If you notice a pool of water around your water heater, it could mean a leak or some other issue. It doesn’t always mean you need to replace it. Regardless of whether you need to replace the water heater, you should find the leak source. Here are some possible causes of leaks.
A puddle around hot water heaters doesn’t always mean a leak. Sometimes, condensation forms on gas water heaters that release moisture from gases, and the vapor chills below dew point. Check the plumbing hardware and fittings for leaks. Dry the water, and lay old towels or paper towels down. If the water returns, you likely have a leak.
Pressure Relief Valve
The temperature and pressure relief valves on water heaters prevent the unit from exploding due to high temperatures. Water near the vertical pipe the valve attaches to could indicate a leak. Excessive use often causes the valve to leak from the pressure.
Leaks commonly occur from high water pressure, high temperatures or unsealed connections. Shut off the gas to the unit, which is commonly a valve located on top of the water heater, or shut off the breaker to the unit. Attempt to tighten the valve with a wrench and seal it with plumber’s tape. Lower the temperature, and get a pressure regulator or T & PR valve professionally installed if needed.
The drain valve near the bottom of the tank should be closed. Sediment may build up and breaks the seal, it gets bumped loose or the valve has been damaged causing leaks.
To test for leaks, run a cotton swab around the valve. A wet swab commonly means the drain valve has a leak. Turn off the power or gas, and use an adjustable wrench to tighten the valve gradually but not too tight.