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My Hot Water Heater is Leaking

Hot water heaters are like storage lockers for your water system: they heat and hold hot water until you're ready to use it. If your gas hot water heater is leaking, it may be coming from the relief valve — leaks from the top are often due to a pressure valve problem and are often a quick fix.

Why Your Hot Water Heater is Leaking

If you’re not sure what’s causing your leak, these steps can help you figure out the source.

Potential Issues

  • gas hot water heater is leaking from the top

Your hot water heater's tank stores and heats the water that flows throughout your home's plumbing system. It's important that this tank is clean in order for your water to stay clean too. If the tank in your gas water heater is dirty, this is likely the result of one of two things: buildup of sediment or minerals in the tank, or corrosion. If your tank is dirty due to buildup, all you need to do is give it a good flushing to clear out all of the dirt and sediment. However, if the dirty tank is a result of corrosion (it will be more rusty than dirty if this is the case), it could be dangerous to your system and will require a replacement of the part or the system as a whole.


  • gas hot water heater is leaking from the top

Corrosion on the cold water tank can be more than an eyesore. If it's surface rust, sure, you can clean it or paint over it, but if it's heavy, blistered, or wet, it could be more serious and the tank could start leaking. On a water heater, you will only see the top connections, drain connection, and the gas valve or control connection. You'll need to look in those places to check for signs of corrosion.


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