How to Diagnose and Repair a Leaking Water Heater

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on October 26, 2017

Watch the full episode: Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey finds a solution for a water heater that recently started leaking. Click here to SUBSCRIBE to the official This Old House YouTube channel: Time: 3-4 hours Cost: $100 Skill Level: Moderate Tools List for Repairing a Leaky Water Heater:
Flathead screwdriver
Pipe cutter Shopping List:
Expansion tank certified for potable water
Quick connect T fitting
Quick connect ball valve
Quick connect elbow
Quick connect female adapter
Copper pipe Steps:
1. If there’s a leak at your temperature and pressure relief valve, first test to ensure it’s operating correctly. If it isn’t working properly, replace it. 2. If the T&P valve is operational, check to see if you have a pressure reducing valve, usually near the main water shutoff. If a pressure reducing valve or other form of check valve is present, you’ll need to add a potable expansion tank.
3. Shut the water off at the water main. 4. Using a bucket, drain the hot water heater just enough to get below the pipes and the top of the tank.
5. Use copper pipe and push fittings to connect the expansion tank.
6. Cut the cold water line above the tank using a pipe cutter, then push both ends of the pipe into both sides of the push T fitting.
7. Turn the water back on. Resources:
Richard added a potable water rated expansion tank to the water heater, which is available through plumbing supply companies. To install the tank without soldering, Richard used quick connect copper fittings, manufactured by SharkBite ( ). Follow This Old House and Ask This Old House: Facebook:

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