With the below freezing temperatures of Chicago winter, hot water tanks and HVAC units are working overtime to keep residents warm.
As a part of regular maintenance, residents or their dedicated property manager should regularly check their hot water tanks for leaks and HVAC condensate drains for build-up. While these issues may seem relatively minor, we have had many instances of leaks to deal with that caused significant and costly damage to the property.
If you encounter a puddle by your hot water tank, act immediately because the size of the leak could quickly increase. First, shut off the supply of gas to let the hot water tank cool down and to prevent scalding yourself with hot water. Turning off the water supply to the tank will sometimes stop the leak, especially if your turn the faucets on to drain the whole tank.
If the leak hole is small and in a flat place, a piece of duct tape can stop the leaking until a professional service person arrives. If the hole is in a hard to reach spot, or the whole area is rusted through, there won’t be much that can be done until a service person arrives.
Condensation form HVAC units is a bigger issue in the summer, but the burning of gas does produce some water vapor as a byproduct. Keep an eye on on the condensate pipe and drain for anything unusual. If you notice excess water, shut the unit off or at least turn it down until a technician can identify the problem.
Remember, leaks are often dismissed as “just a little water”, but are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to easily preventable damage to your residence. Stay mindful, and consult a professional when in doubt.