Each year many basements are flooded by a leaking hot water tank, each year about 5.5 million water heaters fail with many of them leaking in basements. There are few things that could be worse than returning home after a vacation and discovering water running out of the basement windows. There are many ways that you can prevent this costly damage from occurring.
The best way to prevent your basement from being flooded by leaking hot water tank is to have it installed in accordance with the plumbing code. Most plumbing codes today require the hot water tank to have its T&P valve plumbed to a drain as well as a drip pan installed that is also plumbed to a drain. These methods will drain the leaking water away safely preventing damage to the home. Many older homes have basements that do not have a drain low enough to accept these discharges.
Fortunately there are many new devices, which can prevent your basement from being flooded by leaking hot water tank. These new devices can detect water leaking from the hot water tank and activate, automatically shutting off the water supply to the hot water tank and the energy source used for heating the water. This will limit the damage to only the water in the tank being able to leak out and many times the leak will even stop once the pressure drops to 0 psi. The Watts Floodsafe Water Detector Shutoff, and Taco WagsValve are a couple of the more popular valves available for detecting leaking hot water tanks and shutting them off preventing damage from flooding a basement. There are a number of valves that are also available which only shut off the water, we do not recommend these valves as the energy supply to the water heater also needs to be shut off when the water is shut off to a leaking water heater.