Illustration of a plumber fixing a leak in a plumbing system

4 of the Most Common Causes of Leaks in Water Heaters

When a water heater starts to leak, that instantly means bad news. It may seem like a minor nuisance at the beginning, but it can quickly evolve into a major problem. It calls for immediate water heater repair from a professional. While a small trickle of water can be cleaned up pretty quickly with little to no damage to your floors. Left unattended or overlooked, however, the small trickle can evolve into a flood that will be incredibly damaging for your drywall and subfloors.

Expert Diagnosis

There are two main areas that a plumber will look into in order to determine with finality the source of the leak and just how serious the problem is. First, the drain valve, which is responsible for draining sediment from the water heater. The spigot is located at the tank’s bottom. If that is the leak location, then the problem can be fixed quickly. All that is needed is to replace the drain valve, which is not very expensive.

Should the drain valve be intact, then the tank itself will be inspected. If the leak source is the bottom of the tank itself, then there’s a serious problem. Most likely, there was so much sediment buildup that the tank’s bottom corroded. This is a serious problem and the entire water heater will have to be replaced.

However, neither of those two are the usual reasons a water heater leaks. Here are 4 of the most common causes of leaks in water heaters:

1. Heater Drain Valve

Like mentioned earlier, the drain valve is a standard issue and the repair is quite easy. Ensure that it is completely closed.

2. Bottom of Water Tank

This is actually one of the most common water tank leak causes. If age and deterioration from sediment buildup is the cause, a complete replacement is in order.

3. Hot and Cold Water Inlet and Outlet Connections

Sometimes, the inlet and outlet pipe’s connections simply loosen, which causes water to leak. That is an incredibly easy fix, which involves either tightening the connection or finding the faulty pipeline and replacing it.

4. Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

This valve is a key player in having your water heater run smoothly, as it monitors the water pressure and temperature within the tank. If it is the source, water will most likely be running down the side from the valve. Too much pressure or water that is too hot will cause the valve to drain some water out. Either the valve is broken and needs replacement or, if it’s working properly, there is too much pressure, so it’s forcing water out to prevent a bigger problem.


It is important to be able to trace the source of the leak as accurately and effectively as possible. One can determine if the leak requires a basic repair or if a water heater replacement is in order. Either way, reaching out to a licensed plumber is best to check on the issue at hand so they can either fix the leak or, if necessary, replace the water heater entirely.

Need an emergency plumber in Langley? Contact Bromac Mechanical today! We are willing to go above and beyond to serve our customers.

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