Why is My Water Heater Leaking?

Hot Water Tank Leaking From Bottom or Top?

Why is my water heater leaking? It’s a question that homeowners and business owners alike dread. It’s a sign that something’s wrong. If left untreated it can cause flooding, mold, and even structural damage, not to mention the cost of the leaking water itself. With over 60 years in the local plumbing business, our company has experienced our share of water heater leaks and can offer advice on how to fix the problem.

Bad Pressure Release Valve

One common reason for a leaking water heater leaking is a bad pressure release valve. As the name suggests, the purpose of this valve is to relieve tank pressure when it gets above safe limits. Over time, these valves can become jammed or corroded, creating a leak that starts small and gets bigger with time. This is one part you probably don’t want to repair yourself. Be sure to call an expert and have the part replaced.

Rust & Age

Another common reason is rust and age. Due to their continual contact with water, water heaters will rust like most items made out of metal. If this rust corrosion weakens it to the point where cracks or holes are forming, your tank can start to leak, especially when your hot water heater is leaking from the bottom. This is especially true for older heaters that haven’t been serviced regularly. Once the rust sets in, fixing the tank is difficult. In this case you’ll need to replace the entire unit.

Bad Connections

Bad, failing, or broken connections are another common source of hot water heaters leaking. These parts typically have a shorter life expectancy than the metal tank, and include pipes, fittings, O-rings, and seals. Check for pooling, dripping, or dried water marks near the water heater’s connections. Loose fittings should be tightened, while any damaged pipes or connections should be replaced.

Excessive Pressure

If your tank regularly exceeds the recommended pressure limits for your tank, for whatever reason, then it is likely that damage will occur. The seals are typically the point of least resistance, but damage can certainly occur to the tank itself, as well. The extra pressure might be due to a broken or failing pressure-reducing valve or a temperature-and-pressure relief valve. Your local plumber should be familiar with these components and can test and adjust the pressure as necessary.

Sediment Build-Up

Sediment build-up inside your water storage tank is normal. As this silt and other debris accumulates it will eventually need to be removed. By running a hose from the drain valve to a drain, you can simply open the drain valve at the unit’s base to flush the sediment from the water heater tank. The water will be dark at first but should eventually run clean. Just be careful, as the water will likely be very hot. Plus, don’t forget that this drain valve may also leak if it gets too loose or the seal breaks down, so pay attention when flushing your tank.

Water Heater Maintenance & Repair Near Wallis TX

Servicing a leaky water heater is not everyone’s cup of tea. There are many factors at play and it can sometimes be tricky to identify the source of the leak. Some leaks are easily repaired with replacement parts and fittings, while others may require the replacement of the entire hot water tank. Leaks can be avoided, and the life of the water heater can be prolonged with routine maintenance and inspections, such as flushing the tank. If you’re not tempted to diagnose or repair a plumbing problem on your own, we highly recommend that you let the professionals handle it for you. If you’re looking for expert water heater repair near Wallis, Sealy, Katy, Richmond, Wharton, Brenham, or the surrounding areas, we suggest calling us over to have a look. Janicek’s Plumbing has been serving the community for over 60 years and is always happy to help relieve your plumbing worries and stress.

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