The hot water tank can be a ticking bomb if you do not routinely inspect and maintain it. Let’s face it, not only is mold ugly and dangerous to your health, it damages the walls and floors of your family’s home. Molds thrive in areas exposed to moisture and stagnant air and in your water heater. It is why you are likely to see them in the basement than in any other place in your house. You can try a lot of remedies to remove mold in the basement. You can seal any area that has a leak, run a dehumidifier and introduce some ventilation in your basement. But they are not effective all the time. If you followed the tips on how to remove these pesky molds in your basement only to discover that they are still around, check your water heater since it is the most likely cause.
HOW TO CHECK FOR LEAKS IN YOUR WATER HEATER?
At times, the answer is pretty obvious when you can see a large puddle of water on your floor that will indicate of a leak in your water heater. But there are times that for you to be able to detect the leak, you’ll have to make a thorough inspection of your water heater. A discoloration will also spread out on the floor up to the walls, all from the water that has collected on the floor. Upon closer inspection, you’ll see some flaking on the tank, along with a musty smell permeating the place. Unfortunately, the growth of mold is not always visible to the naked eye. Subject to the leaks’ cause, these fungus and mold spores can thrive inside your walls, below your linoleum flooring, and can even infiltrate the duct system that leads to your cooling and heating units. You will usually find mold growth throughout the length of your leaking pipe on its way to your shower, making it frustrating to fix and remove.
WHAT IS THE EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE OF A LEAKING WATER HEATER?
In most homes in the country, basements or utility rooms are usually dark and damp rooms of houses that have a concrete and cemented floors and walls. Once you notice that water starts to collect in this part of the house, you can easily delay fixing it or even totally neglect it. This nonchalant behavior spells disaster and here’s why: First, your electric consumption will drastically increase when you have a leaking water heater. You end up paying for water distribution that was not used just because there’s a leak in your system. Second, you can count on it that mold will grow and spread around. You must not be comfortable with the fact that mold is infesting your basement because it will eventually reach your duct system and spread all over your home. If your basement or utility room is finished, you can plainly see the evidence of mold growth from your leaky water heater. It is very unfortunate once this mold infestation reaches your drywall because you have no other recourse but to remove it and then replace it. It is also applicable when it comes to wood trim, tiling, and so on. You will not have any choice left but to call a mold mitigation company to take care of it once it has spread all over the place. Paying for a mold mitigation company puts a great strain to your wallet, and you will also most likely have to replace certain items of clothing and furniture.
HOW TO SOLVE A LEAKY WATER DILEMMA?
To address this mold issue, you must first look for the source of the leak. In most cases, it is the water heater. If the issue is related to the condensation of the hot water in a cold room, you can easily solve this problem through the installation of a dehumidifier that will suck the excess moisture out. If you have more complicated water heater leaks, it requires more effort from you. There are usually four reasons that will explain why you have a leaking water heater that drips on your floor. If you are not confident enough to fix it yourself, it is highly suggested to seek for the help of an expert plumber. The combination of water and electricity is a deadly one, and only a highly trained service repairman is knowledgeable and experienced in handling such cases. If you have no choice but to do it yourself (this is not advised), ensure that the power is disconnected. The four major issues any expert plumber will most likely encounter are:
- Obstructed Temperature and Pressure Relief (TPR) Valve – this valve is the most significant part of the water heater since it prevents it from becoming a pressurized time bomb. However, gunks and debris easily collect in this spot and has a negative effect on the performance of your home water heater. 2. The TPR Valve Overheats – the TPR Valve remains open to disperse excess force whenever the pressure becomes too high in a water heater. As a result, water constantly drips out. This increase in pressure is from the excess work needed to satisfy the enormous demands for temperature. An easy solution to this issue is to turn down the unit’s thermostat to lessen the demand on the TPR Valve. 3. Leaky Connections – plumbing connections can be found on the sides or at the top of your water heater. These connections deliver the water and then return it to the tank. Over time, these connections might corrode because that is what usually happens when you put water and metal together. Leaks can happen on the side of the tank as a result. Thankfully, they are pretty obvious and can easily be fixed just by tightening or cleaning it. If there is a need to replace it, it is easy to pull off as well. 4. Defects in the Heating Elements – a telltale sign that the heating element of your water heater needs replacement is when you become aware that the water is not that warm anymore.
Just remember that there might be other causes that can result in a leak, like having a corroded tank, but you can only consider that if your unit is around 10 to 12 years old. Just like with molds, leaks in your hot water heater signals you that something is wrong with your plumbing system. If you are not sure you can fix it on your own, do not hesitate to call for a certified plumber to do the job in no time.