My water heater is leaking. Now what?
Whether it is only a small puddle or an inch of water in your basement, the first thing you need to do is shut off the water to the water heater. Water leaking from your water heater, no matter how small the leak is, can become a very big problem if not fixed right away. The shut-off valve for the water heater is normally located a foot or two above the water heater on the cold water line. If your water heater has two valves for the hot and the cold lines, shut them both off. The next step is to drain the water heater. Attach one end of a garden hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of the water heater and the other end to somewhere that the water can drain. If your water heater is in the basement, a sump pump or French drain is an ideal spot to drain the water. If your water heater is not in the basement, you can drain the water outside, in a sink or even a toilet.
As the water is draining, it is a good idea to turn off the gas or electric to the water heater. If you have a gas water heater, shut off the gas valve that goes into the water heater. If you have an electric water heater, shut off the breaker for the water heater in the breaker panel. When the water stops flowing from the hose, shut off the drain valve on the water heater. Keep the water valves closed to prevent water to fill the water heater again. At this point, call your local HVAC Company to come out to remove your old water heater and install a new one.
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