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Old 06-09-2006, 11:19 AM   #1
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Puddle of water found near my Hot water heater!


:confused: My wife opened the door to our garage yesterday to find a puddle of water standing in the area near where our hot water heater closet is. The clothes washer is on the otherside of the wall as well and the water is standing in there as well. The washer is practically brand new. 1 year old. I believe that there is something wrong with the water heater but I'm not sure how to troubleshoot the problem. Any advice?

Thanks.

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Old 06-09-2006, 12:18 PM   #2
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Puddle of water found near my Hot water heater!


Is this a gas or electric water heater?
How old is the water heater.
Do you see any water on the top of the tank?
Do you see any signs of water leaking down the side of the water tank?
You will need to try and locate the leak.
It could be leaking from the temperature/ pressure releif valve which is located near the the top of the tank. It is usually on the side of the tank about 6-10 inches from the top.
It could be leaking from a shut off valve.
It could be leaking from the top fittings on the water pipes coming into the tank or the pipes coming out. It could have a small crack in the tank and will need replacement.

You could have a leak from the washer and not the hot water tank.

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Old 06-09-2006, 12:28 PM   #3
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Puddle of water found near my Hot water heater!


If there is a large leak than you should either be able to hear or see where the water is originating from. It may be the water tank or the washer.

the washer may have a plugged drain line. Is the water on the floor clear or is there laundry soap? (foam)

If the water is warm (or hot) than it may be the water heater.

Last edited by redline; 06-09-2006 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:41 PM   #4
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Puddle of water found near my Hot water heater!


Thanks Redline. I think I have ruled out the washer...pulled it away from the wall and mopped up the water. 5 minutes later, water is slowly seaping out from the wall(between the water heater and washer)

ref:
Is this a gas or electric water heater?
Gas
How old is the water heater.
Don't know...it is a 50 Gal Reliance, Sta-Kleen 805 model
Do you see any water on the top of the tank?
No, none that I can see
Do you see any signs of water leaking down the side of the water tank?
No, none that I can see
You will need to try and locate the leak.
There is approx 1/8" of water settled on the wood floor of the water heater closet(elevated in the garage)
It could be leaking from the temperature/ pressure releif valve which is located near the the top of the tank. It is usually on the side of the tank about 6-10 inches from the top.
Definitely not this.
It could be leaking from a shut off valve.

It could be leaking from the top fittings on the water pipes coming into the tank or the pipes coming out.
Doesn't appear to be leaking from up top
It could have a small crack in the tank and will need replacement.
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:52 PM   #5
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Puddle of water found near my Hot water heater!


Can you see water dripping from the bottom of the water heater?
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:00 PM   #6
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Puddle of water found near my Hot water heater!


There should be water lines that supply and exit the water heater. It could be possible that one of the water lines may be leaking near the water heater and giving you the impression that the leak is coming from the water heater.

You will need to locate the leak and then go from there.

Is there any paper work for the water heater hanging on the water heater or near it that may tell you how old it is?
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:01 PM   #7
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Puddle of water found near my Hot water heater!


I can't visibly see it but I think that I can hear what sounds like a trickle of water. There isn't enough room to see around on the back side of the tank.
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:04 PM   #8
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Puddle of water found near my Hot water heater!


The temperature/pressure relief valve should have a pipe that allows it to drain down near the floor. Is there any water dripping out of the temperature/pressure relief valve pipe?
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Old 06-09-2006, 04:05 PM   #9
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Puddle of water found near my Hot water heater!


okay...I think I found the source but I don't know which valve this is. There is a dial on the front that controls how hot you want the water. Just below that there is a valve...it is dripping at a very fast rate. Why would this start dripping for no reason? SHould I just try to tighten it?
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Old 06-09-2006, 04:19 PM   #10
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Puddle of water found near my Hot water heater!


Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWHOMEOWNER2005
okay...I think I found the source but I don't know which valve this is. There is a dial on the front that controls how hot you want the water. Just below that there is a valve...it is dripping at a very fast rate. Why would this start dripping for no reason? SHould I just try to tighten it?

This is the drain valve. This is an inexpensive item to replace. They cost less than $10 dollars at most home centers.
Is this valve plastic?
You can try to close the valve. Has anyone opened the valve recently and did not close it?
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Old 06-09-2006, 04:26 PM   #11
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Puddle of water found near my Hot water heater!


No one has touched it. It was hidden behind a shroud. That's why I didn't see it to begin with. It is NOT plastic. You can see that it must have been dripping, at least a little for a while, because you can see a mineral buildup on the inside (Whitish-gray color).

We do have the water heater turned almost all the way as hot as it will go because to get our Master Shower to heat up it still takes a few minutes for the water to get warm. They are at opposite ends of the house.

Last edited by NEWHOMEOWNER2005; 06-09-2006 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 06-09-2006, 04:35 PM   #12
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Puddle of water found near my Hot water heater!


Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWHOMEOWNER2005

We do have the water heater turned almost all the way as hot as it will go because to get our Master Shower to heat up it still takes a few minutes for the water to get warm. They are at opposite ends of the house.
You should set the temperature at around 130 degrees. A temperature any higher than 150 degrees can scald someone especially a child.

The reason that it takes some time for the shower to get warm is because the water in the line going from the hot water tank to the shower cools down when the shower is not used and you have to wait for the hot water to travel down the water line to the shower. You will not gain anything by turning up the temperature on the hot water tank, you are just wasting energy. If you have access to the hot water line as it travels to the shower, then you could put pipe insulation around the pipe to keep the water from cooling down as fast.
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Old 06-09-2006, 04:49 PM   #13
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Puddle of water found near my Hot water heater!


I can tell you steps to replace this valve but it may be easier if you just call a plumber. It should cost less than $100 if that is the only repair needed.

Turn the temperature setting down to the lowest setting.
Turn off the cold water supply line coming into the water heater.
Put a pipe wrench on the drain valve to loosen it. If it starts to turn then stop. If you are unable to loosen the drain valve then call a plumber.
Now open up the drain valve and drain all the water out of the water heater. It will help if you open the temperature/pressure releif valve to allow air into the tank.
Once the water is drained then remove the drain valve.
Install the new drain valve. You may want to put thread tape on the threads to keep it from leaking.
Open the cold water supply line to fill the tank back up.
Once the water starts to come out of the temperature/pressure relief valve then close the T/P valve.
Turn the temperature setting back to the proper setting.
Check for leaks.
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Old 06-09-2006, 05:18 PM   #14
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Puddle of water found near my Hot water heater!


Thank you for all of your help so far! I have one last question...would it be okay if I capped this drain valve?
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Old 06-09-2006, 05:33 PM   #15
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Puddle of water found near my Hot water heater!


The drain valve can be capped as long as it is leaking from the inside. If it is leaking from the outside of the valve then that will not help. If you have any friends that are handy then you can cap it now and then let them replace it later.

It is a good idea to drain the water heater once or twice a year to remove the sediment that builds at the bottom of the tank. By draining the tank it will improve the efficiency of the hot water heater and make the water heater last longer.

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