Why Is My Water Heater Leaking? 

Jul 1, 2024 | Water Heater, Inlet & Outlet, Leak, Leaking

A water heater leak is the last thing any homeowner wants to deal with! Not only can it increase your utility bills, but it can also cause significant water damage to your property. So, let’s explore why your water heater might be leaking and how to fix it, with tips from your friendly local experts at Five Star Columbus Plumbing

Before we dive in, remember safety first! Make sure to turn off the water heater before starting any troubleshooting. 

Common Leak Cause 1: Loose Hot/Cold Water Connection  

One common reason for water heater leaks is a loosened connection on the hot or cold water inlet and outlet pipes. With regular use and temperature changes, these connections can loosen up, causing water to seep out. Sometimes, you’ll notice small puddles around the heater or a slow drip from the pipes. 

To troubleshoot, take a look at the heater’s top connections. If you spot any water or moisture, a loose connection might be the culprit. A quick tightening with a wrench could do the trick but be careful not to overtighten and cause more damage. 

Common Leak Cause 2: Faulty Pressure Relief Valve  

A malfunctioning pressure relief valve is another common reason for water heater leaks. This valve is meant to release extra pressure inside the tank. If it’s not working properly, water might leak out, signaling high tank pressure and posing the risk of the tank bursting. 

To see if the valve is causing the issue, gently lift its lever. If it’s working, water will flow out. But if it continues to leak after you let go, you might need to replace it. 

Common Leak Cause 3: Defective Temperature & Pressure Valve   

Similarly, the temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve can sometimes cause leaks. If you notice the T&P valve leaking, it could mean the water temperature is too high or the tank pressure is too much. Both of these issues need attention right away. 

To troubleshoot this issue, take a look around the valve for any water. If you notice it’s wet, you might need to replace it. 

Common Leak Cause 4: Leaking Inlet Valve   

Lastly, a damaged or improperly sealed inlet valve—responsible for controlling cold water flow into the water heater—could cause a leak. If the inlet valve isn’t working right, you’ll often find water pooling around the base of the heater. 

To fix this, check the inlet valve for any signs of damage or wear. You might need to tighten or replace the valve. 

When to Consult a Professional Plumber:  

If you’ve tried all the troubleshooting methods and your water heater is still leaking, it might be time to call in the pros. Some problems are just too tricky or risky for DIY fixes. A professional plumber can identify the issue and offer a lasting solution, whether it’s replacing a part, repairing the internal tank, or recommending a new water heater. 

A water heater leak can be pretty stressful and cause damage if not handled quickly. Knowing the common causes and troubleshooting steps is key to fixing it yourself. But don’t hesitate to reach out to us if the problem continues. 

Our friendly team is always here to give you reliable help to keep your home safe and comfy. Call Five Star Columbus Plumbing today at (614) 401-8086, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here