Can Tankless Hot Water Heaters Leak and Damage Your Home?
Many of us have experienced the sudden mess that can come from a leaking traditional hot water heater. Avoiding this is just one of many reasons that tankless hot water heaters are so popular. After you install one, it’s often thought that your new tankless water heaters won’t leak, and your home is immune from water damage from them. However, water flows through them - so leaks are still possible.
In this article, we will explain how tankless water heaters work, the benefits they offer, the issues that can cause them to leak, and how to get help if you experience water damage from one in your home.
What are Tankless Hot Water Heaters?
Tankless water heaters work by pumping cold water from the main plumbing supply line into a unit with a high-powered burner and a heat exchanger. The result is instant, limitless hot water on demand. They have many advantages compared to traditional holding tank hot water heaters. Here are just a few:
Size: They are smaller than traditional tanks
Flexibility: Due to their small size, they can bring hot water to unique spaces
Less Limitations: They can provide almost unlimited hot water, on demand
Lifespan: They last at least twice as long as traditional tanks
Energy Efficiency: Heating water on-demand uses less power than keeping gallons of water hot in a tank
Tankless hot water heaters can last from 12 to 20 years, provided that they are installed correctly, and you follow the recommended maintenance schedule created by the manufacturer. It’s easy to see why they are a popular Connecticut home upgrade in 2022.
Can a Tankless Hot Water Heater Leak?
It’s true that tankless hot water heaters won’t cause the same sudden, messy failures that a leak in a big holding tank can. However, being tankless does not mean they will never leak. It may seem confusing, due to the fact that they don’t hold any water, but there are still components that can get damaged and allow water to escape. Here are some of the reasons why tankless water heaters leak.
This is one of most common sources of leaks within the first or second year that you have your new tankless hot water heater. Make sure you get help with the conversion from a qualified professional.
Incorrect Venting or Clogged Vents
If your new tankless water heater’s venting wasn’t done according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or if a vent gets blocked, then condensation can build up inside the water heater. This can cause your whole system to fail, and requires professional repair.
Joint Leaks from Pressure
Most tankless waters heaters have relief valves to help drain your system, but some don’t. This can cause pressure build up inside your pipe joints – causing leaks in those joints
Rust or Sediment
If the main part of the heater is leaking, rather than a pipe, you could be dealing with rust or sediment deposits. This needs professional repair, as it can eventually damage the water heater’s electric components.
Hard water contains dissolved mineral particles that can also build up and cause problems like sediment.
Acidic water causes less build-up, but it can corrode your pipes and make tiny leaks that grow over time.
Tankless water heaters require low flow rates for good performance. Your plumber will need to make sure that you have the optimal pressure and flow setup before installation.
No leak is good news, but one comforting fact is that the leak from a tankless hot water heater will only be around 1 GPM (gallon per minute). This is much less damaging than the basement flood that can come from a large, traditional tank hot water heater leak. It’s also recommended to install a drain pan along with your new tankless water heater. If you do face a leak, the drain pan will contain most of the water. This can make damage less severe and restoration easier.
How to Get Help If A Water Leak Damages Your Connecticut Home
Whether you are detailing with a failed traditional hot water heater, a leaking tankless water heater, or any other source of water damage, professional help is essential. Water can damage both the surfaces and structural integrity of your home, so it must be taken care of right away. Waiting can lead to more damage, and additional, dangerous problems like mold growth.
After experiencing water damage, Westport homeowners are often overwhelmed with decisions they have to make to protect and restore their property. You may have questions about whether or not to file an insurance claim, and feel anxious wanting your home to be restored as fast as possible. Riverside Restoration is here to help. We have specialized restoration and contractor licenses and certifications, and can work directly with you and your insurance company from the initial loss all the way to the final reconstruction phase. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.
Why Connecticut Homeowners Must Fix Water Damage Right Away
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