Understanding Water Heater Leaking: Causes, Signs, Solutions and Prevention

Have you ever noticed your water heater leaking? This leakage could be just a few drops or might be a huge pool of water gushing out of your plumbing system. Whatever the case might be it’s extremely important to fix the leak right away. 

In this comprehensive blog, we will discuss the common causes of water heater leaks and what you can do to fix them. We’ll also cover the various reasons why water heaters leak and provide tips on how to maintain your water heater to prevent leaks. 

We’ll also explore the signs that indicate your water heater may be leaking and what steps you should take if you suspect a leak. Even if your leaking is not that major, it might add up over time, and discuss how you can solve the issue by help of a professional water damage remediation service.

So, let’s dive in and learn everything you need to know about water heater leaks.

What Causes Water Heater Leaking?

If you detect your home’s water heater leaking, you should address it right away because the repercussions of a long-term leak can be severe. If you don’t fix the leak soon, the water will harm your flooring, walls, and furnishings. These are some possible causes of water heater leaks and what you can do about them:

Old Tank 

One main reason for your water heater leaking could be tankstyle water heaters that are older than 15 years. As the unit ages, the parts wear out, the water doesn’t keep its warmth, and leaks occur more frequently. 

Water heater leaking could occur when rust forms in the tank. This leads to corrosion, which allows water to exit through cracks. When the water heater reaches the end of its life, the only thing to do is replace it.

Leaky Valve 

When dealing with a water heater leaking, the first step is to inspect the drain valve at the water heater’s base. This usually looks like an outside valve to which you would connect a garden hose. Examine the valve to see whether it is loose.

If it is, you must tighten it and check to see if it leaks again. If there is no water leakage, the valve may have been bumped in the preceding days, loosening it.

Too Much Pressure 

You must check the pressure in your water tank, which is a crucial indicator, since too much water pressure might harm the equipment. This creates significant pressure buildup, which bursts pipe and causes water heater leaking.

Look for the relief valve, which is usually made of brass or bronze and has a little test lever attached to it, to check the pressure in your water heater. The water heater is built to withstand pressure and should be able to manage 150 pounds per square inch.

If the pressure exceeds the limit, or due to aging equipment, you’ll notice that your water heater will start to leak.

A expert will feel along the relief valve drain line to test the relief valve. Except for the connection point with the valve, the drain line should be chilly to the touch. If the drain line is hot all the way through, this indicates that the relief valve is open and has to be replaced immediately.

Malfunctioning Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve

Faulty temperature and pressure (T&P) is a common cause of water heater leaks due to sediment buildup, overheating, and high water pressure. To prevent faulty T&P and subsequent leaks, it is important to have your water heater inspected regularly by a professional and maintain it by flushing the tank regularly. 

If you suspect your water heater is leaking, turn off the power and water supply and contact a professional immediately. They can diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs to prevent further damage and ensure the safety of your home and family.

Inlet & Outlet Connections 

Another common cause of water heater leaks is faulty inlet and outlet connections. The inlet and outlet connections are where the cold water supply and hot water output connect to the tank. Over time, these connections can become loose or corroded, leading to water leaks.

Loose connections can cause water to leak around the fittings and onto the floor. Corrosion, on the other hand, can cause the connections to deteriorate and develop small holes or cracks that can also result in water leaks.

To prevent leaks from faulty inlet and outlet connections, it’s important to have your water heater inspected regularly by an experienced plumber. They can check the connections for signs of corrosion or wear and tighten them if they’re loose. If the connections are damaged or corroded, the parts need to be replaced.

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In addition to professional inspections, it’s also important to visually inspect your water heater periodically. Check the connections for any signs of moisture or corrosion and tighten them if necessary. If you notice any signs of damage or leaks, turn off the power and water supply to the unit and contact a professional for repairs.

By addressing faulty inlet and outlet connections promptly, you can prevent water leaks from causing damage to your home and ensure the continued functioning of your water heater.

Internal Tank 

Tank water heaters conduct their processes using two shells. The external shell insulates the inside shell, which retains the water. A final layer of metal is applied to both shells. Water heater leaks in the inside shell are difficult to detect, although most of the time these are caused due to age and deterioration. This type of leak does not occur from the tank’s exterior

Sediment Collection

Water heaters collect sediment at the bottom of the tank as they age. Homeowners who clean the water out of the tank on a regular basis rarely have this problem. Not cleaning the tanks regularly might cause sediment to pile up, which leads cracks to emerge. 

Water can leak through these cracks. Tank leaks need the purchase of an altogether new water heater, which is costly, therefore keep the tank clean on a semi-regular basis. Learn more on why you should consider professional help while facing drainage issues.

Cracked Storage Tank

Some water heaters feature an extra tank called a storage tank that increases the amount of water they can hold. Glass is sometimes used to line storage tanks, however, it can break when minerals build and calcify on its surface, or when hot water exerts too much pressure on it. 

Because these flaws can create leaks, you should replace your storage tank if it is cracked.

