Water heater leaks can come from a lot of causes, together with cracks from tank corrosion, mineral and sediment buildup, corrosion of inner components, unfastened or damaged valves, leaky connections and overly excessive water stress.

How do scorching water heaters work and the way lengthy do they final?

Normal water heaters maintain from 20 to 80 gallons of water, and so they work by releasing heated water from the highest of the tank whenever you activate a scorching water faucet. Then, to exchange the launched scorching water, chilly water enters the system via a dip tube on the backside of the tank. This ensures the water heater is all the time full

U.S. Division of Power Workplace of Power Effectivity & Renewable Power. Storage Water Heaters. Accessed Jul 8, 2024.


Conventional water heaters for single-family houses sometimes final 10-12 years, and warmth pump water heaters can final so long as 13-15 years

Water leaking from a water heater means there’s an issue that wants quick consideration. You could must restore or exchange the unit (or the malfunctioning half) earlier than the water heater turns into additional broken or causes water harm to your own home

7 widespread causes of water heater leaks

Water heater leaks can stem from quite a lot of causes, some critical and a few simply repaired. Listed below are the commonest:

1. Tank corrosion cracks 

As water heaters age, rust can corrode the within of the tank, creating cracks that trigger the tank to leak. You could possibly patch small cracks as a short-term repair, however you’ll want to exchange the water heater earlier than too lengthy.

2. Tank cracks from mineral buildup

Sure water heaters include a 3rd glass-lined tank. With the sort of unit, hardened minerals might kind deposits throughout temperature fluctuations, inflicting cracks within the glass, which result in water leakage. When this occurs, you’ll want to exchange the glass-lined tank, or in case your water heater is nearing the tip of its life, go for a brand new unit

3. Tank cracks from sediment buildup 

Poorly maintained water heaters can crack from sentiment that accumulates on the backside of the tank. When you see the sort of leak, which could be from gentle to extreme, you’ll want to exchange the unit

4. Anode rod corrosion

The anode rod helps entice and take away corrosive supplies from contained in the water tank. Nonetheless, the corrosive supplies may also corrode the anode rod to the purpose the place it’s virtually gone. When the anode rod has deteriorated to that extent, the tank turns into extra susceptible to cracks and leaks — and a leak can kind within the area the anode rod used to fill. Monitoring the situation of the anode rod and changing it as wanted can prolong the helpful lifetime of your water heater

5. Unfastened drain valve 

The drain valve is a valve you need to use to empty and clear the water heater. It might loosen over time from steady use, inflicting leaks. You could possibly repair the leak by tightening the valve; nonetheless, in some circumstances, changing the valve could also be crucial.

6. Unfastened inlet and outlet connections

The inlet and outlet connections, which permit chilly water to circulation into the tank and scorching water to circulation into your house’s fixtures, can loosen over time, leading to leaks close to the highest of the tank. Tightening the connections (or having a plumber achieve this) sometimes resolves this difficulty.

7. Overly excessive stress and/or malfunctioning pressure-relief valves

Water heaters can leak when overly excessive stress leaves water nowhere to go however out via cracks. Frequent causes of elevated stress in water heaters are excessive temperature (water expands when heated) and stress valves that malfunction or change into unfastened. If that is so along with your water heater, tightening the valve might resolve the issue, or the valve might have to be changed.

What to do in case your water heater is leaking

In case your water heater is leaking, there are two steps you’ll be able to take instantly to forestall accidents and harm to your own home:

  1. Shut off the water provide to the water heater. Your water heater might have a shut-off valve; if it doesn’t, you’ll want to make use of your own home’s water shut-off valve.

  2. Shut off the facility provide to your water heater. When you’ve got a gasoline water heater, shut off the gasoline provide line to the unit. For an electrical water heater, flip off the breaker in your electrical panel.

As soon as these security measures are in place, then, you’ll be able to attempt to decide the place the leak is coming from and when you ought to name in knowledgeable.

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