Water Heater Leaking From The Bottom: What Are The Causes And Solutions?

Water Heater Leaking From The Bottom: What Are The Causes And Solutions?

The first places to check when there is a leak from the bottom of your water heater are the temperature and pressure relief valve, also called the T&P valve, and the drain valve. Read on to learn about what to do when your water heater is leaking from the bottom!

Common Causes Of Water Heater Leaks And The Solutions

  • Leaking drain valve

All water heaters come with a drain near the bottom of the unit. This is so the tank can be emptied out when it is being removed, or during a cleaning of the tank. A leaking drain valve is identified by water dripping or moisture, around the valve or out of the drain opening. Ensure that the bottom valve is completely closed by turning clockwise. If this does not solve the issue, you may need to replace the valve. 

To replace the valve, you have to connect a water hose between the drain outlet and a location outside. Next, turn off the water inlet that is commonly located at the top of the water heater. Open the drain valve and let the tank empty out.

Replacement valves for water heaters can be found at most hardware stores, and it can be replaced using a wrench. Turn the valve counter-clockwise to remove it. Wrap the threads on the replacement valve using the plumber’s tape, then screw the new valve into the opening until tight. Tighten the drain valve 1/2 turn using a wrench, or until the drain is tightly in place.

  • Leaking pressure valve

The pressure relief valve is an important safety feature for your water heater to reduce excess pressure when the water heater becomes too hot. For many water heaters, the pressure relief valve is found on top of it, but most systems come with a tube attached to the valve to channel the water to the floor.

When the T&P valve is leaking, the problem may appear to be at the bottom of the tank as the overflow tube discards the water underneath it. The T&P valve is designed in a way to allow water to be released from the tank, so what you can do is check the setting of the thermostat to ensure it is not turned up too high. If the temperature is fine, you might need to replace the pressure relief valve.

  • Other causes

The leak might also be found on the top part of the water heater and it runs down the body of the heater, then escapes at the lower level. Look out for visible signs of a leak on the water heater and all pipes connected to the heater. You can also remove the access panels and check for moisture in the insulation.

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