How to Fix Gas Leaks on a Water Heater

Homeowners should know that a gas leak on a water heater is not only dangerous but that it can lead to incredibly costly repairs if it isn’t addressed quickly and expertly. We’re going to dig into how to fix a gas leak on a water heater, and what’s involved in water heater gas leak repair. 

Working with gas appliances is not only hazardous, but it may even require special licensing, depending on your local regulations. This means that in many cases, the easiest way to accomplish water heater gas leak repair is to partner with an experienced professional like Emory.

Identifying a Gas Leak on a Water Heater

Before we get into how to fix the gas leak on your water heater, it’s going to be important to know how to properly identify that leak in the first place. Common signs of a gas leak include the smell of the odorant that’s added to the gas, which often smells like rotten eggs, hissing sounds near the appliance, and dead or dying plants near the appliance.

Turn off the Gas Supply

If you believe there is a gas leak, the first thing you need to do is turn off the gas supply. Near the appliance, there should be a gas shutoff valve, which needs to be turned 90 degrees to shut off the line. As an additional precaution, turn off the main gas valve for your home. 

Ventilate the Area

Now you’ll need to ventilate the area by opening all of the windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate and disperse the accumulated gas. During this period, avoid using any electrical devices or lighting any matches or lighters. This can help reduce the risk of explosion or fire. 

Inspect the Water Heater for Gas Leaks

Now, to repair the leak, you’ll need to identify exactly where it is. Usually, the cause is a loose or damaged connection. Start with a visual and tactile inspection. If nothing obvious is found, use a few drops of dish soap in water, and apply it to the various valves and connections. Bubbling shows you the location of the leak. 

Tighten the Connections

If the leak was at a connection that wasn’t tight enough, that’s an easy fix. Use a wrench to gently tighten the components. Don’t overtighten, since this can lead to leaks as well.

Replace Damaged Components

Sometimes, you’ll find a damaged gas line, valve, or other connection to be the source of the leak. If you’ve found a damaged component, it’s usually best to call a professional to remove the damaged one and install a replacement. 

Why You Should Consider Professional Help

While many repair projects seem like a DIY slam-dunk, tackling a gas leak on your own can come with some serious risks. Here are some of the reasons to partner with a professional to fix a gas leak on your water heater:

  1. Safety: Gas leaks pose a significant safety risk, not only to you and your family, but to your neighbors as well. Professionals are trained and equipped to handle leaks safely and quickly.
  2. Expertise: A professional plumber has the experience to quickly diagnose and repair the problem without guessing or wasting time.
  3. Warranty: Many homeowners don’t realize that unlicensed work may void the warranty on their water heater.
  4. Code & Legal Compliance: A professional will ensure that your repair meets all required codes and regulations. 

Don’t Risk Your Home – Trust Emory Plumbing To Help

Understanding what’s involved in fixing a gas leak for a water heater, and having it safely done, are two different things. If you’ve considered the potential dangers and risks, and are ready to partner with a trusted local plumbing resource, reach out to Emory to get started.