The Anode Rod Has Corroded 

An anode rod is an important component of a water heater that absorbs corrosive substances while keeping the remainder of the water heater safe. As time goes by, the anode rod is depleted, and water will leak through the anode rod. It’s best to check your anode rod and see the deterioration. If completely depleted, replacing the anode rod will solve your water heater leaking problem. 

If all this seems too big of a headache, it’s best to contact plumbing professionals like Citizen Plumbing to solve your water heater leaking problems!

Signs of Your Water Heater Leaking

Strange Noises  

If you hear strange noises, such as banging or popping sounds, coming from the water heater, it could be a sign of sediment buildup in the tank. This can cause the tank to overheat and develop leaks.

Rusty Water

If the water from your hot water taps seems rusty or discolored or smells awkward, it could indicate a tank leak. Corrosion and sediment buildup in the tank can discolor the water and cause it to stink

Old Age 

If it’s been long enough that no one in the family could remember when the heater was placed, it’s time to replace it. On average, water heaters can last up to about 10 years. Depending on the unit’s durability, installation quality, water quality, and climate, this number can vary by a few years.

Inconsistent Water Temperature

Another telltale sign that your water heater is failing is inconsistency in water temperature. If you’re lucky, you might have a thermostat problem that can be fixed easily. You have a greater problem if the heating elements are broken, which would indicate that you need to replace the whole water heater unit itself

Water Leakage

The worst sign could be water leaking itself. Leaks are never a good indication, regardless of what is leaking in your home. In terms of water heaters, if you notice a puddle or a small amount of water surrounding your unit, call for assistance immediately. When your water heater begins to leak, the heater can rust. 

The longer you neglect this issue, the worse it will become, and no one wants a flood in their home, right?

Water Heater Leaking In Home

Where Is Water Heater Leaking Precisely?


First, assess whether the water you’re seeing is condensation or a leak. Homeowners are prone to overthinking things, so double-check before calling a plumber. Condensation occurs when the temperature in the room differs greatly from the temperature in the tank. Condensation occurs, for example, if the tank is very hot while the room is cool. Condensation does not imply that there is an issue with the water heater.

Under Determine Location

Water heater leaks can arise seemingly out of nowhere. In these circumstances, you will most likely observe pools of water beneath the unit. The most likely reason is excessive pressure. When there is a pressure leak, the water finds any tiny gap to seep through, and the leak ceases when the pressure drops. This makes locating the source difficult unless you catch the leak as it occurs.

Top Leaks

The input and outlet connections are frequently to blame when water spills from the tank’s top. Tank cracks on the top are uncommon, although they can happen. Other possible causes include faulty T&P valves and anode rod corrosion. Fortunately, repairs, replacements, or tightening of the components are frequently all that is required to fix this type of leak. Only a crack necessitates the purchase of a new water heater.

Bottom Leaks

Leaks from the water heater’s bottom are either minor or necessitate replacement. These water heater leaks are caused by either the drain valve or the tank itself. Drain valves are normally tightened, but if the tank is leaking, the entire thing must be replaced. These replacements are costly, but they are required.

Leaks In The Tank

Finally, leaks inside the tank of a water heater are invisible from the outside. While water frequently accumulates in the bottom of the unit, this does not imply that the leak stems there. The internal tank crack might be anywhere. The primary reasons for this leak are age and degradation.

Things to Do ASAP When Your Water Heater is Leaking.

Turn OFF Power

It’s now time to turn off the power to your water heater once you’ve switched off the water. Depending on whether you have a gas-powered or electric water heater, follow the steps mentioned below: 

Steps for Turning Off Gas Water Heaters

  1. Locate the gas supply valve. The line is generally within a few feet of your water heater. It’s near the bottom and connects to the gas control valve, which is located at the bottom.
  2. Turn the gas supply valve counterclockwise until it stops. The water heater will be disconnected from the gas supply.

Steps for Turning Off Electric Water Heaters

  1. Locate the water heater’s breaker in your home’s electrical panel. It will be on a separate circuit breaker.
  2. Flip the breaker switch to OFF.

Shut OFF the Water Supply

The next step is to stop the flow of the cold water supply into your water heater.

There are two pipes connected to the top of your water heater tank. Most water heaters have a shutoff valve on the cold supply inlet pipe. This is where your water supply comes from. 

Sometimes indicated by blue (cold) or red (warm), the cold water inlet pipe provides the water tank with a cold water supply. The warm outlet pipe transports the hot water from the water heater into your home. If the pipes are not color-coded, you can simply feel which one is cool and which one is warm to the touch. 

Clean Up Water Heater Leak

Don’t forget to clean the water up. Water can be the cause of many problems. It might warp structures, damage belongings, and attract insects or mold! It’s best to clean it up ASAP!

Preventing Water Heater Leakage?

Regular Maintenance

One of the most important things you can do to prevent water heater leakage is to have your water heater maintained regularly. This includes flushing the tank, checking the anode rod, and inspecting the fittings and valves.

