Why Is My Water Heater Leaking?

A leaking water heater can be a big headache for homeowners, not just driving up your utility bills but also potentially causing significant water damage and further damage to the unit itself. As such, your team at Narrow Path Plumbing is here to help you understand why your water heater might be leaking and what you can do about it. 

Before we dive in, just a heads-up: Make sure to turn off your unit before starting any troubleshooting. Your safety comes first! 

Cause Number 1: Examine the Inlet and Outlet Connections  

A common cause of water heater leaks is a loose connection between the cold or hot water inlet and outlet pipes. These connections can become unsteady due to changing temperatures and regular use. When they’re not secure, leaks can happen, showing up as a small puddle around the heater base or a slow drip from the pipes. 

To see if these connections are the problem, check them at the top of your water heater. If you notice water around these spots, they might be the culprits. You can try tightening them with a wrench, but be careful not to overdo it and cause more damage. 

Cause Number 2: Examine the Pressure Relief Valve   

Another possible cause is a faulty pressure relief valve that’s supposed to release excess pressure from the tank. If it doesn’t work properly, it can lead to water leakage. Plus, a malfunctioning valve can be risky because it might mean the tank is under too much pressure, which could lead to a burst. 

To check if this valve is causing issues, gently lift its lever. If water comes out, the valve is working. However, if it keeps leaking after you let go, you might need to replace it.  

Cause Number 3: Examine the Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve   

The temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve, like the pressure relief valve, can lead to water heater leaks if it’s faulty or loose. A leaking T&P valve might mean the water’s too hot or the tank pressure’s too high. Both situations are potentially dangerous and need quick attention. 

If you think the T&P valve might be the problem, check for water around it. If it’s damp, you might need to replace it. 

Cause Number 4: Examine the Inlet Valve   

The inlet valve, which directs cold water into the water heater, could also cause leaks if it’s damaged or not sealed properly. A leaky inlet valve often leads to water pooling around the heater’s base. You might spot a steady drip or a small stream of water from the valve area. 

To tackle this problem, check the inlet valve for any signs of damage or wear. You might need to tighten it or even replace it. 

Call a Professional Plumber:  

If you’ve tried all the troubleshooting steps and your water heater still leaks, it’s a good idea to call a professional plumber. Some problems can be too tricky or risky for DIY solutions. A pro can accurately identify the issue and offer a lasting fix, whether it’s replacing parts or recommending a new water heater. 

Ignoring a dripping water heater can lead to a lot of stress and damage if not taken care of quickly. Knowing the common causes and following some troubleshooting steps can help you fix many issues on your own. But if your water heater problem still persists, feel free to contact us! 

Our expert team is always here to help you keep your home safe and comfy. Call Narrow Path Plumbing today at (937) 623-2619, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!  

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