A water heater system in your house mostly constitute of two pipes: one contains hot water whilst the other one has hot water. They are inlet and outlet pipes. There is connection between them such that the exit of the hot water allows cold water to replace it at the top of the tank. Please note that besides the inlet and outlet pipes, the drain valve is yet another kind of pipe which leaks too.
When there are leaks in the pipe, this is usually as a result of the high temperature inside the pipe. This temperature and excessive pressure cause the tank to overheat. The water heater pipe leaking usually keeps the tank open non-stop, thereby allowing the water to leak. What should you do, then? The first action is to shut off the heater and carry out the fixing it through the following ways:
Determine The Source Of The Leaking
You might at first mistake the condensation on the pipes for leakage. Humidity could cause the cold pipes in particular to ‘sweat’. Wiping and drying the pipes will help you to determine if for a fact the leaking is internal. It may not necessarily be as a result of condensation.
Tighten The Unions
For water heater pipe leaking to be resolved, one needs to use a wrench to tighten the union of the pipes as aforementioned. The wrench will be placed in the opposite direction and force applied. Have two wrenches when tightening the pipes.
The point where the pipes enter the tank is what we are referring to as nipples. The nipples get old or corrode. The threads get damaged, rendering them unusable. You can try to fix them by tightening them after shutting the inlet /outlet pipes. The pipe wrenches can be used for this work. There is some bit of force required to tighten them when using the wrenches. Excessive turning is not advised and as such, you should limit yourself to a quarter turn. At most, make only a half turn.
If the leaking does not stop, simply remove the threads. There is Teflon tape or dope which can be used to cover the nipples.
Drain valves have a problem of their own and mostly, this is a factory problem since the pipes are made from plastic. A simple action of flushing or tightening will do the trick. If both fail, just replace them.