Why is My Water Heater Leaking?

Your Phoenix home’s water heater is used a lot, and over time, the usage can lead to issues. While some water heater problems may be easy to identify, others you may not even know are happening. If you have recently discovered unexplained water and leaking around your water heater, you shouldn’t just wipe it up and move on, as a small dribble can become a major problem quickly and lead to massive water damage for your home. Once you have discovered the water escaping your tank, you will want to resolve it right away, not just to prevent major destruction, but to also avoid not having hot water in your home. The first thing you are probably asking, if you find yourself with this problem, is why is my water heater leaking? We are going to look at some of the most common causes for this below.

Why is My Water Heater Leaking?

If you notice leaks and puddling around your water heater, you have a problem, but why is your water heater leaking? This seepage can be caused by multiple things, let’s check out some of the most common reasons below.

  • Age of Your Unit: Slight fractures develop over time as the metal tank expands and contracts with heat, over and over again. The average lifespan of a water heater is around 10 years, so if yours is older than that, it can cause your water heater to start having issues, such as leaking. A leaking water tank can also result from rust buildup that causes internal corrosion. As the inside of the tank corrodes, cracks form that allow water to escape. The more time your water heater has been used, the more at risk it is for wear and tear leading to issues.
  • Loose or Bad Drain Valve: The drain valve is a crucial part of a water heater that allows you to empty and/or clean the tank. The drain valve tends to loosen over time, allowing water to leak from its base. If this is the case for your drain valve, you might try tightening it yourself or calling in a plumber. There may be a chance that your drain valve is simply worn out, in which case, you’ll have to replace it entirely (Forbes).
  • High Pressure: If you are wondering why your water heater is leaking, it could be caused by too much pressure in the tank. Think about a soda bottle. If the pressure can’t escape properly, it can cause cracks. When the hot water within your water heater creates steam, the steam fills the empty space and in turn, creates pressure. When the water temperature is set too high, or if water enters the system at high pressures, the heater pressure increases.
  • Malfunctioning Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve: Remember that pressure we just talked about? Well there is a built in feature in water heaters to prevent that from happening and to regulate the amount of pressure in the tank. If there is an issue with that valve, just like we mentioned above, the excess pressure may be too much for your tank to hold, creating cracks and holes in the tank.
  • Loose Inlet and Outlet Connections: During the heating process, cold water comes into the tank through the inlet connection, and hot water exits through the outlet connection to travel through the pipes in your home. As with drain and pressure relief valves, these connections can loosen over time and cause leaks. You can try to tighten these on your own, but we recommend contacting a local Phoenix plumber, in case there are other issues causing your water heater to leak.

While there are other things that may be the reason your water heater is leaking, the above are the most common. With age and use, as we mentioned, parts of your tank can corrode and go bad and sediment can build up creating cracks and leaks. The most common cause of water heater leaks is just time.

If you have noticed your water heater leaking or other signs that you may need a new water heater, Arizona Comfort Specialists can help. Regardless of the current issue with your hot water heater, our experts diagnose and repair hot water heaters in accordance to brand standards. ACS provides both tank and tankless water heater services. Contact us today.

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