What to do if the water heater leaks: the main causes and ways of troubleshooting
We all have the most unpleasant moments when the appliances suddenly refuse to work This entails a lot of problems. financial costs, loss of time, effort, discomfort. The moment will be doubly unpleasant if the water heater leaks, because you can not put off such a problem, it must be solved immediately. And the first thing to do is to find out what is the cause of the leak.
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Today we will look at what to do if the boiler leaks. But first you need to take care of the tools that will be needed in the work.
The necessary tools
Before you start the work, be sure to make sure that there are available:
- a crescent wrench (it must be larger than the largest nut in the boiler);
- electronic tester;
- a set of socket wrenches;
- A rubber hose to drain water from the tank;
- socket wrenches;
If you do not have something from the list, then be sure to buy this tool, especially since it may come in handy later.
Some people believe that having minimal knowledge about the principle of the boiler, they can easily install it or repair it. In fact, minimal knowledge is not enough, a full-fledged repair should be dealt with by specialists. But if we are talking about a boiler leak, here it is quite possible to cope with their own forces.
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Examples of what to do
Often when you can fix the device and remove the leak yourself. To do this, you need to determine the cause of the phenomenon, take the right tools and act according to a special instruction.
Necessary tools for repair
Before starting the work, you need to take a crescent wrench with an electronic tester, pipe wrenches, a rubber hose to drain the liquid, socket wrenches, screwdriver and a knife.
It is worth noting that to repair minor breakdowns, minimal knowledge is enough. However, it is better to entrust a complete repair to qualified professionals.
Troubleshooting causes and malfunctions
Troubleshoot the causes and malfunctions of the fact that the water heater thermomex leaks from the bottom, you need to start with its disconnection from the power grid and conduct a thorough inspection to identify the location of the leak. It is important that if the water heater leaks only from the top, there is an explanation. there was a hole in the heating element. This could be due to a trivial production tank or lack of magnesium rod installation. If the liquid leaks from the plastic lid, then the problem lies in the complete failure of the equipment, breach of tightness of the tank. In the latter case, the water leaks through the water hoses and plugs. Such malfunctions can be eliminated only by replacing the boiler.
It is also necessary to look at how the magnesium electrode looks like. If it is strongly thinning or decreasing in length, then this water heater element should be replaced. It is also recommended to check with a multimeter whether the thermostat is functioning, whether there are any power leaks, and then replace the faulty types of elements or seals.
Next, you should do replacement of defective elements or seals. To find the right gasket, you need to take the old one to the store. In such a situation, you can quickly find a similar model. After replacing parts, the boiler must be reassembled in the order in which it was disassembled. If the device is leaking in the place where the supply is connected, then in order to fix the breakage, you need to make repacking of threaded connections.
If there is a faucet in the connection, it is better to take sanitary tape with special paste, rather than fum tape, for sealing. This type of seal will help make the valve turn back so that it can be used comfortably. The tightness of screw joints can not be affected. This is not possible with fum tape. After the assembly, make the opening of the faucet and fill the boiler with water, check the switching on of the heating element.
To avoid leakage of the water heater, it is necessary to achieve the correct connection. During the whole service life it is necessary to drain the water, and then carry out preventive types of measures to clean the parts from scale with rust, make sure that the magnesium rod is in good working order.
Important! Carrying out water purification with a polyphosphate or magnetic filter, will increase the period of operation up to 40 percent. In addition, in order to ensure the smooth operation of the boiler system, it is not necessary to put a high heating temperature. By following such recommendations, it is possible to achieve a long service life of the boiler without trouble.
Causes of leaks depending on the manufacturer
Most often the boiler leaks due to improper installation, operation and factory tank.
According to the marks of the users often leaks water heater company Termex, Ariston and some other boilers of famous brands.
The Termex can drip most often due to the fact that it has a damaged bulb, which covers the heating element. In such a situation you need to repair it quickly. Sealing of fistulas or cold welding is needed. There is also a problem with the flange gasket and damage to the foum tape. You need to turn to professionals for professional help.