Install a Drain Pan

Installing a drain pan under your water heater can help contain leaks and prevent water damage to your home. Make sure the drain pan is connected to a drain line or pump to prevent overflow.

Check the Pressure Relief Valve

The pressure relief valve on your water heater is designed to release excess pressure and prevent the tank from rupturing. Make sure to check the valve regularly to ensure it’s working correctly.

Reduce Water Pressure

As mentioned earlier, high water pressure can put additional stress on your water heater and cause it to leak. Installing a pressure-reducing valve can help prevent this.

Check For Leaks

Regularly inspect your water heater for signs of leaks, such as water stains or dampness.

Repair vs Replacement

Water heaters are an important component of keeping our homes pleasant, but they must be serviced on a regular basis. It’s critical to act fast if you discover water leaking from your water heater. Check the system for apparent symptoms of the damage, and if your water heater is more than ten years old or you find yourself repairing it frequently, it may be time to call a professional for a water heater replacement.

A modern water heater has several advantages:

  • Heating with high energy efficiency
  • Enhanced safety features
  • Warranty on energy savings

The expense of a new water heater, whether tank or tankless, may be daunting at first, but the long-term savings on monthly energy costs and peace of mind will more than compensate.

DIY vs Professional Repairs

While some water heater repairs can be done yourself, others are best left to a professional plumber to ensure safety and proper repairs. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons before attempting any DIY repairs.

Here’s list of all tools & materials you may need.

    Equipment / Tools

  • Stepladder
  • Pipe wrench
  • Plumber’s tape


  • Water heater flex tubes
  • Temperature and pressure release valve
  • Water heater nipplesrepair or installation
  • Drain valve
  • Water heater (in the event of full replacement)

Leave The Worry To Plumbing Professionals

When it comes to water heater leaks, it’s essential to hire an experienced plumber to fix the issue promptly. A plumbing professional can identify the cause of the leak and recommend the best course of action, whether it’s water heater installation & repair.

If you’re looking for the best plumber in Mississauga, look no further than Citizen Plumbing. Our team of experienced plumbers can handle any water heater issue, from leaks to installations. We pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service and delivering high-quality workmanship.

Professional Service Looking For Water Heater Leaking Problems

When you choose Citizen Plumbing, you can rest assured that your water heater leak will be fixed quickly and efficiently. Our plumbing professionals are equipped with the knowledge and tools to diagnose and fix any water heater issue, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

In addition to water heater installation and repair, we also offer a range of other plumbing services, including drain cleaning, pipe repair, and more. Whatever your plumbing needs may be, we have the expertise to get the job done right.

In conclusion, when you have a water heater leak, it’s essential to hire an experienced plumber to fix the issue. At Citizen Plumbing, we’re committed to providing the best plumbing services in Mississauga, whether you need water heater repair, installation, or any other plumbing service. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and experience the difference of working with a top-notch plumbing professional.

Importance of Having An Insurance Coverage

Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if water heater leaks are covered and what your deductible is. If the damage is significant, you may need to file a claim. Having an insurance will give you some extra  

Environmental Impact of This Calamity

According to Petro, if you have a leak that drips once per second, you’ll waste 8.64 gallons of water per day, over 3,150 gallons of water per year. Leaking water heaters can waste a significant amount of water, which can be harmful to the environment. 

Consider upgrading to a more efficient model or using a leak detection device to minimize water waste. We often don’t realize the importance of being concerned about water wastage. 

According to World Vision, 771 million people lack access to clean water. That’s 1 in 10 people on the planet. So when you are privileged enough to have safe water, the last thing you can do is waste it. So, becoming vigilant about waste wastage from your water heater or any other water sources is crucial.


In conclusion, water heater leaks can cause significant damage to your home and belongings if left unaddressed. There are various reasons for water heater leaks, such as old age, leaky valves, too much pressure, faulty temperature and pressure relief valves, inlet and outlet connections, internal tank leaks, sediment collection, cracked storage tanks, and corroded anode rods. 

If you suspect a leak, it is crucial to turn off the power and water supply to the unit and contact a professional immediately. 

Regular inspections by experienced plumbers can help prevent leaks and ensure your water heater’s continued functioning.

Furthermore, homeowners should take preventative measures by cleaning the tank on a semi-regular basis and visually inspecting the water heater periodically. It’s also important to replace your water heater when it reaches the end of its life to avoid costly repairs and damage to your home. 

Plumbing professionals such as Citizen Plumbing can help in the process and save valuable time.

In summary, prompt action is essential when it comes to water heater leaks. A little preventative maintenance, regular inspections, and professional help can go a long way in preventing water heater leaks and avoiding potential damage to your home and belongings. 

Therefore, if you detect any signs of a water heater leak, contact a professional plumber to diagnose and repair the problem before it becomes worse.

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Best Plumber in Mississauga, Experienced plumber, Plumbing Professional, Water Heater Installation, Water Heater Leaking, Water Heater Repair

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