Leaking Water Heater Emergency: 6 Things You Need to Do

Help! My water heater is leaking, what can I do?

When it comes to home appliances, a leaking water heater can spell disaster. It’s a situation that no homeowner wants to face, but unfortunately, it can happen. Don’t panic, though; this article will guide you through the steps to take if you find yourself in this predicament.

1. Shut Off the Power and Water Supply

Safety should be your top priority when dealing with a leaking water heater. Start by turning off the power source. If you have an electric water heater, locate the circuit breaker at the main circuit board and turn off the water heater switch. 

Next, find the water supply valve connected to your water heater and turn it off. This will prevent more water from entering the tank and causing further damage. The water supply valve should be on the cold inlet pipe of the the water heater. 

2. Identify the Source of the Leak

Not all leaks are created equal, and understanding where the water is coming from can help you assess the severity of the situation. Here are some common places to check:

Pressure Relief Valve: This valve (green lever) is designed to release excess pressure, and it will discharge a small amount of water. Sometimes the white rubber tubing falls off. If this is the source of the leak, it’s usually not a cause for concern. You only have to replace the rubber tube to stop the leak. 

Cold Water Inlet or Hot Water Outlet: These are connection points where the water supply enters and exits the water heater. If your heater is newly installed and leaking from these areas, the connection may not be tight enough. Otherwise, the heater may have a faulty valve. Contact a professional to check this out. 

Tank Body: Inspect the tank itself for any signs of corrosion or rust. This is an indication that the inner tank is leaking and the heater needs to be replaced. If rusty water is coming out of the inlet and outlet, the heater should be replaced by a professional. 

Drain Valve: If your heater is a vertical heater, you may have a drain valve. Some leaks may occur from the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. If this is the case, it could be a matter of simply tightening the valve or replacing it if it’s damaged. 

3. Contain the Leak

While you wait for professional assistance, take steps to minimise water damage to your home. Place towels, buckets, or a large container under the leaking water heater to collect any excess water. This will prevent water from spreading and causing damage to your floors or belongings.

4. Call a Professional Plumber

A leaking water heater is not a DIY repair job. It’s crucial to contact a licensed plumber or a water heater technician to assess the situation and provide the necessary repairs or replacements. Trying to fix it yourself without the right knowledge and tools can lead to more problems and potentially dangerous situations.

When you call a professional, be prepared to provide details about the type and size of your water heater, the source of the leak, and any other relevant information. This will help them come prepared to address your specific issue.

5. Consider the Age of Your Water Heater

Water heaters have a limited lifespan, usually around 10 years. If your leaking water heater is nearing the end of its expected life, it might be more cost-effective to replace it rather than repair it. A professional plumber can advise you on the best course of action based on the age and condition of your water heater.

6. Preventative Maintenance

Preventing a leaking water heater is always better than dealing with the aftermath. Here are some maintenance tips to keep your water heater in good shape:

Regularly Check for Leaks: Perform visual inspections of your water heater every few months. Look for signs of corrosion, rust, or water accumulation around the tank.

Flush the Tank: Sediment buildup can lead to corrosion and reduce the efficiency of your water heater. Draining and flushing the tank annually can help prevent these issues.

Schedule Professional Maintenance: Having a professional inspect your water heater periodically can catch potential issues before they become major problems.


A leaking water heater is undoubtedly a stressful situation for homeowners, but by following these steps and seeking professional help, you can minimise damage and get your hot water supply back on track.

Remember, safety comes first, so always turn off the power and water supply before attempting to address the issue. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted expert for assistance! 

Leaking Water Heater FAQ

Whether you should replace or repair depends on several factors.

  1. Consider the age of your heater  energy-efficient heater. Is it new (less than 5 years old) or old? 
  2. Overall condition – does it break down frequently?
  3. Long-term energy savings. Is your heater a new, up to date energy efficient model that will save money in the long run?

Still unsure? Read this article or consult with a professional. WhatsApp us right here. We’ll be able to provide a recommendation based on your heater’s condition. 

At AOS Bath, we understand how crucial it is to have a functional heater, especially if you have infants or elderly at home. While our standard procedure involves requesting clients to provide us with at least one week’s advance notice for heater replacements, we also recognise that certain situations may be more urgent.

Under critical circumstances, we will make every effort to accommodate your request for a same-day heater replacement. Please keep in mind that same-day replacements may be subject to availability, and our team will need to assess the specific situation to determine if it can be arranged. To request a same-day heater replacement, please contact our customer service team as soon as possible, and we will do our utmost to assist you promptly.

The cost of replacing a heater in Singapore typically ranges from $500 to $1500, with the final price depending on factors such as the type and size of the heater chosen. If the installation location is above a false ceiling, additional charges of approximately $300 may apply due to the increased complexity of the ceiling works, which usually involve the need for two skilled professionals to handle the replacement and installation. Fortunately, most installation services also include disposal of the old heater, providing a comprehensive solution for homeowners.

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Amanda is an education specialist at AOS Bath. She enjoys building a trusted network by sharing knowledge. Making difficult concepts simple and engaging is rewarding, on both ends.