If your hot water heater leaks, it could be the drain valve. The hot water heater drain valve is commonly located on the bottom of the unit, and it looks like an outdoor tap. The valve allows you to drain the water out of the system to make repairs or clean the drain. Any fixtures that leak can cause damage to surrounding areas and increase your utility bills. Here are some tips on fixing a leaky hot water heater drain valve.
You will need a hose, pipe wrench, plumber's tape, buckets, and a replacement valve for this project. If you have a plastic valve, consider a brass replacement since it will last longer. Another replacement valve option is a full port ball valve, which helps the tank drain faster, and it rarely needs repairing.
Shut Off Power Or Gas and Cold Water
Turn off an electric hot water heater from the breaker box. The gas knob is commonly located at the bottom of the unit on the yellow or black gas line with a red knob. Turn the red gas knob to the lowest temperature settings on a gas heater, and rotate the pilot light to the 'off' setting. Shut off the cold water supply line, which should be on top of the tank, and open a sink tap to drain excess water.
Drain the Tank
Water heater drain valves are threaded like outdoor taps so they can accept a hose. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve, and attach the other end to a nearby sink or tub. Turn on the drain valve, letting the tank drain until empty. If you don't have a safe way to drain hot water, run the hot water on an indoor faucet until it gets cold, and shut off the water supply.
Replace the Valve
Drain valves will spew warm or hot water while your remove them so have someone stand by to catch water. Remove the old drain valve by placing the pipe wrench on the faceted base and the wrench to the right. Wrap the threads on the new valve with plumber's tape to ensure a secure seal, and fasten it in place with the wrench. Turn on the gas and electricity, fill the tank back up with water, turn the water heater back on, and test for leaks.
If you don't spot a leak, you fixed the problem. Otherwise, you will need a plumber to stop the leak. For more information, contact A Absolute Plumbing & Heating or a similar company.