What has caused your water heater leak? Sometimes a leaking water heater can be dangerous, so it’s important to get this issue handled by a professional. Still, you might be curious about how the leak has happened, so that you can avoid it in the future. We’ll go over the most common causes of a hot water leak below.
1. The Tank Itself Has Corroded
Over time, your water tank will corrode and develop cracks in the bottom. Sometimes improper care or a lack of maintenance speeds up this process. In other cases, your water tank may have simply reached the end of its lifespan. Whether the corrosion was caused by aging or neglect, you will most likely need to replace the tank entirely. It will also likely be a large leak that could flood the area near the tank—so tackle this one quickly.
2. The Fittings Have Worn Out
If your water heater’s leak is located near a seal or fitting, this seal has likely come loose or worn out. The fittings may have broken when someone bumped into them, or they may have soften with age. Either way, they will need to be replaced.
3. The Pressure Relief Valve is Broken
So far, we’ve covered causes that happen to old water tanks. But, what if your new water heater is leaking? The most common reason is a defective relief valve. This issue normally causes the leak to spray out of the water tank instead of dripping.
The valve may have been defective when the manufacturer made it, or an improper installation may have damaged it. Either way, you’ll need a professional to check the valve and help you make a claim under the manufacturer’s warranty if you have one.
Also, keep in mind that leaking from the relief valve is one of the more dangerous types of leaks, as the pressure build-up in the tank can cause it to burst and spray hot water. Be sure to call a professional right away if you suspect this problem.
4. The Drain Valve Failed to Close
In order to flush your water heater, you need to open and close the drain valve. Sometimes the valve gets stuck, or sometimes you just forget. As a result, the tank keeps draining, even just a little bit. Sometimes it can’t get up to temperature at all.
This is a tough leak to spot, because there’s no water on the outside of the tank, and it will waste your water and drive up your water bill. That’s why you should always have a professional drain and flush your water heater instead of doing it yourself.
5. Condensation From Temperature Changes
Depending on the weather, there may be large difference between the temperature of the water entering the tank and the temperature of the water that is already in the tank. This temperature difference can cause condensation. If so, you’ll find that small amounts of water that collect on the outside of the tank. You can wipe this water away. However, if it becomes a regular problem, you’ll want to ask an expert how you can put a stop to it or it may rust the water tank.
Need more help?
Simpson Plumbing is proud to offer water heater repair in Tracy, CA and surrounding cities, so don’t hesitate to call or contact us if your water heater needs hands-on help.