leaking water heater

Old 12-01-03, 10:51 AM
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leaking water heater

Our water heater has had a constant puddle under it for the past several weeks. It's not a huge puddle, but I'm afraid one day we will come home to a flood. There is no visible water on the top or sides, so I suspect the water is coming out the bottom. How do we find the leak? The water heater is 7-8 years old. Is it really possible we need to replace it already?

Old 12-01-03, 06:08 PM
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Hello NeuJen. Welcome to my Gas Appliances topic.

It is very possible the water heater has a tiny pin hole in the tank which is causing the water you noticed. It is also possible for a tank to develope a tiny little leak anywhere out of sight. And also possible on a tank of that age.

Here are some of the possiblities and places to check:

Check inside the fire box. First, lower the thermostat to it's lowest temperature. Than remove the outter decorative cover and than the inner sheet metal cover. Use caution. The inner cover may be HOT if the burner just shut down or did so recently.

With a flash light if needed, look into the firebox. If you see rust and or rust and scale, that could and most likely does indicate there is a water leak inside the tank.

Most likely the leak is inside the venting tube, which is in the center of the tank. Any welded seam in that vent tube may develpoe a tiny pin hole and or tiny crack.

The rust marks will indicate where the water is leaking down from. Problem is, that condition cannot be fixed. The tank must be replaced.

However, if there is a 10 year warranty on the tank, contact the local dealer and or plumbing company that sells that brand and or which is a dealer of that brand.

Another internal place where a leak can be is outside of the tank. That cannot be seen either since it is covered with the insulation. Another possible warranty claim. Have your warranty handy.

Also check the external flush faucet and the area around it. May simply be loose an or leaky from that or there. Also check the inlet and outlet water valves and flex lines on the top of the tank.

Water leakage inside the fire box that is now visable outside, means the bottom of the tank may or could burst and flood the area. Best bet is to contact a licensed plumber asap or replace the tank yourself.

Be sure the appliance is turned off before attempting any repairs. Always check for gas leaks whenever a repair includes any connection of a gas part, gas line or tubing or gas supply.

If you need further assistance, use the REPLY button to add any additional information or questions, etc. Using this method also moves the topic back up to the top of the list automatically.

Read the prior asked questions in this forum on this topic of water heaters and the replies offered. In them you'll find additional helpful information.

Regards & Good Luck. Sharp Advice
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