Why is my Water Heater Leaking

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Phil Puccio

Nobody likes standing ankle-deep in cold water in the basement and wondering, “Why is my water heater leaking?” Or suddenly feeling water dripping from the ceiling onto their head while lounging on the couch. The last thing you want is a broken water heater causing water damage to your carpet, photos, comics or other valuables. With that in mind, we’ve put together this guide so you can see our top reasons for a leaking water heater – and avoid the dreaded fiasco of a flooded basement from a water heater rupture. Read on for our most common culprits behind a leaking or broken water heater and how to fix them.

Rust and sediment formation in the water heater

Most water heaters are made of steel. Steel is mostly iron, and you guessed it, iron rusts. Water heaters have a protective device called an anode rod to prevent rust, but over time your anode rod could wear out or fail, which can cause your water heater to leak at the top anode. If you notice that your hot tap water is a coarse, rusty brown color, we recommend calling a plumber to have your water heater’s anode rod replaced.

Additionally, most homes have hard water running through their water heaters. Small amounts of minerals float in hard water, which over time can settle to the bottom of your water heater’s tank. This caused a layer of accumulation that prevents the water from reaching the burner.

What does that mean? This means it takes longer to heat the water, leading to overheating, general deterioration and most commonly, leaks at the bottom of your water heater. Luckily, you can avoid this problem by making sure you drain the water and flush out any built-up debris at least once a year. If not, you might encounter some of the following water tank problems.

A leak in the drain valve

If you notice your water heater leaking specifically from the bottom, the culprit could be a drain valve leak. If the drain valve fails, you could experience a flooded basement. Drain valves are used to drain the hot water from the tank to remove sediment as we mentioned above. Your water heater leak could simply be because the valve is loose and you need to tighten it a bit. However, be careful if you overtighten, you could damage the valve and make the leak worse. Just locate the knob or handle and make sure it’s fully tightened, but first make sure the leak is actually coming from the drain valve and not somewhere else.

An internal tank leak

Perhaps the most common culprit behind your water heater leaking from the bottom is an internal tank leak. This could indicate that your water tank is leaking because the tank itself has been damaged by a structural problem. If you haven’t removed sediment from your tank in a while, it could have caused corrosion leading to the tank shell cracking or a similar problem. Examine the outside of your tank to look for signs of serious internal problems. In most cases, replacing your water heater will be the only solution here.

air pressure

Excess air pressure builds up in your water heater tank when the temperature is too high or the pressure of the outside water entering your home is too great. Avoid these problems by making sure your water heater is set no higher than 120-125 degrees.

In addition, we recommend keeping an eye on your water heater’s temperature and pressure relief valve (also known as the T&P valve). It is located at the top or side of your tank and relieves pressure from the heater’s tank when needed. If you test the valve and there is no water coming out, or your leak is coming from the t&p valve itself, we recommend replacing it quickly. Tip: If possible, do not replace it with a plastic valve, they are cheap and will soon break again.


After all, aging could be the reason for your water heater’s demise. Water heaters last about 8 to 10 years. At the end of their life cycle, simple leaks are more likely to occur due to general wear and tear. Corrosion, years of sediment damage, and inevitable aging damage can also lead to these potential leaks.

Water Heater Repair and Replacement, Los Angeles

Can you remember when you got your water heater? If your answer is a.) “Yes, and it’s been a really long time” or b.) “It’s been so long I actually can’t remember…” then it’s probably time to replace your ( probably busted ) water heater. Contact the Mike Diamond Plumbing team for fast and reliable water heater repair and replacement service. Nobody likes to deal with leaking water heaters, so let us do the hard work for you.

Water heaters aren’t the only home appliances Mike Diamond’s team can help you take care of. If your plumbing, heating, cooling, or electrical equipment ever fails, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by waiting too long for your water heater leak to be repaired. Call us today at 1-888-608-6175 or schedule a service online so you can keep your home and family safe and secure.

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Original Source: https://mikediamondservices.com/blog/3-causes-of-a-leaking-or-burst-water-heater/
Category – Plumbing

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