Water Heater Leaks
Typically, a puddle of water around your water heater means leakage. Fortunately, there is probably a simple solution for this leak. Before calling your local plumbing company, check out these scenarios to see if you can find the solution on your own, for free.
There is a valve located at the bottom of the water heater, called a T&PR valve. In most minor water heater leaks, this is the culprit. You see, water heaters only have three connecting lines. They are the hot water outlet line, the cold water inlet line, and the third line is attached to a brass valve with a lever on it. When there is an accumulation of water around the water heater, it usually means the T&PR valve is doing its job. It is there to relieve the excess water pressure inside the appliance. It is a safety mechanism that prevents water pressure from overheating and causing an explosion.So if you see this standard leak under your hot water heater, it usually suggests that the Temperature and Pressure Relief exceeds the appliance design limitations. Generally, the heat limit is 120 degrees. At this point, the T&PR valve is designed to release this excess water and pressure. It is a sign that your water heater is reaching unsafe temperature levels. If you know how to refute this problem yourself, then do so with this new found information, otherwise, call a professional plumber to take a look and fix the problem.
Water Heater Inspections
Once a year, you should test your T&PR valve by simply lifting the lever attached to the third connecting line, as mentioned earlier. Once you release some water by lifting this lever, let go to see if it closes back up and stops the hot water flow. This simple test that only needs performed once a year can greatly reduce the need for repairs, and reduce the cost of repair altogether by discovering water heater issues early on.