent Repairs
  • Loud Noises
  • Little/No Heat Within Water

How To Prevent Your Water Heater From Leaking

There are a variety of ways to ensure your water heater remains working efficiently and effectively. Water damage caused by water heater leaks can be a stressful situation, and we are here to help keep your peace of mind. Below are five tips to prevent your water heater from developing a leak.

  • Perform Regular Maintenance With Rep-Air
  • Avoid High Water Temperatures
  • Test The T&P Valve
  • Be Aware Of Rust
  • Regularly Drain & Flush The Tank

We have you covered at Rep-Air during unpredictable situations, such as a water heater leaking. Our trained technicians have seen it all and can quickly restore your home comfort with our water heater repair and replacement services in Mission, B.C. and surrounding areas. Give Rep-Air Heating and Cooling a call if you are experiencing trouble with your water heater!

How To Prevent Frozen Pipes

The winter season can bring many things such as snow days, family traditions, and unfortunately frozen pipes. Frozen pipes can be a homeowners worst nightmare due to the discomfort and damage it can cause. Our customer’s home comfort is our top priority every season, especially when temperatures are low. In this blog, we discuss everything you need to know about frozen pipes and how to prevent the situation.

Tips To Prevent Frozen Pipes

Before the temperatures drop, we recommend preparing your pipes for the cold weather. Without proper preparation, your pipes are more likely to freeze and burst. Below are 5 tips to preventing frozen pipes this winter in Mission and surrounding areas.

  • Insulate Pipes & Unheated Areas
  • Open Cabinet Doors
  • Maintain A Consistent Thermostat Temperature
  • Drip Faucets
  • Disconnect Outside Hoses

Insulate Pipes & Unheated Areas

One of the best ways to prevent frozen pipes is to install insulation around them. Pipe insulation is fairly inexpensive and can be found at most home improvement stores. Additionally, we recommend insulating unheated areas, such as crawlspaces, attics, and basements. Insulation will not only keep unheated areas a more comfortable temperature, but protect your pipes and personal belongings from damage.

Open Cabinet Doors

When temperatures drop, we recommend opening cabinet doors with pipes underneath. Cabinets block heat from entering, which causes an unheated environment for pipes to freeze. Opening cabinets allows heat flow and can help prevent frozen pipes. Be sure to remove harsh chemicals underneath cabinets if your home has animals or small children.

Maintain A Consistent Thermostat Temperature

While it may be more comfortable or save money to lower temperatures at night, we do not recommend doing so when temperatures drop below freezing. Keeping your home a consistent, warm temperature can help prevent frozen pipes and save yourself from a big headache.

Drip Faucets

If the forecast shows temperatures below freezing, we recommend letting your faucets drip overnight. Letting your faucets drip creates a constant flow of water and relieves pressure building up between the pipe and ice blockage.

Disconnect Outside Hoses

Once you are finished gardening or swimming for the season, we recommend immediately disconnecting all outdoor hoses. Even though the hoses are not in use, water inside and within the connected pipes can still freeze. Close any shut-off valves that supply outdoor hose bibs and drain excess water inside each hose. Additionally, consider purchasing faucet covers for outdoor spigots to further prevent frozen pipes.

Frozen Pipe FAQ

Frozen pipes can raise many homeowner questions. We are here to help answer those questions! Below are 10 commonly asked questions about frozen pipes.

What causes frozen pipes?

As most know, water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When temperatures drop below 32 degrees, your pipes have a chance of freezing.

What pipes are more likely to freeze?

Most pipes have a chance of freezing when temperatures drop. However, certain pipes around your home have a higher chance of freezing than others. Below we listed pipes that freeze more frequently.

  • Pipes in unheated areas such as crawlspaces, garages, basements, or inside cabinets
  • Pipes with no insulation
  • Outdoor pipes connected to hoses, swimming pools, and sprinklers
  • Pipes on exterior walls

What causes frozen pipes to burst?

As water freezes, it expands. The expansion can create extra pressure inside the pipes and cause the metal or plastic container to burst.

What temperatures cause pipes to freeze?

Pipes risk freezing when temperatures are 32 degrees or lower. However, pipes most commonly freeze when temperatures drop to 20 degrees or lower.

How long does it take for pipes to freeze?

Depending on the temperature, pipes can freeze quickly or slowly. A general rule of thumb is temperatures need to be below 20 degrees for six consecutive hours before water inside pipes freeze.

Can my pipes freeze without bursting?

Frozen pipes do not always burst, however, we do not suggest waiting the situation out. If you notice your pipes are frozen, we suggest calling a Rep-Air technician to quickly help avoid potential home damage and discomfort.

How do I tell if my pipes are frozen?

Frozen pipes can be easy to identify in some cases, while others show signs once burst. When temperatures drop below freezing, we encourage homeowners to pay attention to the following signs to identify frozen pipes:

  • Limited or lack of water
  • Bulging
  • Smelly water
  • Unusual sounds
  • Condensation on pipes
  • Surface cracks

If you notice any of these signs, give a Rep-Air technician a call to quickly prevent any further plumbing issues!

What are ways to thaw frozen pipes?

If you notice your pipes are frozen, we recommend taking immediate action to prevent them from bursting. Thawing frozen pipes can create more pressure inside if done incorrectly. We recommend exposing the frozen pipe to a heat source, such as:

  • Opening cabinet doors to improve heat flow
  • Wrapping in warm towels
  • Utilizing a portable heater in the area and safely monitoring
  • Call a Rep-Air technician

What do I do if my pipes freeze?

If you notice your pipes are frozen, we recommend taking precautionary measures in case the pipes burst. Below we have listed what to do if your pipes freeze in New Westminster and surrounding areas.

  • Shut off water
  • Allow heat to ventilate near pipes
  • Examine pipes for leaks or cracks
  • Call a trusted Rep-Air technician

What do I do if my frozen pipes burst?

If your frozen pipes burst, we suggest turning off the water source and immediately calling a Rep-Air professional. Next, find a short term repair to slow the water leakage such as epoxy putty, pipe putty, electrical tape, or anything else temporarily. While you wait for one of our technicians to arrive, we recommend cleaning up as much water as you can to prevent further damage. If possible, place a bucket to collect water leaking and use towels to soak up water where you can.

Let us help prevent frozen pipes in your home in Mission, B.C. At Rep-Air, we offer a variety of plumbing services to maintain your home comfort and avoid inconvenient situations. Give us a call for plumbing services in Fraser Valley and surrounding areas today!

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31510 Gill Ave Unit #206,
Mission, British Columbia, V4S 0A1, Canada

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Electrical licence: LEL-0207320 | Gas Licence: LGA-0206647 

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