Strange crack/deformation in water heater?


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Old 11-13-15, 07:52 AM
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Strange crack/deformation in water heater?

Has anyone seen something like this before? I found this cracking/indentation on my water heater which I had not seen before. It is not leaking but when I run my finger over it or press in, it weeps a little bit of water. Any ideas or advice as to what to make of this or how to treat it?

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Old 11-13-15, 08:42 AM
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Is your heater gas or electric? What you see on the outside of your heater is just a shell. Inside is a layer of insulation and then the container that holds your hot water. If you get water when you push on the soft spot you have a leak somewhere. Look carefully around the top where the pipes enter as that's often a leak point. Gas heaters can also have condensation from the flue leak down.

Many heaters have rigid foam insulation. When there is a leak the water can travel some distance until it finds a way out through the insulation. So, the actual leak may not be right where that soft spot is.
 
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Old 11-13-15, 09:12 AM
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Thanks Pilot Dane. My heater is gas. I have given the tank a close inspection and see no evidence of water anywhere else. If the leak is internal, is there a way for me to further investigate or troubleshoot? It may be a condensation issue, as you suggest, or of course something else.

BTW, not sure if its a coincidence or not, but I noticed this defect just a few days after I performed an annual flush of the tank...
 

Last edited by billysobrien; 11-13-15 at 09:20 AM. Reason: new info
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Old 11-13-15, 03:30 PM
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It has nothing to do with you draining out the tank.
How old is is it?
How about a picture of the top of the tank.
Non dielelectic nipples at the top of the tank is a main cause of leaking.
 
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Old 12-07-15, 09:00 AM
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Sorry for delay in responses. Here are some pics from the top. Does that lend any new insight? The residue at the top is from when the humidifier line was leaking but that has been fixed. Name:  IMG_0075.jpg
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Old 12-07-15, 09:02 AM
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Yes, it looks like you have or have had a water leak at the fitting where the water line connects. The rust and dried minerals are a dead giveaway.
 
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Old 12-07-15, 04:21 PM
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Does this lend any more insight to what might have caused the hole/deformity on the side of the tank?
 
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Old 12-07-15, 04:25 PM
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That hole in the side of the outside cover is caused by rusting from the inside out. That white metal covering is just a cover over insulation and a steel tank.

A lot of corrosion can be seen on top of the tank. The hot water side could be solely from a leaking humidifier water line but it looks like the cold water side has corrosion on it too.

The hole in the cover won't allow water to come out but the fact you have wet insulation means there is a leak yet.
 
 

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