If your hot water tank is leaking, you should address this immediately. 

There are a couple places that are common points of leaks and addressing these will help you a long way in deciding whether or not the entire water tank needs replaced. We will go over a few of them now.

  • Pressure/temperature relief valve drop tube

The photo shown below shows a common leak point on hot water tanks and is often remedied by homeowners by placing a bowl under the drop tube. It is then emptied ever so often. This likely due to a failed pressure and temperature safety relief valve. As the unit ages, the rubber gasket which holds back the water, begins to crack and then leak. It can be easily replaced by shutting off the gas and water to the tank, draining down the tank to about half way and replacing the valve. Don’t forget to add Teflon tape and/or pipe dope to the threads on the new one though before installing! 

photo courtesy of fixmyfurnace.com
photo courtesy of fixmyfurnace.com
  • Water line fitting

Many times, I see leaking water line joints (shown below) as a result of poor soldering. If you aren’t seasoned in soldering copper tubing, best leave this to the pros or you will have the same result that you are trying to avoid! As you can see in the photo below, this can do a lot of damage, very quickly and is best to have this repaired right away.

photo courtesy of fixmyfurnace.com
  • The tank itself

I recently had a call about a water heater that the client would have to re-light the pilot every day. When she got fed up, she called me and it was a good thing she did! Removing the burner revealed that the tank was leaking directly onto the pilot and putting it out. (shown in the photo below)

If she would have waited much longer, she could have walked downstairs to a flooded basement. The moral here is, take every leak seriously or it could be more costly than high water bill. 

If you need any help diagnosing any leak, feel free to reach out to our pros at fixmyfurnace.com via our virtual diagnostic tool. Simply click the virtual diagnostic button below to talk to a live HVAC technician and receive a video consultation!

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