Ariston leaks liters often due to improper installation and transportation, wear and tear of the gasket, lack of grounding and untimely maintenance. It is not uncommon for equipment to break down because of:
- Factory defect;
- Receiving a hard blow during shipping and compromising the integrity of the welds;
- Lack of safety plastic valve or mismatching the parameters of the valve to the pressure in the water supply line.
Often the reason is the pressure greater than five atmospheres, and to prolong the life of the boiler it is necessary to put a pressure reducer.
Often break down boilers firm Bosch, Zanusi, Baxi, Timberk and Electrolux as a result of improper installation or transportation. The cause of failure is hard water, which forms scale in the pipes and gearbox. Also break down boilers because of a factory defect, but in large stores the equipment is delivered in 80% quality. Often the equipment becomes unusable because the safety valve has not been installed or it does not meet the characteristics of the water main. This is a common problem of all water heaters.
Leaky water heater: what to do?
The answer to this question depends on how serious the detected fault is. However, before starting the work, it is necessary to prepare the necessary tools. The master will need:
A flexible hose and possibly a container for draining the tank will be needed.
What can be fixed by yourself?
There are breakages, which are not too difficult to fix by your own efforts.
- Heating element malfunction due to scale formation. Problem solution. removal of the old element, its replacement with a new electric heater.
- Malfunctioning of the safety valve, its failure. In this case, it can be stated that there is nothing wrong with the unit. The pipe fittings are either repaired or a new device is bought.
- Leakage caused by heating element gasket, leakage under the bolts. At the first malfunction first tighten the nuts, then go to the store for a new seal. In the latter case, it is better to buy a new water heater, because it is possible that when welding the thin walls of the vessel are deformed.
Leaky connection of the supply line. the most “solvable” problem. However, such a malfunction requires quality fittings and the same plumbing sealing materials.
What to do if the storage tank leaks?
With the problems described above, the only reasonable solution would be to buy a new water heater.
Why it is easier to buy a new device?
There are several reasons for purchasing a modern model.
- Most boilers use innovative protection technology: the inside walls are coated with glass enamel, which has an impressive service life. at least 50 years. However, this material has disadvantages. The main one is brittleness. When using a welding machine, such a coating is damaged. To restore this enamel layer at home is simply not realistic. Therefore, the formation of a leak in the near future is inevitable.
- Some models have internal walls made of stainless steel, other boilers use plastic coatings. Repairing them will also be an impossible task. In the first case there will be no possibility even to check the tightness of the structure, the polymer layer will not be restored at home. Therefore, the owners have no reason to waste time, to make efforts to repair the damaged device. It is easier and more logical to buy new equipment.
Boiler and tank. a single structure, it can be called a monolith. Therefore, it is unlikely to disassemble the water heater without damaging any elements. There is one option that some owners may seem like an attractive solution: it is an independent replacement of the inner tank with a similar tank. However, even in this case, there is no guarantee that the operation will be successful, that the leak will not appear in the near future.
Leakage from below
Separate consideration requires another malfunction: when the water leaks from under the plastic protective cover. through the control holes. There are two reasons for the leak. To understand what to deal with, first the boiler is de-energized. Then remove the outer part of the cover, and then look closely where the water comes from.
- If the liquid leaks from under the flange (hatch), which is marked with black arrows. This problem is an indication of a leaking element.
- When water is dripping from the holes (red arrows) or the seams, you can safely say that the cause of the leak is depressurization of the inner container.
In the leakage through the flange can be blamed for incorrect alignment at the factory (marriage). The second potential reason. seal defect. In the first case the defective device is returned under warranty, in the last case you will need to buy a new, similar gasket. Leaking tank. “verdict” and the reason to look for a new model of boiler.
How to prolong the life of the equipment?
Like other household appliances, the water heater will last a long time, if you provide it with ideal conditions for work.
