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Water Heater Overflows: What to Do

As a homeowner, you've likely seen your share of plumbing mishaps. From the simply overflowing toilet to a broken pipe, it all happens. But what about when the water heater overflows? The very first thing we'd like to say, for your safety, is you need to call a professional plumber. Due to the nature of water heaters, it is often very unsafe to do a DIY fix. They use open flames or high-voltage charges to generate heat and pressure, and these can be dangerous to deal with without proper training.

​What to Do

The first thing you'll want to do is to turn the water heater gas valve into the "off" position. Alternatively, you may need to switch off the electric heater using the off switch or at the breaker box. Now that you have a moment, you can attempt to visually identify the source of the water heater's overflowing leak.

What Are We Looking At?

It can often give a homeowner piece of mind to have some idea of what they're looking at when something goes wrong. Until the plumber gets there to diagnose the problem, here are some possible ways of self-identifying what could be going on with your water heater.

  • is your water heater leaking from the top or side valve? This is likely a problem with the temperature and pressure relief valve.
  • leakage from the hot or cold water outlets could mean that they contain a leaky threaded or corroded pipe.
  • if it's leaking near the bottom, it may be an issue with the water heater drain valve caused by sediment buildup or a bad washer.

Hopefully, this helps you figure out what is going on for the moment, but we do encourage you to contact a professional plumber now. Please feel free to contact us with help, also!