Why water heater leaking from bottom and how to fix it

A leaking water heater may seem like a small problem, but it can be dangerous if not fixed immediately.

It can cause deadly accidents such as slipping and falling, electric shock, or worse; it can blow up your house.

Water Heater Leaking From the Bottom

1. Damaged Drain Valve

During maintenance, water from the tank is drained through this valve. It flushes dirt and residues from the tank to replenish the water.

Before anything else, check the valve nozzle first if it’s securely shut. If the nozzle is not closed correctly, this might be the one causing the leak.

water heater drain

However, if it’s still leaking even after securing the nozzle, the leak might be coming from the valve. In this case, you need to replace it.

Factors that might be causing damage to the valve include corrosion, which is caused by high iron levels in the water, leading to the formation of rust and, therefore, damaging the valve.

How to fix it:

If tightening the nozzle doesn’t work, it means the valve is already broken. In that case, it needs replacement.

If you don’t have a spare valve, you can use a garden hose cap into the drain valve instead to temporarily stop the leaking.

You can also try connecting it to a hose and then putting the other end outside. Turn off the water tank inlet and allow the water tank to empty through the hose. Valve replacements can be bought in hardware stores.

2. Faulty Temperature and Relief Valve

When the water temperature gets too high, this valve opens to let water out and release pressure. That being said, if this part showed signs of a leak, then you should be alarmed as this means that the water temperature is getting extremely high, and it’s unable to release pressure. If not treated, this might cause an explosion.

How to fix it:

The first thing you should do is check the thermostat to determine the temperature. If the temperature is within normal limits, you just need to replace your TP valve. However, fixing the TP valve is a little complex and might require a professional’s help. To assure your safety, consult a plumber to fix your TP valve for you.

3. Broken Hot Water Tank

If your water tank doesn’t undergo flushing regularly, dirt, debris, and chemicals accumulate inside it, causing rust to form and eventually corroding the tank. Corrosion damages the tank’s surface, causing it to become brittle.

leaking water heater

The tank is most likely to give in with constant pressure and exposure to hot water. A symptom of this is water leaking from your tank. If the leak is still minor, you should fix it right away before the leak even gets worse.

How to fix it:

The best response to this case is to replace the tank with a new one. If the tank has already started leaking, it means that the inside tank is already corroded, and applying temporary solutions might cause you more significant problems in the long run.

Installing a new tank unit is a complicated process, mainly because it includes working on the gas line. It’s best to call a professional plumber to install the unit for you.

4. Condensation

Condensation occurs when natural gas in the gas water burns, forming moisture. Condensation is normal, especially in new tank units if the thermostat is set too high for trial.

In this case, just turn the power off and let the tank breathe for a few hours. If the condensation goes away, you can calm down because your heater works fine. However, excessive condensation is not normal and can be dangerous if not acted upon immediately.

It’s a sign that the burner part of the tank is experiencing corrosion.

How to fix it:

If letting the tank breathe didn’t work, then that calls for a replacement. It would be best to look for a water tank heater with better insulation models to ensure your safety.

How to Prevent Your Water Heater from Leaking

Complete prevention of leaks is impossible, especially since these appliances can only work fine for some time and eventually need to be replaced. But here are some tips that might help prevent further leak problems from arising in the future.

1. Maintain Regular Flushing

These tanks are made from metal materials, such as steel and copper, that can be easily corroded by rust. This can be prevented by regular flushing.

The standard flushing time is every one to two months. Flushing will replenish the tank’s water and get rid of rust-causing particles, preventing corrosion, and therefore, preventing leaks.

2. Get Them Checked By A Professional Plumber

Nothing beats a consultation with a professional. Call a plumber to check your appliances at least once a month to inspect your tank.

You can also ask them to test your thermostat to ensure it’s working fine and your valves to make sure it’s not leaking. Pipe connections should also be checked and adjusted if their loose and replaced if they are old.

3. Install Water Alert Systems

Since leaks can’t be avoided, you can install water leak alarms instead. Installing these water sensor alarms under your tank will warn you of possible leaks.

Once it detects a leak, the alarm goes off and automatically shuts off the water intake to prevent further water wastage. This will allow you to act early before the damage worsens and becomes a water disaster.