Ah the pressure ( or lack of it )
November 16, 2008 12:52 AM   Subscribe

[PlubmingFilter] Last night Mrs Rus notice a very slow leak from our immersion heater. So in a flash of "brilliance" I turn it off at the (power) mains and would worry about it in the morning. Its now the morning and things aren't quite right

I turned it back on as its a slow leak I figured damage would be minimal but then realiased we have no hot or cold running water and nothing more than a trickle down stairs coming out of the taps. What happened? Do I just have to wait for pressure to build up or has something horrible happened overnight. (BTW no obvious large water leaks just a very slow drip so I can't see a large tank emptying itself, I guess its about 100L)
posted by rus to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Should note house is only a few years old along with all the plubming, UK Based, 2005/2006 vintage
posted by rus at 12:52 AM on November 16, 2008

or I could of just checked with our neighbour and found there is a burst water main.

posted by rus at 1:57 AM on November 16, 2008

was the slow leak coming out of the pressure relief valve? That's normal. (umm.. assuming you can get it to stop.) Lift the little handle and let some pressure bleed off (you should do this every couple of months anyway) then it should stop when it re-seats. If it keeps dripping, you may need to get it replaced.
posted by defcom1 at 2:41 AM on November 16, 2008

When we turn off our immersion heater we still get full water pressure throughout the house. It's just cold.
posted by gfrobe at 2:51 AM on November 16, 2008

Turning off the main power will do nothing for your leak. However the method of fixing this depends on where the leak is coming from. Top or bottom of the cylinder ? If it is below the water level of the tank then you will have to isolate the tank from the main water pressure and proceed to drain the tank to below the water leak level. If the leak is above the water level you don't have to drain the tank. But what caused the leak is the question...
posted by defsix at 6:48 AM on November 16, 2008

Wait, so now I'm confused... Is the water you thought was from a slow leak actually seeping in from the burst water main? That would pretty much render this question moot on all counts, right?
posted by limeonaire at 9:08 AM on November 16, 2008

I would guess there is nothing wrong with your water heater at all.

As defcom1 stops just short of saying, your heater probably started leaking because the pressure delivered to your house built up to excessive levels-- so excessive, in fact, that they burst the water main!

Chances are someone at the utility blundered. It might be interesting to see if they admit it or anyone calls them on it.
posted by jamjam at 9:16 AM on November 16, 2008

If you're messing around in there (your heater), check the source of the 'leak'. It's important you do check and make sure there is nothing wrong. I had a broken pressure relief valve on my heater earlier this year, it was dripping steady for 2 months or so (I rent, the landlord, not doing so much about it). Then one night, the seals failed completely, and it started discharging as much water as it possibly could out the relief pipe (until I turned off the shutoff). It was finally fixed then, but we had no hot water for a few days.
posted by defcom1 at 5:59 PM on November 16, 2008

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