Urgent Steps to Take When Your Water Heater Breaks

AirPoint technician repairing broken water heater in Toronto home 2023

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Experiencing a broken water heater can be both frustrating and inconvenient. In such cases, it’s essential to know what immediate steps you can take to minimize the damage and ensure the safety of your household. Here is a quick guide to help you navigate this issue effectively:

Step 1: Turn off the power supply

Person switching off the circuit breaker for an electric water heater"
Ensure safety by turning off the power supply to the water heater.

To fix an electric water heater, locate the breaker panel and switch off the circuit breaker that controls the heater. For gas water heaters, turn off the gas valve near the unit.

Step 2: Shut off the water supply

AirPoint technician turning the cold water supply valve clockwise to close it
Closing the cold water supply valve to prevent further water flow.

Locate the cold water supply valve (usually found on top of the water heater) and turn it clockwise to close it. This will stop the flow of water into the heater, preventing further leakage or flooding.

Step 3: Drain the water heater

Garden hose attached to the drain valve of a water heater, draining water into a bucket
Draining the water heater using a garden hose to remove hot water.

Attach a garden hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of the water heater. Position the other end of the hose outside or in a large bucket, then open the valve to allow the water to drain out. Be cautious, as the water might be extremely hot.

Step 4: Turn off the pressure relief valve

Opening the pressure relief valve on a water heater to release built-up pressure
Releasing built-up pressure by opening the pressure relief valve.

Open the pressure relief valve to release any remaining pressure inside the tank. This will help avoid potential hazards and allow the tank to drain more efficiently.

Step 5: Assess the damage

Homeowner inspecting the area around the broken water heater for potential water damage
Evaluating the extent of water damage caused by the broken water heater.

Check the surrounding area for any water damage to walls, floors, or personal belongings. If water damage is significant, consider contacting a professional water damage restoration service.

Step 6: Prevent future issues

AirPoint technician performing a routine maintenance check on a water heater to ensure its longevity
Routine maintenance and inspections are key to preventing water heater breakdowns.

Regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent water heater breakdowns in the future. Consult an HVAC technician for advice on maintaining your specific unit and schedule routine checkups.

Trust AirPoint to Fix Your Water Heater

When choosing a reliable water heater service provider, consider AirPoint, a Carrier factory authorized dealer and NATE certified company in Toronto. With the highest title of dealership with Carrier and accolades such as HomeStars Best of the Best 2023, our team is committed to delivering quality service. Our 5-star ratings on Google and HomeStars are a testament to our customer satisfaction. Furthermore, all of our technicians are fully certified by TSSA, HRAI and CSA, which guarantees professional and efficient service. Remember, regular maintenance and inspections are essential in preventing water heater breakdowns in the future. Consult a reputable plumbing service like AirPoint for guidance on maintaining your specific unit and scheduling routine checkups.

If you’re experiencing a water heater leak, check out this video by AMRE Supply for guidance

How to Fix a Water Heater Leak – A Step-by-Step Guide

Broken Water Heater FAQs: Answers from the Experts

Get more answers to your questions about your broken water heater from the experts at AirPoint.

The average lifespan of a water heater is between 8 and 12 years for a traditional tank-style heater and up to 20 years for a tankless model. However, this can vary depending on factors such as maintenance, water quality, and usage.

Some common water heater issues include inadequate hot water, fluctuating water temperatures, strange noises, leaks, and discolored or smelly water. Regular maintenance and inspections can help identify and address these problems before they become severe.

Although rare, a water heater explosion is possible if the pressure relief valve fails, allowing excessive pressure to build up inside the tank. To prevent this, it is essential to check the pressure relief valve regularly and ensure that it is functioning correctly.

Signs that your water heater may be close to bursting include leaking, unusual noises (such as rumbling or popping sounds), or rust and corrosion on the tank. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact a professional plumber immediately to assess the situation.

Yes, you can still use cold water even if your water heater is broken. However, you will not have access to hot water until the issue is resolved. It is essential to address the problem as soon as possible to avoid further damage and inconvenience.

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