There are many things that could contribute to a leaky water heater; you could discover issues in just about every part of it. However, there are a few issues that are most common in a leaky water heater.
Water Supply Line Leakage
The first place that’s common for leaks is the water supply line. This is a line that runs into the water heater with the raw water. Typically, this is a cold water line. The water heater then heats the water for you. However, that means there’s usually a lot of water flowing in through this line, which also means a lot of pressure. That means the supply line is ripe for leakage.
A leak that stems from the water supply line can be difficult to fix because you typically have to shut the water off entirely to fix it. However, it is possible without replacing the entirety of the water heater. Remember that over time, your initial fastening may loosen, so it’s entirely possible for this to happen naturally over months and years of having a water heater.
Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve Failure
The temperature and pressure relief valves are important parts of the water heater, but they’re also some of the weaker points in the system. The pressure relief valve specifically intends that excess pressure leaves through that valve. If the pressure has built up too much inside for one reason or another, one or both of these valves may start to leak.
Of course, the carefully balanced system means it’s very unlikely you’ll end up with either of these valves failing. It’s much more likely there will be a different problem. It’s good to remember this potential problem, however, because you should be checking for all issues, not just the ones that seem most likely to you specifically.
Drain Valve Leakage
It’s especially common for drain valves to leak right after you’ve drained the tank for one reason or another. You may have drained the tank for routine maintenance, to deal with another problem, to move the tank, or for many other reasons. No matter the reason, a leaking drain valve is an important problem you should tackle.
The drain valve is where water is supposed to come out. The problem is not that the drain valve is giving off water; it’s that the drain valve is giving off water when you don’t want it to. A trained professional can help you get to the bottom of why your drain valve is doing what it’s doing.
Buildup of Sediment
Your tap water has some minerals in it, even if it’s filtered. It’s unlikely that you’re running exclusively highly filtered water through your water heater, which means over time, those minerals will start to build up on the surface. This typically takes a very long time, but the buildup of minerals, which you can refer to as sediment, can have a negative impact on your water heater.
If you don’t remove the sediment, it will just keep building up over and over again until it ends up causing problems. This buildup can even push on levers and openings, which can cause them to open up when they’re not supposed to. The leaking might be because of a buildup of sediment over many years.