What Causes a Hot Water Heater to Leak From the Bottom?

What Causes a Hot Water Heater to Leak From the Bottom?

What Causes a Hot Water Heater to Leak From the Bottom?

What Causes a Hot Water Heater to Leak From the Bottom?

Noticing water pooling under your water heater?  There are a few common reasons why you might be encountering this problem; we’ll show you how to figure out which one you’re dealing with.  The first step to diagnosing your problem will be to find the source of the leak.  For your safety, be sure to shut off power/gas and water supply to your tank before doing any inspections.  Once you’ve done that, we have three main culprits to inspect: the drain valve, the temperature and pressure release valve, and the walls of the tank itself.  If none of these seem to be the source of your leak, check to be sure the water is not coming from condensation, piping, or another HVAC unit.


Possible Causes of Water Heater Leaks

The Drain Valve

The drain valve is a basic spigot you’ll find towards the bottom of your tank, used mainly to drain the tank for maintenance and regular cleaning.  Be sure the spigot is fully closed and tightened.  If it is, and is still leaking, you may need a drain valve replacement.  Rejoice; this is a pretty simple and low-cost fix.


The Temperature and Pressure Release Valve

The temperature and pressure release valve (T&P valve) is used to release excess pressure from inside the tank.  If the temperature inside the tank gets too hot, water may release from this valve; this is normal.  Try turning down your water temperature and see if that fixes your problem.  The Department of Energy suggests setting your water heater to 120ºF.  If you’ve decreased the temperature and are still finding water leaking from the T&P valve, it may be faulty and require replacement.


Hot Water Heater Tank Integrity

The last possible problem could be with the tank itself.  Over time, sediment and mineral deposits can build up and erode the inner lining of the tank, causing it to crack and leak.  This is particularly true if you have hard water or a tank older than ten years.  Unfortunately, if your tank is cracked, you will need a full water heater replacement, as a cracked tank can pose serious safety risks.


If you have a water leak, don’t delay in getting it fixed.  Unaddressed leaks can lead to water damage in your home, as well as mold, high water bills, and other costly problems.  If you live in Federal Way, Seattle, Tacoma, or the Puget Sound region, be sure to contact your trusted plumbing experts here at Mainline Plumbing & Drain to schedule a repair.

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