Hot Water Tanks Care &Amp; RepairOctober 27, 2021
By Larry Smythe
Hot water heaters and tanks seem to go at the oddest and worst times for most home and property owners. No doubt about that. One long retired plumbing and heater contractor noted that years ago hot water tanks even the newer type fiberglass models were much less costly, and they lasted for years. Said the experienced tradesman they used to be a portion of the price that they cost now, and they lasted for years and years. Now it seems that not only are fiberglass hot water tanks sort of flimsy. They seem to last most homeowners 7 or 8 years if they are lucky. On top of that add in expensive labor bills for installation as well as removal and disposal of the old tank.
Yet often it is not leaks that are the problem when it comes to malfunctions of hot water tanks. With natural gas, propane and electric types it frequently is the thermostat which malfunctions. Available at your standard big box stores for hardware as well as heating, plumbing and air conditioning parts and repair shops as well as hot water tank dealers, it is often the case that these new parts are fitted onto or into the hot water tank wall of course after the water heater is turned off, and in most cases as a safety precaution drained fully.
However if your hot water tank is leaking you can spot the leak or even water gushing or the sound of running water then that is another matter. First of all turn off the water entry valve to the tank. That should stop the flow that is after the tank has emptied itself onto your basement or utility room floor. If you can, to save yourself the mess and damage, drain out the hot water via the bottom water drain. Either a garden hose can be attached to drain the water away , more cleanly and with less mess , fuss and damage or if not possible , or if it over-all late in the day and event , simply drain the hot water from the tank into a pail , pot or other receptacle.
Modern hot water tanks that have sprung a leak must be replaced. Simple as that. These tanks are made of one piece molded fiberglass. On top of that the fiberglass is interior to the exterior housing. Therefore even if you could spot the offending leak that has sprung how is you going to get at it and patch the leak in the fiberglass material properly. It is not as if it a rubber tire or inner tube that can be taken off and simply patched. On top of that it is like rust on car, or the titanic hitting an iceberg. If one leak has sprung, more are on the way.
Simply replace the sprung hot water tank. That is your best and only options and course of action. Either way if you call a heating and plumbing professional or replace the tank as a do it yourself project ensure that the project is done thoroughly and properly.
About the Author: Larry Smythe
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