Most of the hot water heaters are designed to last for between 10 and 12 years, if you ensure proper care and maintenance for them. However, there are always chances of the heaters developing leaks which should always be attended to as fast as possible.
Here are some of the things you are supposed to do should you find that you have a leaking hot water heater-:
Cut the power
The first thing to do when you realize that you have a leaking hot water heater is to cut off the power. For gas water heaters, switch the power knob to OFF or PILOT to shut off the gas and for electric water heaters, turn off the power to the heater from the breaker panel.
Shut off the water
Once the power is shut off, you need to shut off the water as well. Locate the cold water line leading to the heater and to turn it to the right to stop the further flow of cold water into the unit so that you can work on the next process.
Drain the tank
For most of the hot water leaking problems, draining the tank is the most important step. Locate the drain valve near the bottom of the heater. Once you have located the drain valve, attach a garden hose to it and direct the hose to a sump pit or a floor drain. Open the drain valve and let all the water in the heater drain out.
In some instances, you may realize that the water doesn’t flow well when you open the drain valve. This should not be a great concern because it is due to a vacuum present inside the water heater. To break the vacuum, simply open any hot water tap at home to release the air in the tank forming the vacuum. Once you achieve a good flow, it should take about one hour for the tank to completely drain.