How To Fix Gas Leak On Water heater

San Rafael

(415) 942-6565

Santa Rosa

(707) 452-3464

Gas water heaters, like any gas appliance, can be extremely hazardous if something goes wrong. Since they deal with natural gas, there is the risk of gas leaks when something malfunctions. Even small gas leaks can pose a serious danger to a household, with the potential to start a fire. This is why it is important to know how to identify a water heater gas leak, how they occur, and how to repair the issue. In this article, we will go over the signs of a gas leak from a water heater, why gas leaks can happen, and finally, how you can go about repairing the problem safely.

Signs of Water Heater Gas Leak

When it comes to water heater gas leaks, there are a handful of common red flags that can signify there is a problem. These are the biggest universal warning signs that your water heater could have a water heater gas leak:

The most obvious sign is if you smell gas in or around your house. Gas will typically smell like rotten eggs, a smell added by the gas company in order to help make the gas more identifiable when there is a gas leak. If you smell rotten eggs without explanation and for consistent periods of time, this odor is likely a gas leak.

If you hear a hissing sound, it could mean that gas is escaping from somewhere high-pressured in a small amount. Damage to the gas line or pipe and other parts of the water heater could definitely suggest a gas leak as well.

There are also various physical symptoms, besides sound and smell, that you can exhibit due to a gas leak in your home. These could be symptoms such as lightheadedness, nausea, headaches, nosebleeds, irritated eyes and throats, and more. If you notice you or your family members experiencing these symptoms seemingly without reason, it could definitely be due to a gas leak in the home.

Reasons For Gas Water Heater Leaks

Just as it’s important to know the signs of gas leaks, it is also essential to know what can be causing them, both so you can investigate the cause and prevent it from happening in the future. Most of these causes can be caught early on with regular water heater maintenance.

Drain Valve

If you have a non-functioning drain valve, this can easily be a way for gas to leak out of your water heater. Water leaking out of this valve means gas could be leaking out as well. This can happen whenever this valve is too loose.

Tank Pressuring

If your water heater tank is exerting more pressure for whatever reason, this can cause gas to leak out at a faster rate. Pressuring could increase due to a faulty pressure relief valve, a water temperature that is too high, or water entering the system at high pressure.

Tank Damage

Because of the way sediment and minerals can build up at the bottom of a tank, they can cause it to crack and leak. Since water expands as it heats, this will also cause the tank to expand, which can create or worsen cracks.

How To Repair Gas Leaks

If you suspect you have a gas leak in your water heater, safety is the first step before repairing it. Clear the area completely so you have ample room to work around the water heater. Also, you will need to locate the gas pipe that connects to the water heater and turn off the gas supply. This is also the first thing you should do the moment you identify or smell a water heater gas leak. Make sure you also have the proper safety protection gear when dealing with the gas line, such as gloves and safety glasses. There should be no open flames where you are working. If you suspect a leak during this process, stop and contact a professional.

1) Shutting Off the Gas

In order to shut off the gas on the pipe, you will need to locate the control gas valve. The exact position of the valve will vary depending on the type of gas water heater you have, but it will usually be somewhere on the gas pipe connected to the water heater. There will be a knob that will have an on, off, and pilot position. Turn off the gas supply by turning the gas valve knob all the way to the off position.

2) Inspect the Gas Line

Using an adjustable wrench, remove the connection between the pipe and the water heater. Check the flexible gas line for any visible damages first, such as cracks or corrosion. If you determine that you need to replace it, contact a professional plumber.

3) Replace the Line

If you get a replacement flexible gas line, make sure it is the same length, approved for natural gas, and has a polymer coating. Remember that gas lines should end no further than two feet from the ground and no closer than six inches from the ground. Make sure you tighten all of the connections and fittings back into place around the new line.

4) Test

Open all of the windows and doors to let any remaining gas out of the house, and then turn the natural gas to the water heater back on. Make sure you don’t still smell gas, that the water will still heat, and that the hot water temperature still feels as it should. You can do this by turning on a faucet and checking how hot the water gets. If there is still a gas smell, this could be a sign of a bigger problem. Shut off the gas supply again and contact the gas company.

5) Regular Plumbing Maintenance

In order to keep your hot water system in prime condition and to avoid the danger of leaking gas in the future, make sure you are keeping up with regular water heater maintenance. Regularly checking the connections and gas lines for damage, as well as inspecting for water leaks and wear and tear on the water heater, can help detect problems before they can go on too long or become bigger. Having professional service done every year can also help save your water heater from potential issues.

You can always call a professional plumbing company like John Owens Services to assist you with gas water heater repairs. For all plumbing needs in your house, we can fix every problem and get your water heater working safely. We can perform repairs on all kinds of water heaters and help you replace any malfunctioning parts.

A hot water heater can always be susceptible to leaks, even if you do keep up on maintenance. Safety is always the most important thing, so if you smell an odor like rotten eggs in the house or if you or your family members begin to experience physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, it is best to act right away. A gas leak from a water heater can lead to possibly fatal consequences, such as poisoning or a fire, but now you know the signs to look out for, the reasons that could cause a leak in the first place, how you can act on a potential leak, and when it is essential to call a professional.

Call A Professional When The Time Is Right

It is better not to risk working on the gas or electrical components of your water heater yourself. If you have any reservations about doing the work yourself, it is better to call a professional plumber like the ones at John Owens Services, Inc. to take care of your water heating system. We have been servicing Sonoma County and Marin County since 1986.

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San Rafael
(415) 942-6565
Santa Rosa
(707) 452-3464



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San Rafael
(415) 942-6565
Santa Rosa
(707) 452-3464