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Water Out! The 4 Common Causes of Water Heater Leaks

Leaks are one of the most common problems that affect water heaters. These leaks are not just behind a lot of wasted water, as they can also be responsible for water damage in some parts of the house as well.

But just as there are many types of water heaters out on the market, there are also many causes for leaks. Here are some common causes and their fixes:

Plumber Repairing Water Heater


Water simply pooling out of a heater does not automatically mean a leak. It might just be the result of condensation, which occurs when cold water enters the tank while outside air is hot. To make sure it’s not condensation, check if the problem occurs only during cold seasons and clean out the water heater vent. If the problem doesn’t reoccur when warmer water is used to fill the tank, or after the vent has been cleaned up, then it’s not a leak.

Mechanical problems

Even a small malfunctioning part of a water heater can lead to a leak. A loose drain valve, for instance, may cause water to slowly seep out of the tank. Tightening the valve with the right amount of force can help stop the leak.

Another part that should be checked when the heater is leaking is the temperature-pressure relief valve. If this part is defective, the pressure inside the tank may be higher than normal; high water pressure can lead to a leak. To repair this, try adjusting the water pressure first to the right amount. If leaking continues, contact a professional to deal with the issue.


Dirt or sediment can also cause the temperature-pressure relief valve to leak, as it can prevent the valve from closing properly. Cleaning the heater as part of regular maintenance can help solve this problem.


Water heaters get worn out from eight to 12 years. One problem that comes with age is corrosion, which is most likely the culprit if the leaking water is discolored. And many parts of a heater can break down even with regular use—gaskets, pipes, and even the tank itself can corrode over time.

If the heater is around this age, it is best to replace it with a new one instead of having it fixed.
Of course, once the heater has been fixed, the areas affected by water damage by the leak should be also be repaired as well. This is where All County DKI comes in. Specializing in restoring areas affected by water damage, the company services the following counties in South Florida: Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade. Call 888-616-6811 for 24/7 emergency service.

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