Help! My Hot Water Tank is Leaking

It was my late afternoon coffee break, I was sitting in my Tundra enjoying my pumpkin spice latte. As I was turning the key to start the truck, my cell phone started ringing. It was probably another call from the auto extended warranty company. No, not this time. The call was from one of my students, Ms. A. She told me that her hot water tank was leaking and her basement floor was flooding. She could not get in touch with her plumber. Could I help?

KL to the Rescue

I packed up the Tundra with my plumbing tools and went to Ms. A’s house.

Brian to the rescue

Ms. A greeted me in her driveway. We entered her house through the side door leading directly to the basement . As soon as I entered her house, I could smell the humidity. Most of her basement floor was covered with newspaper; this was Ms. A’s attempt to control the spreading of the water pouring out of the base of her water heater.

Trying to control the uncontrollable water leak

The Problem

The problem

Ms. A’s electric hot water tank was leaking water out of the base. Her hot water heater has seen better days and had to be replaced.

First Things First “Its All About Safety”

No matter what energy powers your hot water heater, there are a few essential components that all hot water heating systems must have:


Diagram of an electric hot water heater, major components
  1. Hot water shut off valve
  2. Cold water shut off valve
  3. Pressure relief valve
  4. Tail piece
  5. Tank drain valve
  6. Anode rod

To The Rescue

  1. Turned off the power to the electric hot water heater
  2. Turned off the incoming cold water ball valve
  3. Turned off the outgoing hot water ball valve
  4. Attached a garden hose to the tank drain valve and ran the hose outside to drain the tank
  5. Opened the pressure relief valve to break the vacuum and drain the tank.

In Conclusion

By 10AM the following day, Ms. A’s broken hot water heater was removed and a new hot water was installed. Yea!

Tip Of the Month From KL Home Inspection Services

Inspect the base of your hot water heater. If you see any signs of rust, call licensed plumber, your hot water heater may have to be replaced.

What to look for

To learn more about your home’s heating and hot water systems, schedule a home examination with KL Home Inspection Services or attend a class.

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