How to Diagnose and Repair a Leaking Water Heater
Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey finds a solution for a water heater that recently started leaking.
- If there’s a leak at your temperature and pressure relief valve, first test to ensure it’s operating correctly. If it isn’t working properly, replace it.
- If the T&P valve is operational, check to see if you have a pressure-reducing valve, usually near the main water shutoff. If a pressure-reducing valve or other form of check valve is present, you’ll need to add a potable expansion tank.
- Shut the water off at the water main.
- Using a bucket, drain the hot water heater just enough to get below the pipes and the top of the tank.
- Use copper pipe and push fittings to connect the expansion tank.
- Cut the cold water line above the tank using a pipe cutter, then push both ends of the pipe into both sides of the push T fitting.
- Turn the water back on.