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Why Is My Water Heater Leaking? A Florida Tech Explains.

Are you having issues with a leaking water heater? You’re right to be concerned. A leak is an indicator that your water heater has a problem that needs to be addressed.

What causes a water heater to leak? The four most common causes are:

  • A cracked tank
  • A worn-out drain valve
  • High pressure in the tank
  • A loose pipe connection

Below, we’ll look at these issues in more detail so you have a better understanding of why the water heater is leaking and what should be done to fix the leak.

Want your water heater repaired ASAP?

Contact Climate Design. We provide same-day water heater repairs in both the Clearwater-St. Pete and Bradenton areas.

No matter what time you need us—even at 7pm on Sunday—we’re here to help.

Potential Cause #1: Cracked tank

Over time, the pressure and heat inside a tank water heater can build up and corrode the inside of the tank, causing it to rust and crack. The water begins to leak from the body of the water heater.

Unfortunately, if your tank has rusted or cracked, it can’t be repaired and you will need to replace the water heater.

Potential Cause #2: Worn-out drain valve

A drain valve

All water heaters have a drain valve (pictured above) that plumbers use to drain the entire tank for maintenance. Normally, the drain valve only “leaks” water when the valve is opened for plumbing maintenance or repairs.

But the drain valve can wear out over time, causing a leak.

If your drain valve is leaking, contact a plumbing professional to replace the worn-out valve. It’s best to leave the replacement to a plumber to avoid risking damage to your water heater.

Potential Cause #3: Abnormally high pressure in the tank

Is water leaking from a CPVC or copper pipe at the top of your water heater tank? If the answer is yes, your water heater could be discharging water to reduce pressure in the tank.

Checks for leaks in discharge pipe

This is important because pressure can build up in the tank when the temperature of the water heater is set too high.

Once pressure starts to build up in the tank, a safety device called the Pressure Relief Valve automatically kicks in. The valve uses the discharge pipe (the CPVC or copper pipe seen above) to drain water out of the tank.

If you see water leaking from the discharge pipe, contact a plumber immediately. The leak indicates that there is too much pressure in the tank, which could cause your water heater to explode.

Potential Cause #4: Loose pipe connection

The connections between the inlet/outlet pipes and the tank

Your water heater should have two pipes: an inlet pipe for incoming cool water and an outlet pipe for outgoing heated water.

Over time, the connections between the inlet/outlet pipes to the water heater’s tank can rust, causing the connections to loosen. Once they are loose, the pipes can leak, causing water to pool on the top of your water heater.

To fix this, you can try using a wrench to tighten the connections. However, if the leaking continues, call a plumber to inspect the connections to determine if they should be replaced.

Want to fix your water heater leak ASAP? Contact Climate Design

No matter what is causing your water heater to leak, you can trust our expert plumbers to accurately diagnose the cause and provide you with a repair quote that will always be honored.

At Climate Design, we value our customers above all else and that’s why our customers stay with us for 10, 20, 30 and even 40 years.

Learn more about our water heater repairs in the Clearwater-St. Pete and Bradenton areas.