Is Your Water Heater Leaking? Here's What You Need To Do
If suspect your water heater is leaking don't disregard it as just a minor problem. Water heater leaking may be the symptom of something more serious. Also, keep in mind that any wet or damp area can easily sprout mold, which can be a health concern for both you and your family. A leak, whether big or small, needs to be dealt with right away.
The first thing you should do if suspect there's a leak is to determine whether it's your heater that is causing the problem. Check other pipes and pumping fixtures in the area to see if they are the source of the leak. Hot water tanks also have a tendency to develop condensation, which may give the appearance of a leak, so keep that in mind as well.
If you have checked all other possibilities and still don't have an answer then it's likely that your heater is indeed leaking. What you need to do next in this scenario is shut off the power. If you have an electric water heater go to your circuit breaker box and turn off the switch to your heater. If you have a gas heater, locate the on/off dial on the tank and turn it to "off".
If you have a serious leak then the next thing you will need to do is shut off the cold water supply. Just be careful. Water heaters can heat water to temperatures of up to 190 degrees F. Any contact with it can cause serious burns.
Most heaters will have valve located above the tank that you will either have to pull down or turn counter clockwise to close. If you can't get to this valve safely you will have to locate the main water shut-off valve for your house.
Assuming the leak isn't serious, you may want to consider leaving the water supply on for the moment to assist you in finding the source of the leak. This will help you better explain the problem to the service professional. Once you find where the water is coming from, close the water supply valve and call a plumber.