Water heater leaks should never be ignored. Although the problem may start small, leaks of any kind can quickly lead to countless other issues — including costly water damage.

If you want to know why your water heater is leaking, it’s important to know that there are several potential reasons this problem can occur. Old age, high water pressure, and neglected maintenance can all play a role in leaks. Without further ado, let’s discuss what causes a water heater to leak and what you can do to address it.

Your Water Heater Tank Is Getting Old

On average, a water heater tank can last 8-12 years. Even if you drain the water heater in your home on a regular basis and schedule regular maintenance services, there will come a time when your tank starts to experience wear and tear; this damage can lead to water tank leaks.

Did you know that the leak’s location can tell you where the problem lies? Often, leaks from the bottom of the tank can suggest that your water heater has reached the end of its lifespan.

Like all appliances and systems in your home, your tankless water heater will need to be replaced eventually. If your Syracuse, NY, hot water heater is at the end of its life, you’ll want to schedule a replacement as soon as possible. The last thing any homeowner wants is to hop in the shower and find a complete lack of hot water.

The Drain Valve Is Loose

If you’re experiencing a water leak at the bottom of the tank, a loose drain valve could also be the culprit. This drain valve is used to drain the tank and can be used to flush out any sediment buildup. You may think that it’s normal for a drain valve to drip a little — but a leak is certainly cause for concern.

Although a loose drain valve can be what causes a water heater to leak, you can usually tighten this valve to make sure that it’s functioning correctly. Before you work on the drain valve, you will want to shut off your cold water supply. If tightening the valve doesn’t fix the problem, you’ll need to replace it.

The T&P Valve Is Damaged

Your water heater has many critical parts, including the temperature and pressure relief valve, also known as the T&P valve. This pressure relief valve regulates the water pressure and temperature inside your water heater tank. As the name suggests, this component will release some water if the pressure becomes too high. However, this valve is also susceptible to leaks.

What causes a water heater to leak regarding the T&P valve? Essentially, it all comes down to high pressure inside the tank. This excessive pressure can break or damage the valve, causing an unexpected and inconvenient leak. If this is the case, you will likely need to replace the entire valve.

Is a leaking water heater dangerous? In some instances, the answer is “yes.” Although it’s rare, your water heater can potentially explode due to high-pressure buildup. As you can see, fixing a malfunctioning T&P valve is critical.

The Anode Rod Is Corroded

Although it’s usually more common for your water heater tank to leak from the bottom, leaks at the top can still occur. Why is your water heater leaking from this specific location? The answer to this question most likely has to do with a corroded anode rod.

Your water heater’s anode rod has one main job — to keep the tank from corroding. In order to do this, the anode rod is specifically designed to attract corrosive materials in its place. As a result, this device can wear out and corrode over time. When this happens, you may find leaks occurring at the top of your tank, right where the anode rod is located.

Contact the Water Heater Experts at AP Plumbing

The electric water heaters in our homes also play a significant role in our daily lives, whether we realize it or not. From washing our hands to cleaning the dishes after a meal, we use hot water for so many tasks around the home. When your water heater doesn’t work like it should or experiences issues, it’s crucial you fix the problem in a timely manner.

Now that you have a better understanding of what causes a water heater to leak, you can try troubleshooting the problem on your own. If you’re struggling to find the cause of the leak or need assistance with a repair, don’t hesitate to contact AP Plumbing for help. Our team of experienced technicians specializes in Rochester, NY, water heater repair and replacement services.

If you want to know why your water heater is leaking, call AP Plumbing today!

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