- After installing, connecting and starting up the appliance, it is recommended to check the pressure in the system. If the indicator exceeds 3 atm, then a reduction reducer should be installed before the boiler. The maximum (recommended) pressure is 2 atm.
- Regular inspection of parts and maintenance of the water heater are a must. Magnesium anode must be inspected at least twice a year. If the rod is defective, the element must be replaced quickly. Otherwise, you can not exclude the rapid emergence of problems with the heating element.
- Protect the appliance from limescale and low-quality liquid. It consists in adding a magnetic filter, which is also installed in front of the boiler. The water hardness must be reduced and water softened. Regular cleaning of the heating element and the walls of the boiler tank is almost a hundred percent guarantee of a long and trouble-free operation of the unit.
The optimum temperature of water in the water heater. 60 °, recommended by manufacturers. 55-60 °. Exceeding these values will lead to rapid calcification of the heating element. At temperatures below 55° bacteria will actively reproduce, so the liquid will acquire an unpleasant odor.
If the boiler leaks, what should the owners do?? First you need to disconnect the power supply, shut off the cold water supply. Then a complete inspection of the equipment should be carried out to find the cause of the malfunction. The next step is to eliminate it. In some cases, in order to restore the performance of the unit it is necessary to carry out small repairs. If the problem is serious, then there is only one option: it is to replace the boiler.
On how to act if a water heater leak is detected, the master will tell you from the following
Appearance of scale and salt deposits on the heating element
Corrosion and other formations form inside the tank for the following reasons:
- Mistakes have been made in the production. For example, the use of materials not designed for such loads. In this case, it remains to apply under warranty.
- Appearance of cracks. After the formation of microcracks, the boiler can not be repaired. the process becomes irreversible. Enameled tanks are characterized by unstable to change the shape. The expansion that occurs when heated deforms the tank. Defects form due to this.
- Poor quality stainless steel. Metals are more resistant to expansion or contraction, but using expensive steel will significantly increase the price of equipment. Food-grade stainless steel, which is preferred by manufacturers, prevents the formation of salt deposits for a certain period of time. about one year.
Magnesium anodes are used in storage water heaters to prevent scale formation. They are a rod with a magnesium alloy applied to the surface.
Magnesium is characterized by low electrochemical potential. Salt when interacting with it will remain on the surface instead of settling on the inner wall of the tank.
What to do?
There may be several reasons for the excessive outflow of water through the valve fitting, and the solution to the problem may be very different in complexity and technology of implementation:
- If the element loses its protective properties due to wear and tear, including stretching of the spring and cracking of the poppet, the valve should be replaced;
- If the valve breaks as a result of water hammer due to a sudden increase in pressure in the water supply system, it is also advisable to replace the element with a new one with the same indicators;
- If the fitting or the inside of the system is clogged with debris and scale, it is advisable to clean, partially or completely replace it;
- If leakage is caused by incorrect installation of the safety unit, it is necessary to carry out diagnostics of the safety unit, including measurement of the pressure drop using a manometer and, if necessary, replace the valve;
- If abundant water leakage and abnormal operation of the valve of the water heating device were provoked by failure to comply with the installation requirements, it is necessary to move the protective unit to a properly selected place.
After the correct relocation of the safety fittings or the complete replacement of the safety unit has been carried out, the outflow of water should stop. The opposite effect is observed at discrepancy of a nominal pressure level, declared by the manufacturer, with real indicators.
No less often the cause of leaking is the wrong or too high temperature mode of water heating, as well as excessive water pressure inside the system, so purchased water heating equipment must fully comply with all requirements.
It is very important to remember that the operation of the water heating equipment without such a component fittings, as a safety valve device, is strictly prohibited. When arranging an alternative hot water supply system in conditions of excessive pressure in the main water pipeline, a special reducer, capable of regulating such parameters, must be installed at the inlet
Mandatory condition for comfortable and safe operation of water-heating equipment, equipped with a safety valve device, is to supply a flexible transparent hose to the drainage hole, the second end of which is derived in the sewage system or a specially installed for the collection of released water tank.
