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Why is My Hot Water Heater Leaking?

You know what one of our favorite things is these days? That warm shower first thing in the morning, when the air is still chilly. Few things are as relaxing, but you know what’s never a good time? An unexpected cold shower! This time on the ACE Home Services blog we are taking a look at one of the causes of cold showers around the world: a hot water heater leaking. Let’s take a look at why they leak and how you can handle the problem.

Why is the Hot Water Heater Leaking, How About Where?

Asking ‘where’ the hot water heater is leaking from can get you better answers to your problem. There are four likely spots for a water heater to leak and once you determine the location of the leak  you’re sure to find the answer to why.

The Inlet and Outlet Connections

These are the pipes that move water to and from your hot water heater to your fixtures. If you see water leaking from these connections then the leak is likely just because of a loose connection or a faulty pipe. Use a wrench to simply tighten the connection or replace the pipe as necessary and presto! No, more leaking water heater.

Temperature/Pressure Relief Valves

The temperature and pressure relief valves are two more crucial parts of the water heater, responsible for keeping it running efficiently. As you might imagine from their names, they help regulate the tank pressure and water temperatures. If either pressure or temp runs high, the valves will drain water from the tank relieving the pressure and lowering the temp. 

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A leak from these valves will run down the side of your heater from the valve.

If you are seeing a leak from this portion of your water heater than one of two things are possible. Either your valves are failing and need replacing or the tank isn’t running correctly and the pressure is so high it’s forcing water out through the valves – either way it’s time to get it looked at!

Drain Valve

I hear you, I hear you! ‘The drain is supposed to have water coming out of it!’ That’s true, when it’s being used. If water is draining from your valve willy-nilly, then the valve itself is in need of fixing. But before you call anyone up, first just check to make sure that the valve doesn’t just need tightening. If after tightening the valve still leaks well, you know who to call.

Bottom of the Tank

If you see water leaking, pooling below the water heater then there’s one likely culprit for this. Over time, water heaters accumulate sediment from the water supply, building up in the bottom of the tanks. If this isn’t flushed or regularly maintained, it will cause a whole host of problems for your water heater, including wearing away at the bottom of the heater and causing water to leak. Another possible sign to be on the lookout for when it comes to sediment is if your hot water isn’t lasting as long. This is a pretty strong sign that the water heater doesn’t have as much room for water any more, having had it displaced by sediment.

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No matter the cause, don’t delay in getting your water heater looked at! They are one of the crucial pieces to your home plumbing system. Want to know more about when you need to replace or repair you water heater? If you are experiencing any troubles with yours and you want a professional diagnosis, give us a call. We’re happy to help!

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