A water heater leak is something no homeowner wants to deal with, but sometimes it happens unfortunately. When left unchecked a water heater leak can increase your utility bills and can cause significant water damage. So, if you are experiencing this issue, it’s probably safe to say you want to fix this problem as soon as possible. Here’s why your water heater might be leaking and how to address it, courtesy of the experts at Five Star Cincinnati Plumbing

Before we begin, remember that safety comes first. Always turn off the water heater before starting any troubleshooting. 

Common Leak Cause 1: Loose Hot/Cold Water Connection  

A common reason for water heater leaks is a loose connection between the hot or cold water inlet and outlet pipes. With regular use and temperature changes, these connections can loosen, leading to water seepage. This can cause small puddles around the heater or slow dripping from the pipes. 

To troubleshoot, check the heater’s top connections. If you see water or moisture, a loose connection might be the problem. Tighten it with a wrench, but be careful not to overtighten it to avoid damage. 

Common Leak Cause 2: Faulty Pressure Relief Valve  

A faulty pressure relief valve often causes water heater leaks. This valve releases excess pressure from the tank. If it’s not working properly, water may leak out, signaling high pressure in the tank and the risk of it bursting. 

To see if the valve is the issue, gently lift its lever. If it works, water will come out. However, if it continues leaking after you let go, you may need to replace it. 

Common Leak Cause 3: Defective Temperature & Pressure Valve   

The temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve can also cause leaks. If the T&P valve is leaking, it indicates either high water temperature or excessive tank pressure, both of which require immediate attention. 

To troubleshoot this issue, check around the valve for water. If you find it wet, it may need to be replaced. 

Common Leak Cause 4: Leaking Inlet Valve   

Lastly, a damaged or improperly sealed inlet valve, which controls cold water flow into the water heater, could cause a leak. A faulty inlet valve often results in water pooling around the base of the heater. 

To fix this, check the inlet valve for any damage or wear. You might need to tighten or replace the valve. 

When to Consult a Professional Plumber:  

If you’ve tried all troubleshooting methods and your water heater is still leaking, it’s time to call a professional. Some problems are too complex or dangerous for DIY fixes. Professional plumbers can identify the issue and offer a lasting solution, whether it involves replacing a part, repairing the internal tank, or recommending a new water heater. 

A water heater leak can cause stress and damage if not fixed quickly. Knowing common leak causes and troubleshooting steps is important for a DIY fix. If the issue continues, please contact us. 

Our team is always ready to help keep your home safe and comfortable. Call Five Star Cincinnati Plumbing today at (513) 204-9944, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here