Causes of boilers malfunction
To understand why heaters fail, you need to understand the principle of their work and the purpose of the main elements. Regardless of what type of boiler you have. storage or flow-through, their design is similar. Only the brand, design and capacity of the tank differ.
The design of the heater tank is simple enough. It consists of two parts: inside and outside. Between them is laid a layer of thermal insulation. polyurethane foam. The body includes two nozzles: one with a diffuser on the end serves to pump cold water, the other. hot water.
The thermostat allows you to set the desired temperature of heating.
Breakdowns do not just happen, there are reasons for this:
- Fluctuations in the mains voltage.
- Long periods of non-serviceability.
- Incorrect installation or connection of the appliance.
- Occurrence of limescale and corrosion on the parts.
- Untimely repair.
To find out the cause and precisely identify the place of failure, the diagnosis of parts is carried out.
The heating element in the heater is the most vulnerable element. The reason is that it is the most exploited element, and in addition, is exposed to scale. To prolong the service life it is recommended to clean it periodically. This can be done without completely disassembling the housing with the help of special tools. But I recommend to carry out a complete set of procedures to clean not only the heater, but also the tank from scale and dirt.
If the node is broken, then it will have to be replaced, but first check what exactly is out of order. There are several types of faults:
- The filament inside the heating element is burned out.
- The heating wire on the body of the heater burned out. This can cause an electric shock if the water heater is not equipped with a RCD. Otherwise, the safety mechanism will constantly shut the appliance off.
- The emergence of limescale.
What to do if the boiler leaks
One of the conditions for comfortable living in an apartment or house is hot water. In areas where there is no centralized water supply or it is turned off in the summer, people are increasingly acquiring boilers. Among the models are working on electricity and on gas. It allows to solve a problem of hot water supply in the presence of a waterpipe and possibility of connection to heating system.
Buying equipment we count on long-term work. But nothing lasts forever and a boiler can leak both because of natural wear and tear of individual elements and as a result of mechanical impact or water hammer.
Heating element and tightness
Heating element. the most important element of any heater. Can it break the tightness of the device? It turns out it can. In this case the cover is leaking. There is often a scale buildup on the heating element which prevents it from closing. In this case two options are possible:
There is no problem to buy a new heating element. In boilers, it is usually removable, so that the replacement. for the home handyman is quite affordable. But you can also descale. In general, you must clean the boiler at least once a year, and if the water is very hard, then more often.
- Disconnect the unit from the power supply.
- Drain the water from the water heater.
- Turn off the tap on the pipe.
- If the heating element is removable, take it out.
- Hang a pipe to the drain fitting and direct the other end to the drain.
- Open the tap and drain the water.
Important! If there are no taps or pipe fittings, you can drain the water via the valves
Remove the heating element
The heating element in many models comes off quite easily. The main thing is not to be too zealous:
- Open the attachment point by removing the decorative plate.
- Take a picture or make a sketch of the location of the elements.
- Disconnect the contacts.
- Take out the heating element.
- Remove the dirt and scale from it.
Important! There is no need to jerk the heating element, nor should you scrape it with a knife or other sharp object. it is best to dissolve the scale.
The liquid will flow faintly if there is a leak in the evaporator or water heater the faucet spout A blockage has formed. The pressure will be equally bad for both cold and hot water. To fix the problem, you need to perform a number of procedures.
- Turn off the riser to turn off the water.
- Carefully remove the faucet.
- Unscrew the spout from the main body.
- Remove the strainer and rinse it under running water. In case of salt deposits or heavy dirt, let it soak in a special cleaning solution.
- Thoroughly rinse the spout of the faucet and clean the insides of dirt with a brush.
- Reassemble the mixer in the reverse order and reassemble it. Remember to open the riser pipe.
This procedure may take some time, alternatively you can simply replace a clogged faucet with a new one. Experts recommend replacing worn-out parts every few years to avoid serious damage in the future.
