If my 40 Gallon tank springs a leak, How many gallons of water will I have on my floor?

If a 40 Gallon water heater were to spring a leak, how many gallons of water you end up having on your floor depends on how fast you discover the leak, and turn off the water. It also depends on how large the leak is. Until the water supply to the leaking water heater is shut off there is no limit to the amount of water that can leak. Once the water supply is shut off to the water heater the most that could leak is the amount of water contained in the tank of the water heater and the hot water pipes of your home. Of course the amount of water that can come out of the water heater once it is shut off depends on where the hole in the water heater is located whether it is high or, low on the tank.

When you discover your water heater is leaking the first thing you should do is shut off the water supply to the water heater. There should be a valve located on the pipe going into the inlet side of the water heater. After shutting off the water you should then shut off the energy source(s) supplying the water heater. If the water heater is electric there should be a disconnect near the water heater or a circuit breaker that you can shut off. If the water heater is gas there should be a valve on the pipes leading to the burner that you can shut off. Some gas water heaters will have both gas and electricity that should be shut off. You should then have the water heater replaced.

Ideally you would have a water heater pan installed that would catch the leaking water and drain it away without damage. If you do not have a pan installed on your present water heater it will be required as part of a code upgrade when you replace the water heater.

There are also automatic electronic safety valves available for water heaters that can detect a leaking water heater and shut off the water supply and power to the water heater that you can have installed. These devices can limit the amount of damage caused by a leaking water heater.

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