Leaky water heater?
The thought alone can be a scary thing.
If there is a pool of water on the floor and you have an electric water heater, shut off power to the water heater at the circuit breaker before you do anything else.
If you do not feel safe for any reason, call a professional plumber immediately.
Once you are comfortable with the safety of the situation, visually inspect the hot water heater tank for signs of the leak. Condensation on the outside of the tank is generally an indication that the water entering the tank is too cold and creating condensation. This is a problem in colder climates and can be fixed by turning down the temperature on your water heater thermostat. This is not a serious issue or cause for alarm.
If the water seems to have come from the pressure release valve pipe, you might have a broken pressure release valve. This is a critical safety feature of your hot water heater and should be replaced immediately. If your hot water heater thermostat is set too high, this can also cause small amounts of water to release from the pressure release valve. To fix this, simply turn down your thermostat.
If your leaky water heater is caused by a cracked or damaged tank, it is very important that you replace your hot water heater immediately. Because of the pressure that can build up in your tank, a seemingly minor leak or crack could become a major problem very quickly.
A licensed plumber will be able to replace your hot water heater and let you know if your current model is still under warranty. A new water heater may not be cheap but allowing your current hot water heater to fail is not an option.
Thankfully, new models are more energy efficient than older models, which will help offset the cost of the new model over time.