Discovering that your water heater is leaking can be a very scary experience.
If you’re like me and not necessarily the do-it-your self type, any water around the base of your water heater is cause for alarm.
But after a little research, I’ve found out that not every water heater leak is a repair bill waiting in the wings.
Here are a few common problems that can cause a leak or at least the appearance of your water heater leaking.
Condensation on the side of the tank can begin to pool around the base of your tank.
I live in a cold weather climate (temperatures can reach 30 degrees below zero!) and when the cold well water enters the tank and meets the warm water already inside the tank, this causes the condensation on the side of the tank. This issue will usually take care of itself as the tank warms up the incoming water and outside temperatures begin to rise.
Another common problem is setting the thermostat temperature too high.
This can create increased pressure in the tank causing the Temperature-Pressure Relief (TPR) valve to open and leave a puddle on your floor. Lowering the thermostat setting should fix this problem. However, keep in mind that water coming from the TPR valve may indicate a faulty valve. A faulty valve needs to be replaced immediately; otherwise your water heater may explode!
An easily overlooked solution to the problem of a leaking water heater is the drain valve is not tight.
My water heater is in a very small furnace room which also houses our washer and dryer. The quarters are a little cramped and one day I must have nudged the valve open just enough to start a drip. Thankfully, I realized where the water was coming from and realized that I needed to tighten the valve. Many water heaters use a poor quality valve that you will need a plumber to replace.
As much as we all want to save money, it is important to understand that your water heater leaking can be a sign of a serious problem.
If the solutions in the article do not solve your problem or you are unsure if there is a more serious problem, never hesitate to call a trained professional to assess the situation.