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How to Handle Water Heater Drain Valve Leaks

Every water heater comes equipped with a valve that drains water from the heater. If you are experiencing problems with a water heater leaking, it could be a problem with the drain valve, pressure relief valve, or water line. More often than not, it’s related to the drain valve.

If it’s a problem with the drain valve, you can begin to identify it by looking for a puddle of water beneath the water heater. If you find a puddle, locate the drain valve (usually placed toward the bottom of the heater) and look for any leaks coming out of it. If you see water leaking from that area, you have found the culprit. Luckily, there are a few troubleshooting options available.

  • Tighten the valve – Turn off the water heater by shutting off the power or turning the gas valve to pilot, then tighten the valve handle and valve stem nut.
  • Cap the outlet – Best for smaller leaks, buy and install a replacement cap from your local hardware store. This can work as a temporary fix until you replace the drain valve.
  • Replace the drain valve – Consult your water heater’s instructions for shutting off the water heater. Failure to follow instructions could result in serious damage to both you and the water heater. Once the heater is completely shut off and disconnected, you can drain the tank, replace the drain valve, and then restart the heater.

Remember, water heaters contain liquid at scalding temperatures. If you are inexperienced working with water heaters, attempting a fix-it-yourself scenario could pose serious hazards and risks. When in doubt, contact MET Plumbing & Air Conditioning at 281-599-3336.

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