Water Heater Leaking from Bottom: Where is it coming from?
If you find a pool of water underneath your water heater it could be a serious problem. A leak from the bottom of the tank is the most common place to find a leak, and is usually the most cause for concern. What exactly could be the cause? Here are three possible scenarios:
Water Heater Leaking from Bottom Cause #1: A leak from the temperature and pressure relief valve
The temperature and pressure relief valve is designed to release water if there is too much pressure inside the tank, or if the water gets too hot. The valve is equipped with a discharge tube that runs from the valve to the floor. This tube is in place to make sure that any water that leaks from the valve is directed downwards, towards the floor, rather than outwards where it could be harmful. If there is a puddle of water at the bottom of your hot water tank check the inside of the discharge tube for any moisture. If you find some, the problem is likely the temperature and pressure relief valve. Either there is too much pressure in the tank or the valve is faulty. This problem is usually fixable by either replacing the valve or calling a plumber to deal with the internal pressure problem.
Water Heater Leaking from Bottom Cause #2: A leak from the drain valve
Every water heater has a drain valve at the bottom of the tank that is used to drain the tank to remove any built up sediment. If the valve is faulty, it will begin to leak water that will pool at the bottom of the tank. If the valve isn’t water tight, water may also start seeping out of the edges of the valve.
A leaky drain valve is very fixable. Replacing the drain valve will usually solve the problem. If the valve is faulty you can also screw on a brass garden hose cap to stop the leak.
Water Heater Leaking from Bottom Cause #3: A leak from the tank
Most leaks come from the hot water tank. This means there is an internal problem with the tank. One of its components has sprung a leak which has pooled at the bottom of the tank and is slowly leaking out.
Usually, the cause of this is sediment build-up inside the tank. If this sediment is left long enough it will begin to crack and rust the tank, eventually leading to a leak.
A leak from the tank itself almost always means the water heater needs to be replaced. In this scenario you can either contact a professional plumber to investigate further or you can purchase a new water heater.
Water Heater Leaking from Bottom: How to prevent it
Performing regular water heater maintenance will help extend the life of your water heater. Flushing your water heater and checking the anode rod once a year will help prevent sediment build-up, which will in turn lower the chances of a leak.
Is your water heater leaking? Click here for our complete guide on how to deal with a leaking water heater.
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