A leaking water heater can be a real headache for any homeowner. Not only does it drive up your water bills, but it can also cause serious water damage to your home. If you’re dealing with this issue, you probably want to get to the bottom of it ASAP! That’s where we come in! Today, our friendly team at Lancaster Plumbing & Drain is here to help you figure out why your water heater is leaking. 

Before we dive in, here’s a friendly reminder: Your safety is super important! Always power off the unit before starting any troubleshooting. Stay safe! 

Number 1: Check for Loose Cold or Hot Water Inlet and Outlet Connections   

One of the most common reasons for a water heater leak is loose connections at the hot or cold water inlet and outlet pipes. Over time, these connections can loosen due to regular wear and tear. As a result, you might notice a tiny puddle around the heater’s base or even some dripping from the pipes. 

To check on this issue, take a look at the connections around your water heater. If you see water, the loose connections could be the culprit. A simple twist of a wrench might do the trick but be careful not to overtighten—it could potentially make things worse. 

Number 2: Check for a Defective Pressure Relief Valve   

Another potential culprit in the water heater leak saga is a malfunctioning pressure relief valve. This little guy’s job is to vent out excess pressure within the tank. However, if it slacks on its duties, it can lead to water escaping. 

To check if this valve is the issue, gently lift the lever. If water comes out, the valve is working. But if it keeps leaking after you release it, it might be time to have a professional look at it. 

Number 3: Check for a Temperamental Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve   

Just like the other valve, the temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve can sometimes be a potential leak source. Its job is to regulate the water heater’s temperature and pressure, but if it’s malfunctioning or loose, it could start leaking. A leaky T&P valve might mean the water temperature is too high or the pressure inside the tank is dangerously high. Both situations need urgent attention, so be sure to keep an eye on them! 

If you think the T&P valve might be the issue, check around the valve for any moisture. If it feels damp or you spot water, it might be time for a replacement. 

Number 4: Check for Leaking Inlet Valve   

The inlet valve, acting as the gatekeeper for cold water entering your water heater, can often be a culprit behind water heater leaks. If this valve is compromised or not sealed properly, water might find a way out. A leaky inlet valve usually leads to water pooling around the base of the heater. You might spot a constant drip or even a tiny waterfall from the valve area. 

To troubleshoot, take a look at the inlet valve for any signs of damage or wear. A little tightening or maybe a replacement could do the trick. 

Time to Call a Professional Plumber:   

If, after trying these simple troubleshooting exercises, your water heater is still leaking, it’s time to call a professional plumber. Some issues might be too complex for DIY fixes. An experienced plumber can expertly diagnose the problem and offer a professional solution. This could involve replacing parts, fixing internal tank issues, or even recommending a new water heater. 

Remember, putting off fixing a water heater leak can damage the unit or cause water damage. If you can’t figure it out on your own, it’s best to call a professional plumber. Our team of proficient experts is always on standby to assist in maintaining a safe and comfortable home for you.  

Call Lancaster Plumbing & Drain today (740) 796-8998, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!