5 Common Reasons Your Water Tank Is Leaking

Did you know a family of four uses, on average, over 63 gallons of hot water each day? That’s a lot of use for one household appliance! Since hot water tanks see so much activity, it’s no wonder they occasionally need some attention. 

5 Common Reasons Your Water Tank Is Leaking

If you’re experiencing a leak in your water heater, it’s easy to anticipate the worst possible scenario. The most common sources of a water heater leak are the pressure relief valve, expansion tank, cold-water inlet valve, anode rod, and corrosion to the tank. But you might be pleased to know that not all leaky water heaters require major repairs. 

How to determine the cause of a water heater tank leak

If you spot a leak coming from your tank water heater, here are five things to check to determine the severity of the problem.

  1. If the leak is located at the bottom of the tank, the temperature-pressure relief valve might need to be replaced, or you might simply need to adjust the pressure. A loose drain valve can also cause leaks located at the bottom of the tank. Check to ensure the drain valve is tightly closed. 
  2. For leaks located on or near the expansion tank, there are a couple of potential problems at play. If the leak is located on the expansion tank itself, you will need to call in a professional plumber to replace the tank. If the leak is coming from the pipe or pipe fitting at the top of the tank, you will likely only need to tighten the fitting with a wrench. 
  3. If the leak is located at the top of the tank, one possible place to check is the cold water inlet valve. If the valve is loose, simply tightening it with a wrench should fix the problem. If the valve is broken, you will need to replace it. This should be performed by a licensed professional.
  4. Another area in question for leaks at the top of the tank is the anode rod. This rod is typically located at the top of the water heater toward the front of the unit. The anode is what plumbers often refer to as a “sacrificial component.” In other words, it is designed to corrode. Therefore, it will need to be replaced every three years, on average. If the anode rod is severely corroded or broken, replace it as soon as possible to prevent bigger problems such as… 
  5. A leak in the tank itself. A tank corroding from the inside-out can happen for various reasons: the water pressure inside the tank is too high, there is extreme sediment buildup, or the anode rod is worn out. When dealing with a leak in the water tank, we recommend replacing the unit as soon as possible to avoid more severe leaking or bursting tank.

Have a plumber fix your leaky water heater

If you’re still not sure of what might be to blame for your leaky water tank, it’s probably time to call in the professionals. A leaky water tank left unattended can lead to catastrophic water damage and costly repairs. So if you need water where it shouldn’t be, call the Chicago plumbing experts at Rocket Plumbing. We provide fast, affordable service for water heater repair and replacement. Schedule an appointment by dialing 773-219-1200.

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  • Chicago, IL
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