Water Heater Troubleshooting - Leaking Tank

water heater
  • .25
  • Beginner
What You'll Need
User handbook
Inspection lamp
Ladder + body support surface (particularly if located in an attic space)

A leaky water heater in your storage room or basement poses problems of molds, rotting wood/walls and mildew. A water heater is made up of its tank plus a network of pipes that connect the heater to the rest of the home. While some pipes are visible and easy to inspect or repair, other pipes are hidden inside walls, which makes them hard to reach. Follow the steps below to troubleshoot your leaky water heater so determine the source of the problem and how to fix it.

Step 1 - Prepare

Before investigating the tank water heater, check that the electrical supply is switched off or disconnected. Turn off any water supply to the tank. Isolate and protect any area where leaking water may be falling onto equipment or the ground.

Step 2 - Listen to the System

Check that the water is not escaping through the overflow outlet. This is a common problem with a water tank, usually caused by a faulty control valve. You can hear the water continuing to run into the tank and the valve whistling. Listen and watch the overflow outlet in order to confirm any leaks. Check for wet grounds or walls to confirm suspicions that pipes inside walls or outside are leaking.

Step 3 - Check the Tank

Check whether the tank itself is leaking. A main indicator of this condition is wetness around the equipment. Tanks mostly tend to develop faults along seams where the parts are welded together.