There are a few different reasons for a water heater leaking water. Learn some of the common causes, some can be repaired while others mean you need to have your water heater replaced. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your water heater and that’s not always easy to do. Many times, it is located in the basement or in a closet which means it’s out of sight and out of mind.
Causes of a Water Heater Leaking
Pressure Relief Valve
One possibility is that the pressure relief valve has become faulty and is no longer able to properly release pressure from the tank. This can cause water to start leaking out of the valve itself, or from any cracks or holes in the tank.
Crack in Your Water Heater
Another possibility is that the tank itself has developed a crack or leak. This is usually the result of corrosion which can happen due to hard water and a lack of water tank maintenance. When this occurs, you’ll notice water will start seeping out of the tank. When you spot water on the floor, or around the bottom of your water heater, it’s important to check the tank for leaks.
Sediment Build Up
Sediment collection is another issue that can lead to tank leaks as well. As water heaters age, they collect sediment at the bottom of their tanks—and if homeowners don’t regularly clean it out, then this sediment builds until cracks form. These cracks allow water to leak through and cause major damage to your home!
An anode rod acts as a sacrificial component of the water heater. It attracts corrosive substances so the water heater itself stays safe. However, water heater leaks occur when the anode rod becomes nearly nonexistent because of all the corrosion. Water leaks through the space where the anode rod used to be. Quick replacement takes care of any potential leaks.
Too Much Water Pressure
Like any plumbing fixture, water heaters deal with naturally occurring water pressure. Pressure occurs in water heaters because the hot water creates steam and fills the empty space. When this steam has nowhere to go, the pressure becomes too much. Water leaks through any crack in the heater to relieve some of the pressure. When the water temperature is set too high, or if water enters the system at high pressure, the heater pressure increases.
If You Smell Gas, Move Fast!
A water heater safety reminder. If you have a gas water heater, make sure the gas line has not become loose or damaged. This can cause gas to escape from the line, and if there’s a spark nearby, it could cause an explosion. Gas is not something you want to mess with, if you smell gas and suspect there may be a gas leak, get out of the house, call 911 and then call Center Point Energy or your local gas provider.
Doing a regular ‘sniff’ check can help you detect small gas leaks you may not be able to smell in other parts of the house.
Inspecting the gas line and the connections can catch problems before they turn into an actual leak. While you’re at it, make sure you look closely for any sign of a water leak that could indicate a water heater failure is imminent. Either way, if you smell gas, it’s important to shut off the gas supply and call a Dean’s Plumber or a Minneapolis gas technician right away.
No matter what causesthe leak, it’s important to have it fixed as soon as possible. Leaks can not only cause water damage to your home, but they can also lead to higher utility bills and decreased efficiency. If you’re not sure how to fix the leak, it’s always best to call a professional plumber with Dean’s Home Services who can provide repair and replacement options for all brands and sizes of water heaters.