Remove any faults
Having found the problematic node, you need to proceed to restore the functionality of the boiler. The course of action depends on the specific cause that interferes with the normal operation of the device. Consider the most common situations.
Scaling is a deposit of insoluble carbonate salts on the walls of devices for heating water. It occurs in kettles, washing machines, water heaters.
The amount of scale depends on the hardness of the water. In regions with hard water, even a year of operation of the boiler the amount of salts deposited on the walls may be enough to completely block the lumen of the heating element tubes or significantly narrow it.
If the scale has caused the water heating appliance to fail, you need to carry out repairs in the following order:
Wash the walls of the boiler and the coil of the heating element from carbonate deposits. To dissolve the hard crust will help organic acid. lemon or oxalic acid. Industrial descalers can also be used. Soak the part in an acid solution to free it from accumulated deposits.
- Use a tester to make sure that the heating element coil has not burned out due to disturbed heat dissipation by limescale.
- If the coil is intact. reassemble the device in the reverse order of disassembly.
If the heating element is out of order, you will have to look for a new one or buy a new boiler. it is necessary to choose the most economical solution. If the repair will require a large financial outlay, it is more advantageous to immediately buy a new technique.
Pressure reducer failure
Pressure drop of incoming water in the system can vary from 2,5 to 7 atm. To compensate for surges, a special unit is installed at the boiler inlet. the reducer. Its task is to ensure equal pressure at the outlet from the boiler and from the tap. If it has dropped due to a malfunction of the pressure reducer, it is necessary to adjust its work or replace the broken part.
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Low pressure in the water main also leads to a drop in head pressure at the outlet of the water heating boiler or in a flowing water heater. Unscrew the hose and check the level of head: if the water comes from the main water pipe in a thin trickle or does not go at all. it is worth waiting, because the problem may arise due to repair work. If within a few hours the pressure has not been restored, it is worth to contact the water supply company.
If the water coming out of the boiler is not heated enough or not heated at all, the reason may be a failure of the thermostat. it is responsible for maintaining a constantly high temperature. To diagnose, turn off power to the boiler and remove the thermostat from the cabinet.
- Press the thermostat button.
- Heat the copper tip of the thermostat. If the unit is functioning, the button should turn off.
- Diagnose the thermostat’s electrical circuits with a tester.
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Thermostat failure is normally caused by tripping of the overtemperature protection. As a result of the operations performed, the device should work, and the problems disappear after it is installed in place. If the tester shows a broken circuit. you have to replace the burned out thermostat.
If the water comes out of the boiler with a sufficient head, but runs from the faucet slowly, the cause lies in the clogging of the mixer with limescale or rust. It will be necessary to turn off the water, disassemble the faucets and thoroughly clean the filter mesh. Also it is necessary to inspect all sealing gaskets and make sure that the faucets work properly.
The main reasons of leaks and methods of their elimination
When a boiler leaks, the first thing to do is to determine the cause of the leak. There can be several reasons. we have tried to list only some of the most common.
Deformation of the body
Deformation of the outer shell of the boiler. such a problem may occur the day after installation. The fault here is not the manufacturer, but yours, because, as a rule, this situation occurs when during the installation of the boiler you forget to connect the safety valve. Install it on the water supply line to the product between the shut-off valve and the inlet to the tank. It is this small device protects the tank from overfilling, which leads to deformation: as soon as the tank is completely filled with water, the valve is triggered and shuts off the water supply. As a result the boiler leaks in less than a day.
If the valve was still installed, but the water flows through the supply pipe, then the valve is simply dismantled and installed a new one. with this type of repair any home master will cope, even one who has never been specially trained.
The deformation could also arise from the fact that at the installation of the device have been used substandard pipes. In this case, the hydraulic shock due to the change in pressure will be transmitted to the inner tank, slowly destroying it.
Repair the boiler after the deformation will not work. the product will have to change to a new one, and carefully follow the technology of connection.
