Why is Your Water Heater Leaking? Don’t Ignore These Warning Signs!

The most common cause of a leaking water heater is a failed internal tank. If your water heater is leaking, it may indicate a serious problem that requires prompt attention.

Your water heater is an essential component of your home and daily routine. From bathing to cleaning, it is critical to ensure that your water heater is functioning correctly. A leaking water heater is not only a hassle but can also be a significant safety concern.

Water leaks can lead to mold growth, structural damage, and even electrical hazards. A leaking water heater may be a symptom of a more serious problem that requires the attention of a skilled technician. In this article, we will explore the most common causes of water heater leaks and the steps you can take to address the issue effectively.

Why is Your Water Heater Leaking? Don't Ignore These Warning Signs!

Credit: butlerplumbing.ca

Common Causes Of Water Heater Leaks

Water heaters are an essential component of every household. They provide warm water so that homeowners can shower, do laundry, and clean dishes. However, it can be alarming when you notice water pooling around your water heater. If you’re faced with a water heater leak, it can lead to water damage, higher utility bills, and even dangerous situations.

We’ll discuss some common causes of water heater leaks that you should know about.

Sediment Buildup

Over a period, sediment can build-up inside the water heater tank, leading to corrosion and leaks. Sediments commonly come from minerals and other particles that accumulate in the tank when water gets heated. Those who reside in areas with hard water can be more prone to this issue.

Here are some things to remember about sediment buildup in your water heater:

  • Sediment can cause your water heater to work harder, thus leading to higher energy bills.
  • Sediment can potentially damage the tank’s inner lining and generate rust.
  • Sediment buildup can lead to leaks in the water heater.


Corrosion can happen in any appliance that interacts continually with water. When it comes to a water heater, rust and damage on the interior walls, pipes, and valves of the appliance are signs of corrosion. Corrosion can be the results of a variety of factors, most typical being the age of the system or a lack of maintenance checks.

Here are some things to remember about corrosion and your water heater:

  • Corrosion can create holes on the surface of the tank and induce leaks.
  • Corrosion can create cracks on the internal fittings, which can also lead to leaks.
  • Water discoloration, low water pressure, and strange noises can be signs of corrosion on the system.

Faulty Temperature-Pressure Relief Valve

The temperature-pressure relief (tpr) valve assures that the water heater’s pressure doesn’t go beyond a certain level. The tpr valve can create leaking problems if it malfunctions or releases water.

Here are some things to remember about a faulty tpr valve:

  • A faulty tpr valve can cause the water to expand inside your water heater due to high pressure.
  • It’s essential to have your tpr valve regularly inspected by a professional.
  • If the valve releases water frequently, it could signify a problem that requires fixing.

Loose Or Damaged Pipes

If you have loose or damaged pipes connected to your water heater, it can cause leaks, and other plumbing problems.

Here are some things to remember about loose or damaged pipes:

  • Pipe leaks can happen due to corrosion or wear and tear.
  • Loose pipes can also occur due to property settling or scale build-up.
  • Improperly connected pipes can lead to leaks.

Excessive Pressure

If the water pressure going into your water heater is too high, it can lead to leaks, damaged pipes, and property damage.

Here are some things to remember if you suspect excessive pressure in your water heater:

  • Pressure gauge readings can help determine if the pressure is outside safe limits.
  • A professional plumber can reduce the pressure to lower levels if it’s too high.
  • Excessive pressure can cause leaks, damage valves, and rupture the water heater tank.

Being aware of these common causes of water heater leaks and taking preventative steps such as regular maintenance and check-ups can help prevent such leaks from happening in the future.

Signs Of A Leaking Water Heater

If you’re noticing water pooling around the base of your water heater, there’s a strong chance you have a leak. But leaks aren’t always visible, so it’s essential to keep an eye out for other signs of a leaking water heater.

Here are some indications that your water heater may be leaking:

Water Around The Base Of The Tank

If you notice standing water around the base of the tank, there’s a chance that your tank is leaking. It’s essential to deal with the issue right away, or it could lead to further damage.

  • Check for moisture around the fittings and connections.
  • Check if the water is coming from underneath the tank.

Discolored Water

Another sign of a leaking water heater is water that appears rusty or discolored. The sediment buildup in your tank can cause discoloration. However, if the water looks rusty or brown, it could be a sign of a rusted tank or rusted pipes.

  • Check the supply water. If the supply water is discolored and continues to be discolored for several hours, it may be a problem with your utility company.
  • Check for sediment buildup in your tank.

Strange Noises From The Tank

An aging or leaking water heater may also make strange noises. If you hear popping or rumbling noises that weren’t there before, it could be a sign of a water heater leak.

  • Check for sediment buildup in the tank, which can cause the popping or rumbling noises.
  • Check for leaks in the temperature and pressure relief valve.

Decreased Water Pressure

If you’ve noticed a sudden drop in water pressure, it could be a sign of a leaking water heater. As mineral buildup accumulates inside the tank, it can clog the pipes and reduce water pressure.

  • Check for blockages in the pipes leading from the water heater.
  • Check for sediment buildup in the tank and pipes.

Increasing Utility Bills

If you notice your utility bills increasing, it could indicate a leaking water heater. An inefficient water heater that’s struggling to keep up with demand will use more energy and increase your bills.

