Find a Pro: Troubleshooting a Water Heater Overflow

Find a Pro: Troubleshooting a Water Heater OverflowTroubleshooting a water heater overflow is a job for a qualified plumbing contractor. Whatever course of action follows the troubleshooting process also requires professional skill and expertise. An obvious defect in a replaceable component may cause an overflow, while other cases may necessitate a heater replacement. Because water heaters incorporate high temperatures, an open flame and flammable natural gas, they’re not appropriate for homeowners to fix on their own.

Here are some issues a professional plumber troubleshooting a water heater overflow might encounter:

Leakage From Inlet Pipe

The cold water inlet pipe on top of your heater may leak from either a threaded connection or a soldered joint. A plumber may be able to unscrew the threaded connection, wrap Teflon tape around the threads and coat it with Teflon sealant before reassembling the connection. In the case of a leaking soldered joint, your plumber may elect to cut the supply pipe off further away from the heater and solder in a new joint with an extension pipe that connects to the heater.

T&P Relief Valve Seepage

The temperature and pressure relief valve is a critical safety device that opens and closes automatically if tank heat or pressure exceeds safety specs. Leakage from a T&P relief valve may be remedied by operating the valve to flush out sediment. If leakage persists, your plumber will install a new relief valve.

Tank Failure

A corroded tank typically leaks from the bottom, often causing sizzling sounds as water drips onto the hot burner below. Sometimes the dripping can be caused by simple condensation that forms on the tank when the burner cycles on. However, if the drip persists more than a minute or so, this is likely a sign of tank leakage. A corroded hot water tank is non-repairable, so the unit must be replaced. This should be done ASAP because minor tank leakage may be the prelude to a major tank failure that could cause severe home water damage.

For professional service troubleshooting a water heater overflow in Grand Traverse County and the surrounding areas, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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