If your Rheem water heater drain valve is leaking, the best solution after you have confirmed this is to replace the valve.
Draining your water heater to get rid of sediment and other build-up is an important and necessary maintenance task.
However, the valve that you use to drain your Rheem water heater may start to leak. Fortunately, you can confirm this leak and gather supplies to replace it before any serious damage is done.
Why it is important to drain your water heater
You may have noticed that water heater manufactures give you an estimate of how regularly you need to drain your water heater. Many homeowners with water heaters are completely unaware that they need to drain them.
Regardless of whether you know that your water heater has to be drained as a part of your normal maintenance and upkeep activities, or whether you are learning about this now, draining your water heater will make it more efficient and will help it last longer.
This is because draining your water heater flushes out any of the hard water and sediment build-up that may have settled at the bottom of your tank.
Rheem water heater drain valve leaking
Even though water heaters, including those manufactured by Rheem, are designed in such a way that you can drain them, there is still a possibility that something could go wrong and that your valve may start leaking.
If you do notice that there is water coming from the drain valve of your Rheem water heater while it is supposed to be closed, you do not have to panic.
This is most likely caused by the valve itself and it is not necessarily an indication that the entire water heater is malfunctioning.
Your best course of action is to replace the drain valve entirely when you notice that it is leaking, even if this leak is slow and does not seem to be causing much damage.
This is because if the valve completely fails while it is still attached to your water heater, all of the water that is stored in the tank will come flooding out and this will flood your basement and cause damage to the flooring, furniture, paint, and anything else in this area.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to confirm that the valve is truly leaking and then to gather the supplies needed and replace the valve before it can cause any serious damage to your space.
How to know if your Rheem water heater drain valve is leaking
You may not be in close contact with your water heater throughout the year, as it is most likely tucked away in your basement.
This may make it difficult to notice the water heater drain valve leak if you are not staring at the valve to notice water dripping from it.
Fortunately, there are other signs to look out for that can indicate a leaking Rheem water heater valve, such as:
- A rattling sound coming from the nuts and bolts
- The sound of water rushing or dripping at times when the storage tank is full
- Cracked or damaged seals around the valve
- A noticeable pool of water near where the valve is
- The valve is rusted or corroded
What you need to replace the drain valve on your Rheem water heater
If you have ascertained that your Rheem water heater drain valve is indeed leaking, you need to start gathering your supplies to replace it, as explained below with the following supplies:
- A replacement valve: It is important to ensure that you find a valve that fits in your specific water heater model, such as this Rheem SP12231B Water Heater Brass Drain Valve, which fits Rheem tanks that have a ¾ fitting size
- An adjustable wrench
- Teflon tape or pipe sealer
- A flat screwdriver
- A garden hose with a drain valve connector
- Extra towels to mop up any potential spills
How to replace the drain valve on your Rheem water heater
Before you start this process, it is best to ensure that your water heater is turned off at the circuit breaker or that the gas supply is turned off. Then, you need to follow these steps:
- Step 1: Drain the water in the storage tank using the garden hose and the screwdriver
- Step 2: Once all of the water is drained, you can close the leaking drain valve and remove the garden hose
- Step 3: Remove the old drain valve with the wrench and mop up any water that spills in the process
- Step 4: Insert the replacement drain valve and make sure it is watertight with the tape or sealant