  • Consider the age of your water heater. A water heater over ten years old may be less efficient.
  • Check for leaks in the tank or pipes.

Remember, if you suspect a leaking water heater, don’t ignore the signs. It’s essential to address the issue quickly to prevent any further damage.

Potential Consequences Of Ignoring A Leaking Water Heater

A water heater is an essential part of any home. It provides hot water for cleaning dishes, taking showers, and much more. However, a leaking water heater can cause a lot of damage if not addressed immediately. Here are some potential consequences of ignoring a leaking water heater:

Property Damage

  • Water damage can cause problems such as mold, mildew and wood rot.
  • A leaking water heater can damage the drywall, ceiling, flooring, and furniture.
  • The damage caused by a leaking water heater could cause water to seep into the foundation and cause costly structural damage.

Health Hazards

  • A leaking water heater can cause a build-up of mold and mildew, which can lead to respiratory problems and allergies.
  • Inhaling natural gas is hazardous and could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Energy Waste

  • A leaking water heater causes energy waste, resulting in an increased energy bill that could become a permanent problem.
  • Leaks cause the water heater to work harder than usual, eventually leading to the breakdown of the entire system.

Costly Repair Bills

  • Delaying repairs on a leaking water heater may cause more damage, leading to more expensive repair bills.
  • Neglecting to address a leaking water heater can lead to replacing the entire system, which can be more expensive than the initial repairs.

A leaking water heater can be a nuisance that results in detrimental consequences. Addressing the problem promptly can save you from expensive repair bills and long-term property damage. If you’re unsure whether your water heater is leaking, don’t hesitate to contact a plumbing professional for a routine inspection.

Preventing Water Heater Leaks

Why Is My Water Heater Leaking? Preventing Water Heater Leaks

A water heater leaking is a common problem that households face. A leaking water heater can cause various damages, including mold and water damage to your home or business. The good news is that you can prevent water heater leaks by keeping track of your water heater’s maintenance.

Here are some tips to help you prevent water heater leaks:

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential to preventing water heater leaks. Here are some key points to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining your water heater:

  • Schedule an annual inspection for your water heater by a professional.
  • Check your water heater’s t&p valve regularly and ensure that it’s in good working condition.
  • Make sure that your water heater is free from any debris or dirt buildup around its base.
  • Remove any flammable materials that may be stored in the same room as your water heater.

Flushing The Tank

Flushing your water heater’s tank is essential to maintain its efficiency and prevent leaks. Here are some key points to keep in mind about flushing your water heater’s tank:

  • Flushing your water heater’s tank helps to remove any sediment or buildup that can cause pressure buildup, which can lead to leaks.
  • Sediment buildup can also cause your water heater to work harder, reducing its efficiency and life span.
  • You should flush your water heater’s tank at least once a year.

Replacing Old Or Damaged Parts

Replacing old or damaged parts is an essential preventive maintenance step that is often overlooked. Here are some key points to keep in mind about replacing old or damaged parts:

  • Water heaters have a limited lifespan, and its parts wear out over time.
  • You should replace your water heater’s anode rod every 3-5 years to prevent tank corrosion.
  • Other parts, such as the pressure relief valve and t&p valve, may also need replacement depending on their age and condition.

Monitoring The Temperature And Pressure

Monitoring the temperature and pressure of your water heater is an essential step in preventing leaks. Here are some key points to keep in mind about monitoring the temperature and pressure:

  • Check the temperature of your water heater regularly, and ensure that it’s set between 120-140 degrees fahrenheit to prevent overheating and excessive pressure buildup.
  • Check the pressure relief valve of your water heater regularly and ensure that it’s working correctly.

By following these preventive maintenance steps, you can help prevent water heater leaks, prolong your water heater’s lifespan, and save money on repair costs.

Frequently Asked Questions For Why Is My Water Heater Leaking

What Causes Water Heaters To Leak?

Water heater leaks can be caused by a variety of reasons such as corrosion, loose fittings, high pressure, or a malfunctioning valve.

Is A Leaking Water Heater Dangerous?

A leaking water heater can pose potential safety hazards such as electrical shocks or gas leaks, which can be hazardous to health.

Can A Leaking Water Heater Be Repaired?

Yes, a leaking water heater can be repaired depending on the severity of the problem. It’s advisable to call a professional for diagnosis.

What Should I Do If My Water Heater Is Leaking?

Turn off the power supply or gas line leading to the water heater. Then call a professional plumber to help fix the problem safely and efficiently.

When Should I Replace My Leaking Water Heater?

If your water heater is old, past its warranty period and leaks persist even after maintenance or repairs, it’s time to replace it for safety reasons.


Now that you have a better understanding of the common causes of water heater leaks, you can take the necessary steps to address the issue as soon as possible. Remember, ignoring a leaking water heater can lead to more serious problems down the line, such as water damage or even mold growth.

If you notice any signs of a leak in your water heater, such as water pooling around the unit or decreased hot water supply, don’t wait to call a professional plumber for help. With prompt attention and proper maintenance, you can prevent leaks and keep your water heater running smoothly for years to come.

Regularly inspecting and maintaining your water heater is the key to avoiding leaks and other plumbing issues, so make sure to stay on top of your routine maintenance tasks to keep your home safe and comfortable.