Are you a home or business owner that has a water heater leaking from the bottom? This is a common issue that can lead to water damage in your space. Contact a professional plumber at the first sign of an issue with your water heater to prevent them from becoming more severe.
Forbes shares common causes of water heater leaks below:
1. The Tank Is Old
If you’ve had the same traditional, tank-style water heater for more than 15 years, your tank’s age could be responsible for the leak. Over time, tanks tend to rust, causing corrosion that allows water to spill through cracks and holes. When this happens, you should replace your tank. Alternatively, you might consider replacing your unit with a tankless water heater.
2. The Drain Valve Is Loose
The drain valve is a crucial part of a water heater that allows you to empty and/or clean the tank. The drain valve tends to loosen over time, allowing water to leak from its base. If this is the case for your drain valve, you might try tightening it yourself or calling in a plumber. But there might be a chance that your drain valve is simply worn out, in which case, you’ll have to replace it entirely.
3. There’s Too Much Pressure
When the hot water within your water heater creates steam, the steam fills the empty space and in turn, creates pressure. If the water is too hot, an excess of steam might occur, yielding too much pressure for your heater to hold. This could create cracks or holes in the water tank from which water will leak. To prevent this from happening, lower the temperature of your water heater.
4. The T&P Valve Is Malfunctioning
The temperature and pressure relief valve (also known as the T&P valve) helps regulate the amount of pressure within the water heater’s tank. When it’s not functioning properly, the amount of pressure in the tank increases, causing leaks to occur. In some cases, the T&P valve could simply be loose and require a simple tightening. In other cases, it could be broken and require a replacement. Remember to lower the pressure of your water heater’s tank before dealing with T&P valve issues.
5. The Inlet and Outlet Connections Are Loose
In a water heater, cold water enters through the inlet connection and hot water exits through the outlet connection. If your water heater is leaking, it could be because the inlet and outlet connections are loose and require tightening.
6. There’s a Problem with the Internal Shell
A water heater consists of an external shell, which insulates the water, and an internal shell, which holds the water, with a layer of metal covering both shells. Leaks in the internal shell can be difficult to detect because you can’t see them from the outside of the tank, but they might occur from age or corrosion and cause the water heater to leak on the whole.
7. Sediment Has Created Cracks
With time, sediment builds at the bottom of a water heater’s tank. If you don’t clean your tank regularly, the sediment accrues until eventually, cracks form at its base through which water can easily leak. If you clean your tank regularly, you’re unlikely to run into this issue, and you should be sure to do so to prevent sediment cracks from occurring in the future. A cracked tank requires you to purchase an entirely new water heater, which can be quite expensive.
8. The Storage Tank Is Cracked
Some water heaters have a surplus tank known as a storage tank, which maximizes the amount of water they can hold. Storage tanks are sometimes lined with glass, which can crack when minerals collect and calcify upon its surface or when hot water puts too much pressure on it. These cracks can cause leaks, so if your storage tank is cracked, you should replace it.
9. The Anode Rod Has Corroded
An anode rod is a part of a water heater designed to attract corrosive substances so that the rest of the water heater remains secure. After enough corrosion, the anode rod will virtually disappear, and water can leak through the space where the anode rod once stood. If you’re in this situation, replace the anode rod.
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