The 3 Things You Need To Do When You Have A 'Sweating' Water Heater

8 July 2015
 Categories: , Blog


'Sweating' happens when condensation happens around water heaters. Hot air rapidly cools around the water heater creating water droplets on the tank and water puddles on the floor. If you suspect that your water heater is 'sweating', you need to embark on these three measures immediately:

Make sure it's not a leak

It's not easy to distinguish between a 'sweating' water heater and a leaking one. Both produce water around the water heater. However, while 'sweating' is a normal occurrence in cold temperatures, leaking isn't. It's therefore important to find out which one your heater is suffering from as soon as possible.

To do so, carry out a simple test. Fill your water heater with water, shut of the power and leave it for an hour. Check the water heater again. If there's water below/around it, wipe it and leave your heater still turned off. The first hour is to allow any hot air that might have been present around the heater to cool and condense.  Check again after an hour. If you still find water under it, your heater is leaking and you'll need the immediate help of a plumber to stop it from happening again. 

Prevent water structural damage to your floors

Although a 'sweating' water heater isn't faulty, the water puddles accumulating under it can wreck havoc to your floor, especially timber flooring. The pooled water can cause rot, timber damage and even termite infestation is not checked. Prevent structural water damage by leaving a tray under it to collect the water. Don't use a rag or sponge as these will still allow water to soak your floor.

Make sure your water heater is well-insulated

One of the reasons a water heater will sweat is because hot air around it is being cooled by the cold water inside the tank. A 'sweating' water heater is therefore a sign that heat transfer is occurring across the water heater walls. In other words, 'sweating' may indicate that your water heater is not well insulated.

To tell if your water heater is well insulated, place your palm on the tank when in use. If you can feel the hot temperature of the heated water inside, your heater is not well insulated. Insulating your water heater can help prevent 'sweating', or slow it down. You can achieve this by having your plumber add insulating plaster around it. Alternatively, you can install an insulation blanket around it.

With these three measures, you will manage to identify condensation (sweating) around your water heater and rule out a leak. You will also reduce or abate the 'sweating' and keep the pooled water from damaging your floor. To learn more, contact a company like Balnarring Plumbing Services with any questions you have.