The Tank › Big, BIG problems… Heater may only be part of it.
- January 17, 2006 at 1:17 pm #4467GaspariParticipant
I have an old, AO Smith gas water heater that sits in the basement. It came with the house which I had built and have been in since 1989.
I am not a ‘fixit’ guy and have never touched my water heater at all, in all that time.
Yesterday, I went down to the basement (first time in months) and saw water on the concrete floor, everywhere. The main, and largest, puddle is under the water heater. I saw steam coming from the area around the water heater, then noticed there is a long, thin tube along the side of the heater that is dripping water out the bottom. Did i say dripping? It is pouring out! Non-stop as well. There is a floor drain that is nearby, so that may be the only reason the floor is not flooded.
I also noticed a couple of small water spots nearby, still wet, but these puddles are only about a foot in diameter. I did not see any dripings, but noticed the copper pipes above look wet. My main floor bathroom is almost directly above the water tank area, so I may have a leak there as well.
Anyway, I was about to search the yellow pages and call a plumber, but saw this site. Thought I’d check this site and ask first, as I bet this will be very expensive no matter what the outcome.
Also, I should add that I have not done anything, as I could not find the gas shutoff, or the water shutoffs, as I was afraid of doing something wrong. And, I can not find instructions on this. Everyone says turn off gas, but I’m not sure where that ‘valve’ or connection is.
I would even feel better, though, if you say that I need to call someone. At least, I won’t feel like I’m doing the wrong thing.
Thanks for any help.January 17, 2006 at 5:04 pm #4470Randy SchuylerKeymaster
Oh my! You’re certainly going to need a plumber anyway because the first thing to do is replace the temperature/pressure relief valve that’s running. That’s an obvious one. After that, he can check the piping for leaks and determine whether the tank is also leaking. It could be after 16 years of service. There are instructions under Know-how on how to check the condition of both gas and electrics.
After the T&P is done, if water is still flowing and it’s not coming from the drain valve or piping, then you may well need a new water heater. If so, read up elsewhere on the site so you can make an informed choice.
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