Water heaters Water heater

Published on November 24th, 2016 | by Henri


Detecting leaks in water heater

Q.  My water heater is coming to the end of its 12-year warranty. It is in the basement, most of which is finished with carpeting, etc. I’ve got a water alarm near it since I don’t go downstairs that much. I have no idea if they typically spring a small leak when they are about to go or do all 40 gallons spew out onto the floor? Should I plan to replace it before something awful happens and my basement is trashed? I live alone so it hasn’t had really heavy usage – if that matters at all. Thanks for your advice, as always.

A.  Most water heater leaks begin very small when the lining develops a pin hole.

The fact that you have a water alarm, which everyone should have, is your safety valve. I hope that the heater is set in a pan (these pans are specially made for water heater and should be available in plumbing -supply houses, big box stores and some hardware stores), and the alarm set in the pan. This would give you plenty of warning when a leak develops.

You might as well keep the present heater for as long as it does not leak. Warranties are no assurance that the appliance will last as long as the warranty or longer.

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