If the source of the leak is somewhere in the upper part of the boiler, but visually there is no deformation of the tank, the magnesium rod was installed at connection, as required by the rules, and it was replaced during operation, then there may be a factory defect. If the product is under warranty, it is necessary to return it to the selling organization before you flood the neighbors from downstairs.
Modern water heaters have a design that the tank is not repairable, it can not be welded: when using welding, the enamel layer around the hole is broken, corrosion will be formed, eating the container is already in another place. The cost of repair in this case is almost equal to the price of a new boiler, and modifications made to the appearance of the repaired product will not decorate the interior of your bathroom.
Worn heating element
If the water leaks from under the lid of the storage tank of the product, most likely, too much scale has accumulated on the heating element, and requires replacement. First of all, you need to buy a similar heating element in a store of spare parts for water heaters, dismantle the old one, clean the inner surface with the help of ordinary vinegar and baking soda. this mixture well corrodes any scale.
Special magnesium rod change along with heating element.
Poor assembly of the device
Liquid can leak from under the heating element O-ring. try to tighten the nuts to eliminate the leak. Sometimes the leak is formed on the mounting bolts of the heating element, with this development of the negative plot you have to buy a new heater. welding can not be used, because there will be warping of the thin walls of the inner container.
A common reason for the formation of leaks on the pipes of cold and hot water outlet. a loose connection. This often happens in self-installation if the wrong sealing materials or poor quality fittings are used.
Wear of the seal
In case of water leaking through the revision hole in the plastic cover on the bottom of the water heater most likely the rubber seal on the flange has lost its elasticity. To determine it for sure, you need to disconnect the device, remove the bottom cover and visually determine the cause of the leak.
If the gasket is found to be defective, it must simply be replaced. In the store to buy strictly similar. when buying tell the seller the model number of your boiler so that the new product is ideally suited.
To ensure that the water heater works properly and does not require overhaul for as long as possible, there are the following recommendations.
- The pressure inside the water pipe should not exceed 3 atmospheres, if it is higher, then a pressure reducer should be installed between the product inlet and the supply pipe. The pressure reducer should be set to 2 atmospheres. this is the ideal pressure for the accumulation tank of the boiler.
- Regularly clean the inner tank, the heating element from limescale and salt deposits. this way you prolong the lifetime of the product.
- Watch the condition of the magnesium rod. if the length has decreased to a critical level, it is necessary to urgently replace it, so that the protection of the inner surface of the tank from the effects of corrosion was permanent.
- Before entering the tank, experts on the service of water heating equipment advise installing a filter that eliminates the hardness of tap water and detains unwanted impurities.
Important! Adjust the temperature inside the water heater so that it does not exceed 50 o C. this will significantly prolong the life of the boiler.
Causes, due to which there are many leaks of water heaters, but users must immediately disconnect the product from the power grid, and then make a visual inspection. Do not open the boiler, if you do not know the exact cause of the problems, because your intervention can greatly aggravate the situation. it will be out of control.
In most cases, you can repair the boiler with your own hands, they do not leak that often. However, for this person will need materials and tools:
The boiler must be de-energized before beginning any work. After that, it is inspected. It is important to understand exactly where water is dripping from. After that the unit is completely drained. Then the protective covers must be removed. This allows access to the upper part of the construction. Then all that remains is to replace the defective elements.
If the cause of the leak is in the seams, the repair is better to entrust the professionals. On models where the inner surface is covered with stainless steel or plastic, it is impossible to correct the situation. All that remains is to replace the unit.
What to do: Water is leaking through the wiring
If you notice that the water is in contact with electrical parts of the boiler, it is strictly forbidden to come close to the device. Risk of injury incompatible with life. Immediately turn off the electricity in the apartment (by moving the levers on the meter to the appropriate position). Then you need to put on rubber boots and gloves. After that, it is necessary to go to the boiler, unplug the power cord from the socket and call a specialist.
Leaky boiler. it’s always unpleasant. However, in most cases, you can handle the repair yourself. It is important to observe the elementary safety rules.