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I have a gallon Hotpoint electric hot water heater with a puddle all around the bottom. It seems to be leaking from the access panel where the top element is. What should I do? Do I call a 24 hour service? Wait till tomorrow and call someone I know? Try and and figure it out myself?
 

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I hope you called someone today. Hopefully, it is just a gasket at the top element. Prop would have been best to kill the power and water supply to it last night.
 

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Fixing a water heater can be a little dangerous, because you are generally dealing with hot water and hot pipes, so if there is someone available to help you, I would suggest contacting them. As boman47k noted, it would probably be a good idea to turn off the water heater and cut off its water supply, which is often possible without cutting the main water off.

Remember that before you turn it back on, the tank should be filled with water, so if you end up having to drain it, make sure you fill it back up before turning it on.
 
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