So you see some water pooling or, at the very least, some dampness beneath your hot water heater? Don’t worry! Chances are, it’s not going to be a significant problem. In most scenarios, you can correct a leak discovered under the hot water tank without too much hassle. First things first – Are you sure it’s leaking? If your hot water tank is in a humid space, which most are, like in the basement or a tight closet, it’s possible what you’re noticing isn’t even a leak. Condensation can build on hot water tanks, especially if they get cold. The condensation sweating down the sides of a tank will eventually drip off and cause dampness or even pooling on the bottom side!  

So you’re sure it’s not condensation, and it’s definitely a leak? Okay, let’s look at some of the leading causes of water leak buildup beneath your hot water tank…

  1. The drain valve may not be closed tightly. On the bottom of most hot water tanks, there is a valve for draining the water out. This valve obviously needs to be closed all the way and tightly to keep water from leaking. Grab a pipe wrench and close the valve tightly, but don’t over-tighten when you feel resistance. You could cause damage to the valve and make it leak even more. Even if you do, this would be an easy and inexpensive repair relative to other bits of the tank.
  2. T&P (temperature and pressure) valve could be faulty. Every hot water tank has a temperature and pressure release valve or even a couple of them. These valves automatically release pressure or steam if the water inside the tank gets too hot or if the pressure inside the tank is too great. Broken or faulty T&P valves will engage when they’re not supposed to and release water or steam when they shouldn’t. The frequent release is no different than a leak and will cause just as much of a problem if not remedied in short order. Replacing T&P valves should be left to a professional and thus costs more money to fix than a drain valve replacement.
  3. Cracked tanks will leak and should not be left ignored for any length of time. A cracking tank loses any bit of structural integrity it has by the day. As the cracks increase in size due to the pressure inside the tank, more and more water will leak from the tank. The leak continues to erode the outside of the tank, causing additional rust and making the surface easier to split and crack. Anything beyond the most minor hairline crack will require a full replacement of your tank and is the worst-case scenario.

How to Prevent Water Heaters from Leaking

The good news is, the professionals from America’s Appliance Repair can help you maintain a healthy hot water heater and tank for years. The best way to ensure a long-lasting tank without any damage or leaking is by having it regularly inspected and preventative maintenance completed. Our technicians will flush your tank to remove sediment at least once a year, but we recommend every six months to ensure proper inspection. Preventative maintenance and professional inspection is the only way to get the entire lifetime out of your hot water heater.

Whether you need your tank inspected and flushed, you’re looking to have a leak repaired, or you require full replacement, we’ve got you covered. Call us at 800-639-9340 or fill out our online form, and we’ll get a hold of you to set up your first appointment. We offer 24/7 service, and our experts strive to give you the best service in Texas, so we look forward to meeting with you soon!