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One can definitely call a water heater as one of the most common household appliances. Problems do arise with most home appliance and a water heater is no exception to that. If anything goes wrong with any of the components of the water heater, the heater might not be able to function properly. Many a times, people complain of the water not being hot enough. Another common hot water heater problem is that of hot water tank leaking. Wondering what causes the hot water tank to leak? Here’s some information on the possible causes of hot water tank leaking from top or bottom.

What Causes the Hot Water Tank to Leak?

Different types of water heaters are available in the market. In case of storage water heaters, inlet pipes supply cold water to the tank, wherein the water gets heated as per the temperature settings in the thermostat. Water is stored till it gets withdrawn through the hot water outlet. Water heater problems could arise if any of the water heater parts get damaged. Is your water heater leaking? If you notice water dripping from top or bottom of the hot water tank, you must try to find out the source of leakage. Sometimes hot water leaking from top might be attributed to condensation. In order to confirm that the water dripping from the sides or top is resulting from condensation, you must turn off the heat source. Turn the power off for a few hours. If water continues to drip, then your hot water tank is definitely leaking. Let’s find out about causes of leakage.

Loose Pipe Connections
Many a times, hot water tank leaking might be a sign of a problem in pipe connections or valves. Over a period of time, the plumbing pipes can get damaged. This can result in leakage. Inspect the pipes that are connected to the heater. Look for the source of leakage and tighten the fittings. If water continues to drip, you might have to get the fitting replaced. If the hot and cold lines don’t seem to be loose or in need of repair, it’s possible that hot water tank might be leaking due to a loose or faulty drain valve. The drain valve is present at the bottom of the boiler. Is the hot water tank leaking from drain valve? Most of the times, hot water tank leaking from bottom might be caused due to a loose drain valve. This water heater problem can be sorted out by tightening the loose drain valve. If the drain valve is damaged or faulty, you must replace it.

Temperature Relief Pressure Valve
Hot water tank leaking from the temperature relief pressure valve is something that must not be ignored. This valve releases water when the water inside the tank becomes too hot. When high pressure and temperature builds up inside the tank, water will start dripping from this valve. It is actually a mechanism to prevent the tank from exploding. It is therefore essential that this valve functions properly. Besides getting this valve checked, you must also check the temperature settings. Reduce thermostat setting so as to eliminate the chances of tank overheating. In case of water heaters run by gas, the vent present at the top could get clogged and cause leakage. Another possible reason of hot water tank leaking from bottom is corrosion. If you have been using the water heater for more than 15 years, it’s possible that the tank has corroded. If water is leaking from the seams of the tank, it’s is most likely to be caused due to a corroded tank. Under these circumstances, you might need to replace the water heater.

This was some information on troubleshooting hot water heater problem of hot water tank leaking. If water is dripping from your hot water tank, you must check for loose fittings or valves. If tightening the valves doesn’t help, you might have to replace them. If water still continues to drip even after replacing the valves and changing the thermostat settings, it would be better to call  an expert for repairing the hot water heater.