Have you ever found yourself ankle-deep in a puddle, desperately scrambling to figure out why your water heater has sprung a leak?

Well, don't worry, because we're here to shed some light on this dripping dilemma. From pressure buildup to aging components, there are several reasons why water heaters can start leaking.

So, sit tight and prepare to uncover the mysteries behind these leaking appliances.

Key Takeaways

Pressure Buildup

If you notice water leaking from your water heater, one possible cause could be pressure buildup. Pressure buildup occurs when the pressure inside the tank exceeds the recommended levels, causing the tank to leak.

To prevent leaks caused by pressure buildup, there are a few maintenance tips you can follow.

Firstly, make sure to check the pressure relief valve regularly. This valve is designed to release excess pressure from the tank. If it's faulty or blocked, it can lead to pressure buildup and ultimately cause a leak. To test the valve, simply lift the lever and let the water flow out. If the valve doesn't release any water or if it's leaking constantly, it needs to be replaced.

Secondly, consider installing an expansion tank. An expansion tank helps to absorb excess pressure that occurs during heating cycles. By relieving the pressure on the tank, it reduces the risk of leaks caused by pressure buildup.

Lastly, remember to drain and flush your water heater regularly. Sediment buildup at the bottom of the tank can lead to pressure issues. By draining and flushing the tank, you can remove any sediment and prevent pressure buildup.


To address the issue of corrosion in your water heater, it's important to take proactive steps in order to prevent further damage. Corrosion is a common problem that can lead to leaks and inefficiency in your water heater.

One of the key factors contributing to corrosion is the presence of rust. Rust occurs when the metal components of your water heater come into contact with water and oxygen for extended periods.

To prevent rust and corrosion, there are several maintenance techniques you can implement. Firstly, consider installing a sacrificial anode rod in your water heater. This rod attracts corrosive elements, protecting the tank from rusting. Regularly inspect and replace the anode rod when necessary.

Additionally, flushing your water heater annually can help remove sediment and prevent the buildup of corrosive materials.

Another effective rust prevention method is using a rust inhibitor. These chemicals can be added to your water heater to create a protective barrier on the inner surfaces, preventing rust formation. It's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions when using rust inhibitors.

Lastly, ensure that your water heater is properly insulated. This will help maintain a consistent temperature and reduce the risk of condensation, which can accelerate the corrosion process.

Faulty Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

The temperature and pressure relief valve in your water heater may become faulty, leading to potential safety risks. A valve malfunction can occur due to various reasons, but one common cause is improper installation. When the relief valve isn't installed correctly, it may not function properly, which can result in excessive pressure build-up within the water heater. This can't only cause leaks but also pose a serious safety hazard.

If the relief valve is faulty, it may fail to automatically release pressure when it reaches dangerous levels. As a result, the pressure within the water heater can continue to rise, potentially causing the tank to rupture or explode. This can lead to severe property damage and even harm to you and your family.

Regular maintenance and inspection of the temperature and pressure relief valve are crucial to ensure its proper functioning. If you notice any signs of valve malfunction, such as water leaking from the valve or the valve not releasing pressure when activated, it's essential to address the issue immediately. Contact a professional plumber to assess the valve and make any necessary repairs or replacements.

Sediment Buildup

Sediment buildup in your water heater can significantly affect its performance and efficiency. Over time, minerals and debris present in the water can settle at the bottom of the tank, forming a layer of sediment. This accumulation can lead to several issues that compromise the proper functioning of your water heater.

One problem caused by sediment buildup is rust formation. As the sediment settles at the bottom of the tank, it can create an environment that promotes the corrosion of the tank's interior. This can result in the formation of rust, which weakens the tank and increases the likelihood of leaks.

Additionally, sediment buildup can cause a decrease in efficiency. The layer of sediment acts as an insulator, preventing the heat from the burner or heating element from efficiently transferring to the water. As a result, your water heater needs to work harder and use more energy to heat the water to the desired temperature. This inefficiency not only leads to higher energy bills but also puts unnecessary strain on the system, potentially shortening its lifespan.

To prevent sediment buildup and maintain the performance and efficiency of your water heater, regular maintenance is crucial. Flushing the tank periodically to remove the sediment is recommended. This can be done by turning off the power or gas supply, attaching a hose to the drain valve, and allowing the tank to drain completely.

Aging or Worn-Out Components

As your water heater ages, its components can become worn-out and compromised, leading to potential issues with its performance and efficiency.

Two common problems that can arise from aging or worn-out components are rusting pipes and mineral deposits.

Over time, the metal pipes that make up your water heater's plumbing system can start to deteriorate. Rusting pipes occur when the protective coating on the pipes wears off, exposing the metal to water and air. This can lead to corrosion and eventually cause leaks in your water heater. If you notice any signs of rust on the pipes, such as reddish-brown stains or a metallic taste in your water, it's important to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage.

Another issue that can arise from aging components is the buildup of mineral deposits. When water is heated, minerals like calcium and magnesium can precipitate out and settle at the bottom of the tank. Over time, these deposits can accumulate and cause problems. They can insulate the heating element, making it less efficient, and reduce the amount of available hot water. Regular maintenance, such as flushing the tank to remove these deposits, can help prevent issues related to mineral buildup.

To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your water heater, it's important to keep an eye on the condition of its components. Regular inspections and maintenance can help identify any potential issues and address them before they become major problems.


So, if you ever find yourself dealing with a leaking water heater, there are a few potential causes to consider.

Pressure buildup, corrosion, a faulty temperature and pressure relief valve, sediment buildup, and aging or worn-out components can all contribute to leaks.

It's important to address these issues promptly to prevent further damage and ensure the efficient functioning of your water heater.

Book Your Service Now
Skip to content