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Water Heater Leaking? Common Causes & What to Do

Is your water heater leaking? Don’t worry – we are here to guide you. 

Not only is a leaking water heater inconvenient, but it can also cause severe water damage to your home if not addressed promptly. Therefore, understanding the causes can help you manage and prevent such issues from happening.

Why Is My Water Heater Leaking? 

So, let’s dive into the common reasons for water heater leaks:

  • Faulty T&P Relief Valve: The Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve, commonly referred to as the T&P Valve, helps regulate the pressure within the tank. If it malfunctions, your water heater may leak. This could be due to excessive pressure, a stuck valve, or the valve simply being old and worn out.
  • Corrosion and Rust: Your water heater is susceptible to corrosion and rust, especially if it’s been in use for several years. Over time, rust can lead to holes in the tank, causing the water heater to leak. Regular maintenance and inspection can help prevent this issue.
  • Loose Connections: Sometimes, the leak might be as simple as a loose inlet or outlet connection. If the connections aren’t sealed correctly, water can escape, leading to a leak. Checking the connections and tightening them if needed can help solve this problem.
  • Faulty Drain Valve: The drain valve is designed to help empty the tank for maintenance or replacement. However, if it becomes faulty or loose, it can cause your water heater to leak. Replacing the valve will generally resolve this issue.
  • Internal Tank Issues: Lastly, internal tank problems, such as a cracked or broken tank, can cause a water heater leak. This usually requires a complete replacement of your water heater.

Remember, water heater leaking is not a minor issue that can be ignored. Regular inspection, proper maintenance, and prompt repair can prevent potential damage to your home. If you notice any signs of leaking, we recommend seeking professional help immediately to diagnose and fix the issue.

How to Prevent Leaks

Keeping a vigilant eye on your water heater can help prevent leaks and the subsequent damage they might cause. Here are some tips to help you keep your water heater in top shape:

  • Regular Inspections: Schedule regular check-ups for your water heater at least once a year. A professional can spot any issues before they turn into major problems, including leaks.
  • Replace the Anode Rod: The anode rod in your water heater protects the tank from rusting. Over time, this rod can corrode, leaving the tank unprotected. Replacing the anode rod every 3-5 years can help prevent this.
  • Monitor the Pressure: Keep an eye on the pressure in your water heater tank. If the pressure gets too high, it can cause the T&P valve to fail, leading to a leak. Installing a pressure gauge can help you monitor this.
  • Flush the Tank: Sediment can build up in your water heater over time, leading to corrosion and leaks. Regularly flushing the tank can help prevent this build-up.
  • Install a Water Softener: If your home has hard water, it can speed up the corrosion process. Installing a water softener can help prolong the life of your water heater and prevent leaks.
  • Properly Seal Connections: Ensure all inlet and outlet connections are sealed properly. If not, this could lead to unnecessary leaks.

Prevention is better than a cure. Regular maintenance and early intervention can save you time, money, and the inconvenience of dealing with a water heater leak. If you’re unsure about maintaining your water heater, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a professional plumber who can guide you through the process.

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