Your dirty dishes are piling up, your kids need a bath after running around the neighborhood all day, and you want to wash the day away with a steaming hot shower. However, while sweeping the garage earlier, you noticed that your water heater was leaking. Now, you’re unsure if you can keep using water while the heater is leaking.
Water heater leaks typically originate from the drain valve or cold water inlets. These leaks are fairly minor, so it’s safe to take a shower or wash dishes in hot water while waiting for a plumber. However, if the leaks result in a large puddle of water or come from the T&P valve, you must consult a licensed plumber before using water.
Is It Safe to Shower When the Water Heater Is Leaking?
For many of us, our days can’t start until we take a refreshingly hot shower. That’s why it can be extremely frustrating when something gets between us and our shower. Recently, you noticed a bit of moisture around your water heater and instantly started worrying it will affect your ability to shower. You don’t want to do anything that will damage the appliance, but you also can’t imagine skipping your daily shower. You begin to wonder if you can use hot water when your water heater is leaking.
You can keep showering (and using hot water for anything else) if the leak from the water heater is minor. However, your rituals should be kept to a minimum while you seek assistance from a professional plumber. You shouldn’t keep using a water heater that is leaking from the bottom or anywhere else for the long term. You must immediately fix a water heater tank to prevent water damage to your home and appliance.
If the leak is large, turn off the appliance right away and do not use hot water. Large water leaks can occasionally cause the water heater to explode.
The Dangers of Using a Leaky Water Heater
In most cases, water heater leaks are not dangerous. In fact, leaky water heaters are a common occurrence and simply require the attention of a residential plumbing repair technician.
While water heater leaks are not much of a concern, there are some instances when water leaks from this appliance can pose a serious hazard. Here are the potential risks you face from using a leaking hot water heater:
- Scalding Water: Broken components, such as a malfunctioning T&P valve, can damage the heater’s thermostat or temperature detector. This results in the water overheating, and you could be burned while trying to shower or wash your hands.
- Flooding: One of the greatest risks of using water from a leaking water heater is flooding. As water passes through the appliance and the water pressure inside the tank increases, a small leak can become a large problem that damages your home’s structural integrity.
- Gas Leak: If a part of your gas water heater is leaking, the gas system can also be affected, causing natural gas to escape. Gas leaks are dangerous to your health and put your home at risk of a fire.
- Tank Explosion: Although rare, your water heater tank could explode from too much pressure building inside the tank. The explosion could cause serious damage to your property.
How to Handle a Leaking Water Heater
If you suspect your water heater is leaking, you do not have to immediately put a stop to your daily routine. You can typically continue to use hot water on a temporary basis while you wait for a plumbing professional. Do not let the leak go unaddressed for an extended period of time; otherwise, you may have to pay for a Pittsburgh water heater replacement prematurely.
For more information about our water heater services and solutions to leaking water heaters, contact our team today!