4 Reasons That May Be Causing Your Water Heater To 'sweat'

Posted on: 8 July 2015

A water heater is said to be sweating if you find water puddles underneath it and the cause is not leaking. The reason behind a 'sweating' water heater is actually condensation. This is the process where air is cooled from a gaseous state into a liquid state. For your water heater to 'sweat,' there has to be a temperature imbalance. Such imbalances can be caused by various factors. Read on to see what they are and how they cause this 'sweating' phenomenon.

Cold outdoor weather or hot indoor temperatures

When the temperature is very cold outside, the water coming into your water heater from the mains is going to be cold as well. As you can imagine, this water is much colder than the temperature inside your heated home. When this water gets into your water heater, the air around your heater gets cooled very fast. It then condenses and forms water puddles around the heater. This is more likely to take place in winter or autumn. However, the same scenario can happen in warmer months if the water getting into your heater is cold e.g. if coming from a borehole or underground tank.

Your heater is poorly insulated  

Poorly insulation is also to blame for sweating. That's because the poorly-insulated water heater will allow heat to escape and heat the air around it. When this water is used and your tank is replaced by cold water, a temperature imbalance will be created. The air around the heater will now be hot and the heater will be cold. The heated air around the heater will then condense around the heater.

You have a small water heater

If you have a small water heater, chances of sweating occurring are higher. That's because you are more likely to empty your water tank every time you use it. Your water heater will therefore be filling with fresh cold water regularly. Chances of creating a temperature imbalance will therefore be very high. On the contrary, if you have a large water heater, cold incoming water will always get warmed hot leftover water inside the tank. Chances of sweating with large heaters will therefore be less.

Your water heater is in a poorly-ventilated room

Poor ventilation could also be increasing chances of your water heater sweating, regardless of the temperature outside. This is more likely to happen if your water heater is in an enclosed room, such as a pantry or closet. If the heater room does not have any vents, hot air will build up inside it. Therefore, any time the water in your heater is changed, the air around it will be hot and the water inside it will be cold. The hot air in the heater room will then condense around the cold heater and form puddles.

If you discover that your water heater is sweating, first have a plumber check for leaking. If leaking is not the problem, the plumber will check which of the above factors are responsible. Measures such as adding insulation to the heater can then be added to prevent the temperature from affecting the heater and stop the condensation. If you have specific questions about how your water heater is functioning, contact a business like Haig & Menzel Contractors Pty Ltd to help identify the problem.