Why is my hot-water heater leaking?

A leaky hot water heater can cause lots of damage inside your home. There are quite a few things that cause your hot-water heater to leak and we are going to look at all of them below.

Faulty temperature and pressure relief valve

The temperature and pressure relief valve, sometimes called a pop-off valve releases excess pressure in the tank. This valve can begin to leak and cause problems.

To test the valve, place a bucket under it and slowly open the valve to let it spray into the bucket. Be very careful, this is hot water we are dealing with. Once you have sprayed a bit of water out of the valve, close it back and see if it is still leaking.

If the valve is still leaking, try grabbing a pipe wrench and tightening it a little bit. If it continues to leak, it is time to replace it. The good news is that they are only around $20.

Reduce thermostat settings

If you lower the thermostat it will cause the hot-water heater to have less pressure inside which may stop your leak.

Loose pipe connections

One of the most common reasons your hot water heater will begin to leak is a loose pipe connection. Grab a pipe wrench and tighten any pipe connections you can find. Be careful not to over-tighten any connections. You don’t want to break a pipe and create a mess.

Heating element

First, check the bolts holding the heating element in. If water is leaking around these bolts they will need to be tightened. If water is still leaking out after tightening the bolts you will have to replace the gasket around the heating element.

hot-water heater tank

Now we have gotten to the most expensive option. Check all around the tank to see if it has sprung a leak. If the tank is leaking out of its side you will have to replace it.

The tank has two walls and you cannot patch the inner wall. This means the tank will have to be replaced and that can be expensive. The good news is that your new tank will last many years and if your old tank was too small, this is a great time to upgrade!

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