Hot Water Heater Leaking?
It’s a sure sign that something is wrong with your water heater. The first thing that you need to think about when you notice water on the floor is the amount of water.
If there is only a small amount, look closely at the water heater.
It’s possible that the cold water entering the tank is interacting with the warm water in the tank, creating condensation around the outside of the water heater which is then collecting below your tank. This is a common problem in cold weather climates and should not be cause for concern.
If there is a small amount of water below the pressure relief valve, you probably have one of two problems. Either your pressure relief valve is malfunctioning or the temperature is set too high on your water heater.
The temperature of your hot water only needs to be set to 150 degrees Fahrenheit; anything higher should be turned down. To test your pressure release valve, find a pair of goggles, a bucket and protective gloves and clothing. Place the bucket below the valve pipe and release the valve. You should hear air release through the pipe and see either water or water vapor exiting the valve pipe. If you do not hear air release, call a professional plumber and have your pressure release valve repaired immediately.
If there is a lot of water on the floor, your hot water heater is leaking or cracked. This is a serious safety issue and you should call a plumber to replace your hot water heater immediately. All hot water heaters are sold with a multiple year warranty. If your hot water heater has a crack outside of warranty, it was probably time to replace it anyway.
The good news is that newer models are more energy efficient than older models, so the new model will help to pay for itself over time. If it is inside of warranty, the water heater will be replaced under the terms of your warranty.