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Common Causes of Water Heater Leaks and How Theyre Repaired

Common Causes of Water Heater Leaks and How They’re Repaired

When there’s a water heater leak, it usually means bad news. This minor issue can turn into a huge problem if left unfixed, so it should be handled professionally and as quickly as possible.

A small drop of water may be easy to clean up and only causes minimal damage to your floors. However, it can immediately turn into a flood that can lead to serious damage to your subfloors or worse, your drywall.

That’s why it’s very important to properly diagnose the root source of the leak. It’s also necessary to determine if there’s a threat of a more serious problem, and if so, how great this threat is.

That said, here are the most common causes of water heater leaks and how to repair them.


One common reason for a water heater to start leaking is when too much pressure builds up inside. When this occurs, the excess pressure will force the water to leak out of the tank to minimize pressure. This often happens because the hot water temperature is set too high.

Additionally, excess water pressure can be caused by an exterior water supply that comes in at high pressure. Another possible cause is a defective temperature pressure relief valve, which can only be repaired by a licensed plumber.

Loose Drain Valve

Most water heater leaks come from a loose drain valve. A leak will stem from the drain valve if it starts to become loose. Stopping a leaking drain valve is easy: you just use a wrench to tighten it up. Just be careful not to over-tighten it. Tighten it until the valve is snug and avoid forcing it.

Tank Leak

Common Causes of Water Heater Leaks and How Theyre Repaired1If your water heater has been through the basic inspection steps but still showed a cause for leaking, then the problem might be with the water heater tank. This typically shows as a serious, flooding leak and not the small, continuous drips.

Read this for steps on what to do when you find water under the tank of your water heater!

If you see that the tank has ruptured and continues to leak, the water heater can no longer be fixed. A professional can help you decide on which water heater to get and help install it for you.


Sometimes, homeowners will think that there is a leak in their water heater when in fact there is actually nothing wrong. It is natural for the condensation to happen on a water heater. As cold water enters the tank first, it can result in condensation when the air outside is hot. To remove any of the condensation, you can just wipe your water heater down.

Benefits of Calling a Professional for Help

No matter the extent of damage caused by the water heater leak, it’s always best to call a licensed plumber to check your unit. They are trained and certified to make any necessary repairs or replacements if you have a leaking water heater.

A plumber can replace the leaking valve if it’s the root source of the leak. A professional plumbing company can also replace your old water heater and install a brand new system for your home. Those are just a few of the many benefits of trusting the professionals for this type of job.