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Question DetailsAsked on 7/25/2016

I turned off the water heater. The water on the heater is off and the whole water in the home but heater continues

water heater is leaking we turned the heater off. we turned the water valve off from heater we sdrained he heater and we turned the water off the whole house but water continues to drain from heater why?

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1 Answer


Well - the water heater itself holds the rated amount of water (say 30-70 gallons typically in a house), plus another 5-25 gallons in the hot water lines typically (though not all that might drain back to the heater depending on elevation).

Best thing to do - with cold water inlet to the heater off, put a garden hose on the drain valve at the bottom of the tank leading to a floor drain or washtub or outdoors or such to drain, and open that up to drain down the tank and lines. Open several hot water faucets upstairs to promote draining out of the lines by letting air in, otherwise it can take a long time to drain down - typically just a trickle if there is no air inlet to the line, which is probably what you are seeing.

After that is done, with hose still connected, you might be able to see if turning the main household water valve back on (you said it had been turned off) but leaving the cold feed valve at the heater closed - if flow does not increase from hose due to leaky cold water valve at the heater or a cross-connecting faucet or tempering valve or such, you might be able to have cold water anyway till water heater is fixed. I would leave the hose draining the hot water tank on and valve open so if there is any leakage back into the tank you do not get leakage onto the floor again.

And with new tank consider getting a drain pan put under it with drain piping/hose to floor drain or such to trap any leakage in the future.

NOTE - turn off/unplug any automatic device counting on using hot water while the system is drained - any hot water circulating pump and of course the water heater gas or power for instance so it does not try to heat an emply tank, and any hot-water heating system tapping off the water heater. If for any reason you turn off the water to the entire house because of a significant cross-connection which keeps on letting water backflow into the heater, also turn off and/or lock or tag out any waterline-fed humidifier, hydronic heating or steam boiler, washer (clothes and dish), auto coffee maker with water connection, etc counting on getting that water.

Of course Plumbing is the normal Search the List category for someone to replace the water heater - though most Heting and A/C contractors also do that.

Here is a link to a favorites question blog about cost of replacing a water heater - well over 100 answers, with a general consensus for most areas of $1000-1500 range for replacement cost of a 45-65 gallon size heater in normal conditions -

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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