Why is My Water Heater Leaking?


Finding a puddle around your water heater can be startling, but thankfully there’s often a simple solution. The important thing is to act quickly and shut off the water, then bring in a plumber to troubleshoot the leak.

Water heaters leak for one of several reasons. The parts have to put up with constant temperature and pressure changes, so things like rubber gaskets will simply wear out or get corroded.

For the most part, only older water heaters with a broken tank should need a full replacement. Our Charlotte plumbers can help you prevent water damage to the home and get your water heater leak-free as quickly as possible.

Water Heater Leaking from Above?

Follow the leaking water up as high as you can find it. What looks like a leaking water heater tank might actually just be some dripping from a pipe fitting above.

To pinpoint the problem, look at the water supply pipes and their fittings. It could be the cold water line, the hot water pipe, or any of the other valves and components. To verify the leak, use a spare rag or paper towels to dry the area and then watch for water to appear again.

If your leak is coming from a valve or fitting, it should be replaced. Most homeowners should get a licensed plumber in Charlotte to do this job. The replacement part must be fitted very precisely, and we should check other fittings on the system since others might be failing at the same time.

Pressure Relief Valve Leaks

If you locate the water heater leak at the temperature and pressure relief valve, try lowering your heater’s temperature setting if it’s above 120 degrees currently. Overheating can raise the pressure inside the tank and force water out.

Ask a plumber to repair or replace the T&P valve if you still have a leak after adjusting the temp, or if your water heater is leaking from the valve even at a moderate temperature.

Water Heater Leaking from the Tank

Do you have hard water in your Charlotte home? Or have you forgotten to drain and flush your water heater for a while? Mineral deposits and rust can wear out the insides of a water heater tank. W.H. Hobbs plumbers can sometimes find a repair or patch for a leaking water heater tank, but be prepared for water heater replacement.

On the other hand, a leaking water heater tank might be dripping from the drain valve on the side. The drain valve can be replaced easily.

In other cases, it’s just excess condensation. That probably indicates that you’re using all your hot water, causing cold water to fill the still-hot tank. You might consider a larger water heater replacement if this poses a significant water damage risk.