Have you recently noticed that your electric water heater is leaking? Does your thermostat say check system? If so, don’t ignore it! A leaking water heater can be caused by multiple issues, one of the most common being a malfunctioning thermostat.
A water heater is an essential appliance that provides us with hot water for our daily needs. It’s a significant investment, and a leaking water heater tank can lead to not only frustrating. But also costly problems if left untreated. Most homeowners are unaware of the causes of water heater leaks and how to fix them.
If you’re experiencing a water heater leaking from the bottom, it’s vital to get the issue resolved quickly to prevent further damage to your property. While various issues can cause a leaking water heater, a faulty thermostat is a common culprit. In this article, we will explore in-depth the reasons why your water heater could be leaking from the thermostat panel and how to fix it.
What could be causing water heater leaks from the thermostat panel?
The thermostat panel is a crucial component of your water heater as it regulates the temperature of the hot water. A malfunctioning or faulty thermostat can cause your water heater to leak from its panel. Other issues that may be causing a water heater to leak include:
- A blocked drain valve prevents excess hot water from draining away and builds up pressure in the tank.
- A leaking tank due to age and wear and tear on the bottom of the tank.
- A tripped circuit breaker caused by an overloading of appliances can prevent the water heater from cooling down.
- A broken pipe connection can cause water leakage from around the base of the tank.
- An old or corroded anode rod, which helps protect the tank from rust and corrosion.
- The excess water pressure coming into the home can cause leaks from around the tank or pipes connected to it.
- A damaged temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P valve) or one that is set too high, allowing hot water to escape.
- For electric water heaters, you should check your circuit breaker as this may have tripped due to an overload of electrical appliances. If so, turn off the main power switch and reset the circuit breaker. For gas water heaters, make sure to turn off the gas supply before attempting any repairs.
How to troubleshoot and diagnose an electric water heater that is leaking from the thermostat panel?
Before attempting any repairs, it’s essential to troubleshoot and diagnose the problem. If you notice a water heater leaking from the thermostat panel, it’s likely due to a faulty or malfunctioning thermostat. If this is the issue, you will need to replace it with a new one.
- The first step is to check if your thermostat is set too high. To do this, adjust the temperature setting on your thermostat to a lower level. Also, listen for a clicking sound as the electrical contacts switch off. If there is no clicking sound or the temperature does not change, you may need to replace your thermostat.
- If your water heater is still leaking after adjusting the temperature setting on your thermostat, you may need to replace the T&P valve. This valve is responsible for releasing excess hot water and pressure from the tank when it gets too high. If this valve is blocked or damaged, you will need to replace it with a new one.
- Finally, if you are still having issues with your water heater leaking from the thermostat panel. It could be due to a blockage in the drainage pipe or an issue with your water supply pressure. To check for these issues, turn off your main water supply and check for any blockages in the pipes connected to your water heater. If there are no blockages, test the incoming water pressure of your home by attaching a pressure gauge to an outdoor tap. If the incoming water pressure is too high, you may need to install a pressure-reducing valve.
What are the steps for repairing or replacing the thermostat panel?
- When repairing or replacing a thermostat panel, first turn off the power supply to the water heater and make sure it is safe to work on the heater. Once you have done this, you will need to remove the access panel and locate the old thermostat module. Carefully disconnect the wires connecting it to the rest of the system before taking out the old module.
- Next, install a new module in its place and connect it according to your water heater’s wiring diagram. Be sure to use pliers or other tools when tightening any screws. As they can easily strip if not tightened properly. Test that everything works correctly by turning on the power and setting a temperature on your thermostat.
- If the issue persists, you may need to replace the anode rod in your hot water tank. This rod helps to prevent corrosion in your water heater and can become clogged over time, leading to a leak. To replace it, drain the tank and unscrew the hex head of the rod. Then use a wrench to remove it from its mounting hole. Once removed, install a new anode rod and reattach it to the water heater before refilling the tank with cold water and turning on the power supply.
- If all else fails, you may need to consider replacing your entire hot water tank or electric water heater. As it could be too old or damaged beyond repair. Call a professional plumber for help if this is necessary.
What are some preventive maintenance tips to avoid an electric water heater from leaking?
- One of the best ways to prevent an electric water heater from leaking is to regularly inspect it for any signs of damage. Look for rust, corrosion or other signs of wear and tear. If you see any issues, get them fixed as soon as possible.
- Make sure your thermostat is set to a safe temperature that won’t cause the water in the tank to overheat and potentially cause a leak. To test this, turn off all the electrical appliances connected to your water heater and check if it overheats or not.
- Drain the hot water tank at least twice a year to flush out any sediment build-up which can cause blockages and lead to leaks. Make sure you turn off the gas and water supply before draining the tank. Also, make sure all electrical appliances are unplugged.
- Check that all the pipes connected to your water heater are in good condition, with no signs of wear or damage. If you do see any issues, replace them as soon as possible. Additionally, the shut off valve should be checked regularly to make sure it is working properly.
- Finally, check the anode rod in your water heater at least once a year and replace it if necessary. A corroded or worn-out old anode rod will be less effective at protecting your water heater from corrosion and can lead to leaks over time.
When do you need to call a professional plumber if your electric water heater is leaking?
If you have followed all the steps mentioned above and your electric water heater is still leaking, it’s time to call a professional plumber for help. A qualified plumber can quickly diagnose the issue and tell you what needs to be done to fix it. The cost of repair or replacement will depend on the severity of the issue. But if left unchecked, a leaking water heater can cause extensive damage to your home and property, not to mention high energy bills from wasted hot water.
It’s important not to try and fix a leaking electric water heater yourself. As there are safety risks involved such as electrocution or burns from hot steam or water. Additionally, some parts may require special tools or expertise in order to be properly installed.
All in all, if you have a leaking electric water heater, the best thing to do is call a professional plumber for help. They can inspect it and recommend the best action to fix the issue and get your hot water running again.
Contact Sydney Hot Water Systems today for expert hot water heater repairs and maintenance. Our team of experienced plumbers can help you with any issues you may have with your electric water heater, from a simple leak to a full replacement.