Slow leak from hot water heater

Old 03-19-07, 10:18 AM
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Slow leak from hot water heater

OK... Heres my problem. I have a hot water heater with a slow leak and no idea how it should be handled. There is no leakage from the in/out pipes feeding into the top of the heater. I checked both the heating elements and everything is dry in that area as well. It is a slow leak but only seems to be leaking when the water is being used somewhere in the apartment. there is water in the drip pan around the heater but everything else is dry. Please help with any ideas or clues.
Old 03-19-07, 04:25 PM
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Is this a regular water heater...and not a combo boiler/water heater? Electric or gas variety?

The water will be in the pan because it can collect there and stay there. But it could be originating on a side wall, or up top somewhere, hidden under the jacket. I am a first responder to such leaks. I always check every single port hole on the unit to rule out leaks there. And if they aren't leaking, the tank HAS to be leaking. The places to check are the H & C inlets, pressure relief inlet, drain valve inlet, dip tube inlet.

If all that checks out, your tank is shot. Even condensation from starting with a cold tank of water that gets heated will not cause the bottom pan to have water in it to any degree. At worst, from what I have ever seen, with condensation issues starting up a cold tank, you may get that sizzling of water dripping into the burner, at first, but then after awhile that goes away. No water sitting in the bottom of the pan though.

Water heater tanks do have their limited lifespans. And some models more than others. And some fail sooner than others due to what is in your water.

Why you notice more water when it is being used is because in your early stage of your leak, by having the water heater run (water being used) the expansion of the tank, due to the heat, is opening up some hole or crack bigger.

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