Water Heater Leaking Water - How do I fix it? - Smile HVAC

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Water Heater Leaking Water – How do I fix it?

Written by Nikita

Canadian homes are not complete without a water heater. Natural Resources Canada estimates that Canadians use 75 liters (average) of hot water daily for washing dishes, showering, and other household chores. Hot water is a necessity, especially during winters.

Any problem with your water heater disrupts your routine. First, you wonder why there is no hot water, and secondly, you fret about expensive repair bills. The best way to resolve this dilemma is to determine the reason for the leak and whether it needs professional repair or is fixable with easy 2-3 DIY steps. This article will explain why and how to fix your water heater leaking water.

Five reasons for water heater leaking water

Issues with temperature and pressure relief valve

A temperature and pressure relief valve (t&p valve) is a safety device, usually placed on top of a water heater, which helps relieve pressure in a water heater. During an increase of water and heat, thermal expansion occurs within a water heater, causing water levels to rise. The t&p valve helps contain expansion levels within a safe range by removing excess water.

Any issue with the T&P valve, such as loosening, breakage, sediment buildup, etc., may lead to the water heater leaking water.

For issues like a loose valve connection, try tightening the valve. But for the replacement of the valve, seek professional help.

Issues with drain valve

Drain valves, usually located at the bottom of the water tank, help drain excess water and sediment buildup from the tank. Regular usage leads to the accumulation of sediment near the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. It clogs the drain valve and affects the efficiency of the water heater.

Any issue with the drain valve, such as clogging, corrosion, loose valve, etc., may cause water leaks.

You can clean your water tank regularly to avoid sediment accumulation and clogging of the valve. Try tightening the valve if it’s loose. For a broken drain valve, replace it. If the problem persists, contact an expert.

Issues with inlet and outlet connections

In a water heater, cold water enters the tank through inlet pipes, and hot water flows via outlet pipe connections. Another cause of water heaters leaking water is leaks or breaks in inlet or outlet pipe connections.

Rusting, loose connections, aging, cracks, etc., cause inlet or outlet pipes to leak water.

For loose connections, try tightening it with a wrench. In other cases where you need replacement or extensive repairs, it is better to seek professional help.

Corroded Tank

Another possible cause of the water heater leaking water is the corrosion water tank. As sediment builds up over time, it starts corroding the water tank if not regularly cleaned, resulting in leaks.

There is no repair solution for a corroded tank. You will need to replace the tank as per professional advice.

You can keep up with regular maintenance and cleaning of the tank to avoid corrosion.

Hard water

Hard water is rich in minerals. The heating of hard water causes calcium and other mineral deposits in the water tank over time. It eventually damages the water heater, causing cracks in the tank from which water starts leaking.

You can use softeners to treat the hard water. Regular maintenance will help keep the tank free from buildup. In case of cracks, seek professional help.

These are five common causes for water heaters leaking water and quick troubleshooting tips. Next, we will cover what you should do after noticing water pooling around the tank.

What to do when your water heater is leaking water?

A sight of water pooled around the water heater, and you immediately assume the heater is broken and begin stressing about expensive repairs. However, you may just be panicked over a small issue. Before we get into what to do, first, let’s confirm your water heater is leaking water.

How to confirm?

Wipe down and observe the leak again. Water droplets that appear evenly on the water heater are most likely condensation, nothing worrisome. Condensation droplets around the water heater pipes may look like water leaks; it is normal. Similarly, another HVAC appliance may be leaking water.

Once you are sure your water heater is leaking water, follow these steps.


Can you use the shower if your water heater is leaking water?

Usually, in the case of small leaks, you can use the shower even if the water heater is leaking water. But, in the case of big leaks, avoid showers as they may worsen the leak or cause electrical problems.

Is a water heater leaking water dangerous?

Yes, prolonged and heavy water leak from a water heater is dangerous. It possesses the risk of scalding, damaging a building, and water heater bursts (however, rare). Therefore, it is necessary to fix a leaking water heater as soon as possible.

How long will your water heater last once it starts leaking?

It depends on the reason for the water leak. Say, if it is due to a corroded tank or cracked tank, then it won’t last and needs replacement. But if it is due to inlet pipes or drain valves, a simple replacement of the components is enough, and it won’t affect the life of the water heater. Thus, seek an expert’s opinion to understand the impact of the damage on the water heater’s life.