Fixing A Leaky Hot Water Heater Everything You Need To Know

Fixing A Leaky Hot Water Heater: Everything You Need To Know

Whether you’ve noticed a drop in hot water pressure, puddles of water around your hot water heater, or even a strange smell coming from it, these are all signs that your hot water heater could be leaking. Fixing this issue isn’t as difficult as it seems, and can be done quite easily with the right tools and knowledge. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about fixing a leaky hot water heater. From identifying the source of the leak to selecting the right parts and supplies, we’ll walk you through each step of the process so that you can get your hot water heater up and running again.

Why Is My Water Heater Leaking?

Water heaters are one of the most common appliances in American households, and they are also one of the most likely to develop leaks. While a small leak may not seem like a big deal, it can actually be a sign of a serious problem. If you notice water leaking from your water heater, it’s important to take action right away.

There are a few different reasons why water heaters may start to leak, and each one requires a different solution. The most common reason for a water heater leak is simply age and wear and tear. Over time, the tank of your water heater can start to corrode, which will eventually lead to leaks. This is especially true if your water heater is more than 10 years old.

Another common reason for leaks is temperature fluctuations. If your water heater is set too high, the tank can start to overheat and crack. Conversely, if the temperature is set too low, the tank can become pressurized and cause leaks. You can avoid this problem by making sure that your water heater is set to the correct temperature.

If you have an electric water heater, another possible cause of leaks is loose wiring. Over time, the wires that connect your water heater to your home’s electrical system can become loose, which can cause short circuits and potentially start fires. If you notice any frayed or damaged wires around your water heater, it’s important to have them replaced as soon as possible.

Finally, another potential cause of water heater leaks is sediment buildup. When hard water passes through your water heater, it can leave behind calcium and other minerals that can accumulate on the bottom of the tank. This sediment buildup can cause corrosion and eventually lead to leaks. To prevent this problem, you should have your water heater flushed regularly.

No matter what the cause of your water heater’s leak is, it’s important to take action right away in order to prevent any further damage. If you’re not sure how to fix the problem yourself, consider calling a professional plumber for assistance.

How to Fix a Leaky Water Heater

1. Turn Off the Power: Before you begin any repair or maintenance work on your water heater, make sure to turn off the power source that supplies electricity to the unit. This can be done by shutting off the circuit breaker or removing the fuse in your main electrical box.

2. Shut Off the Gas Supply: If you have a gas water heater, you will need to shut off the gas supply as well. You can do this by turning off the gas valve located near your water heater.

3. Drain the Tank: To fix a leaky water heater, you will need to drain all of the water from its tank. To do this, attach a garden hose to the drain valve and run it outdoors until all of the water has been drained out.

4. Inspect for Leaks: Once all of the water has been drained out of your tank, look for visible signs of leaks around its base and connections. If any are present, tighten any loose connections with a wrench and replace any faulty parts that may be causing it to leak.

5. Replace Damaged Gaskets/Seals: One common cause of leaks in water heaters is worn or damaged gaskets and seals. If any of these components look worn or damaged, replace them with new ones.

6. Refill the Tank: When you are finished with all of your repairs, refill the tank with water and turn on the power and gas supply to the unit. If no leaks are present, it is safe to use again.

7. Test for Leaks: After refilling the tank, turn on the hot water in a sink or tub and check for any leaks coming from the unit. If you do not find any, your repair was successful.

8. Call a Professional: If you are unable to locate the source of the leak or if it persists after trying all of the steps above, it is best to call a professional plumber for assistance.

By following these steps you should be able to fix a leaky water heater quickly and easily. Remember to always use caution when dealing with electricity or gas, and if the problem persists or you are uncomfortable attempting the repair, contact a professional for help. 

When to Call a Professional

If your hot water heater is leaking, it’s important to determine whether the leak is coming from the tank itself, or from one of the pipes or fittings. If the leak is coming from the tank, it’s likely that you’ll need to replace the entire unit. However, if the leak is coming from a pipe or fitting, you may be able to repair it yourself.

If you’re not sure where the leak is coming from, or if you don’t feel confident in your ability to fix it yourself, it’s always best to call a professional. A plumber will be able to quickly identify the source of the leak and make the necessary repairs.

Tips for Preventing Future Leaks

If you’re looking to avoid future leaks in your hot water heater, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure that the area around your hot water heater is clear and free of debris. This will help to keep the unit from rusting. Additionally, you can add a water softener to your home’s plumbing system. This will help to remove any minerals that could build up and cause corrosion in the tank. Finally, be sure to have your hot water heater serviced regularly by a qualified technician. This will help to catch any potential problems early on and prevent them from becoming bigger issues down the road.


Fixing a leaky hot water heater can be a tricky task, but the good news is that with the right information and some patience, you can do it yourself. We hope this article has provided you with all of the knowledge necessary to take on any hot water heater repair job. Now grab your tools and get started!

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