Water Heater Leaks from the Top? How to Fix It?

Have you ever had a water heater leak from the top? It’s not a fun experience, that’s for sure. But water heater leaks from the top are actually a pretty common problem, and they’re usually easy to fix.

A few different things can cause water heater leaks from the top, but one of the primary reasons is that the water heater’s temperature and pressure relief valve is leaking.

Why My Water Heater Leaks from the Top?

As surprising as it is, water heater leaks are pretty common, and often than not, there are a few fixes that you can try on your own. However, be informed as early as now that water heater leaks can also signify a much bigger problem.

fixing water heater

We’ll discuss below some of the minor issues and what you can do about it, and some other major problems so you’ll know when to call the professional.

When left unchecked, water leaks can cause a lot of water damage. Fixing a water heater leak should be a priority for every homeowner. Here are some of the most common causes of water leaks:

Water Heater’s Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve is Leaking

As mentioned earlier, one of the primary reasons water heaters leak is because the water heater’s temperature and pressure relief valve is leaking.

This valve is responsible for releasing water and pressure from the water heater when it gets too hot or if there’s too much pressure build-up inside.

Over time, this valve can become worn out, rusted, or damaged, which can cause it to start leaking. If you think this might be the problem, you can try replacing the valve.

Valve replacement is a pretty straightforward process. It begins with shutting off the power to the water heater. Once the power is off, you can remove the old valve and replace it with a new one.

Make sure to get a replacement that is the same size and style as the old valve.

If you’re not sure, you can always take the old valve with you to the store so you can find an exact match. Additionally, you may refer to your user’s manual or contact your water heater manufacturer to find out what kind of replacement valve you need.

Water Heater’s Inlet and Outlet Connections are Loose

Although this may sound really basic, one of the most common causes of water heater leaks is that the water heater’s inlet and outlet connections are loose.

This can happen over time when the water heater is used frequently. The vibrations from the water heater can cause these connections to become loose, leading to leaks.

You’ll need to tighten the inlet and outlet connections to fix this problem. This can be done by hand or with a wrench.

Once tightened, see if the leak has stopped. If it has, you’re good to go. However, if the leak persists, you may have a bigger problem and should call a professional.

Anode Rod is Corroded or Worn Out

Another common reason for water heater leaks is a corroded or worn-out anode rod. The anode rod is responsible for protecting the water heater tank from rust.

Over time, it will eventually become corroded or worn out, which can cause the tank to start rusting. This, in turn, can cause water heater leaks.

The Tank is Overheating and Creating Too Much Pressure

Why does the tank overheat? In most cases, it’s because the water heater’s thermostat is set too high. The water heater’s thermostat controls the temperature of the water in the tank.

If it’s set too high, it can cause the water to overheat and create too much pressure, leading to a leak. You can try adjusting the thermostat to see if that fixes the problem. If not, you may need to replace the thermostat.

Additionally, if the water heater is old, it may not be able to handle the increased heat and pressure, which can also lead to a leak.

The Water Heater Wasn’t Installed Properly

If your water heater wasn’t installed properly, that could be another reason why it’s leaking. Improper installation can cause the tank to move or shift, which can lead to cracks and leaks.

If you suspect that your water heater wasn’t installed properly, you should contact a professional to look at it.

The Water Heater’s Drain Valve is Clogged

If water isn’t able to flow freely through the water heater, it can cause pressure to build up and eventually lead to a leak.

The water heater’s drain valve is responsible for draining water from the tank. If this valve becomes clogged, water can’t escape and will start to build up until it finds another way out, which is usually through a leak.

You can try clearing the clog and see if that fixes the problem.

There’s a Crack in the Tank

Over time, water heaters can develop cracks in the tank. If you have a water heater with a metal tank, it’s especially susceptible to corrosion.

Corrosion weakens the metal and can cause it to develop cracks. If water starts leaking from one of these cracks, it can be a big problem. The only way to fix a cracked water heater is to replace the entire tank.

What to Do If Your Water Heater Leaks?

Based on the information given above, find the source of the leak and troubleshoot the problem. Always remember to use caution when working with water heaters, as they can be dangerous.

If you’re not comfortable troubleshooting the problem yourself, contact a professional. It’s better to seek help and get the problem fixed than to ignore it and cause further damage.


It’s never a good sight to see water leaking from the top of your heater – especially if you don’t know why it’s happening.

Loose connection, a worn-out anode rod, or a clogged drain valve are all common reasons for leaks. If your water heater is old, it may have cracks in the tank that are causing the leak.

No matter what the cause, it’s important to take care of the problem as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Use caution when troubleshooting the problem, and never hesitate to call a professional to get it fixed.