What Causes a Hot Water Heater to Leak

hot water heater tank

Water heaters are important in our daily lives because they provide us with the comfort and convenience of warm water for bathing, cooking, and cleaning. Like any other household item, water heaters can develop problems over time. Hot water heater leaking is a widespread issue. Here, we’ll investigate what causes water heater leaks so you can better diagnose and fix the problem.

Pressure Buildup

Excessive pressure is a significant cause of leaks in water heaters. Pressure can rise as the water inside the tank heats up, putting strain on the tank walls and fittings. This pressure can damage the tank and cause leaks over time. 


The tank’s inside is typically built of steel, which rusts over time due to continual water exposure. Corrosion weakens the tank walls, making them vulnerable to leaks. High mineral content in the water, an aging heater, and a lack of maintenance can all hasten the corrosion process.

Faulty Drain Valve

The silt in the tank can be flushed out, and the tank can be drained using the drain valve that can be found at the bottom of the water heater. Water leakage can occur if the drain valve malfunctions or closes correctly. 

Loose or Damaged Pipe Connections

Pipe connections can become loose or damaged over time owing to temperature fluctuations, changes in water pressure, or simple wear & tear. These faulty connections might lead to leakage around fittings or joints.

Tank Overheating

If your water heater’s thermostat fails or is set too high, the water within the tank might get abnormally hot. Overheating can raise the pressure inside the tank, potentially resulting in leaks. 

Can I Still Use A Water Heater If It Is Leaking? 

It is generally not advisable to utilize a leaking water heater. Leaks can signal underlying tank problems, and continuing to use the heater could result in additional damage, including water damage to your property or safety hazards. It is preferable to turn off the unit’s electricity and water supplies and get assistance from a professional plumber.

Should I Turn Off The Water Heater If It Is Leaking? 

Turning off the electricity and water supply to a leaky hot water heater is advisable. This helps to avoid future damage and lowers the likelihood of water spreading and causing more problems. 


Water heater leaks can happen for various causes, including pressure buildup, corrosion, malfunctioning drain valves, loose or damaged pipe connections, and tank overheating. It is critical to fix these concerns as soon as possible to avoid further damage and potential water damage to your home.

It is best to get professional assistance if you have a water heater leak or any other plumbing problem. Gray Plumbing has a staff of skilled plumbers that can quickly diagnose and repair water heater leaks. Our professionals can also do routine maintenance to extend the life of your water heater and prevent future leaks. Don’t allow a leaking water heater to ruin your day any longer; call us, and we’ll take care of the problem for you.


5 Signs You Need Water Heater Repair

As a homeowner, you understand how annoying, unpleasant, and inconvenient it can be when one of your essential appliances fails. It can be highly upsetting to go home after a hard day, hoping to take a hot shower, only to learn that your water heater has broken down. A damaged water heater can disrupt your family’s bathing, laundry, and dish-washing routines, making daily life difficult. Fortunately, there are several subtle symptoms to watch for that will help you identify whether you need to call a plumber Vacaville CA for water heater repairs or replacement. 

Hot Water Heater Leaking

1. Inconsistent Water Temperatures

Do you ever notice how sometimes your water comes out hot and other times it comes out tepid or even cold? Water temperature changes indicate a heater problem. Request a professional to examine the issue. Remember when you bought the water heater. You can repair it if it’s new, but if it’s old, you should replace it. The appliance will not need to be repaired again, saving you money and time.


Where does the water heater’s heat go? A mineral deposition is the most common cause of this issue. Mineral deposits build up over time, preventing water heating elements from working correctly. If only the water elements are damaged, you can repair or replace them rather than buying a new water heater.

2. Water Discoloration

It goes without saying the only water that comes out of your faucet should be colorless. Due to the high pressure, it may appear cloudy at times, but it should turn colorless once the pressure is even. If you discover that the water flowing out of your faucets is brownish, rusty, or contains little dark particles, the source is most likely your water heater. Water’s color turns brownish due to sedimentation. 

If that were the case, you might be exposing yourself to serious health risks in your own house. Request water heater repair Vacaville CA services from a trained technician to clean the hot water tanks or leave the water running to observe whether the watercolor returns to colorless. If this does not work, it is possible that your tank is rusted.

3. Unusual Noise

It is usual for home appliances, such as the water heater, to generate some noise. However, if you hear weird sounds like popping, slamming, hissing, or cracking, you should contact a technician. Those noises could be caused by mineral buildup, which caused the machine to overheat as it worked hard to heat the water.

Any of these signs in your heating system have you taken notice of them? Then you should probably book a water heater repair service in your home as soon as possible. Regardless of the variety of water heaters you have, it’s critical to keep an eye out for the warning signs listed above to ensure your equipment continues to work properly. Getting a water heater repair Vacaville CA service also prevents any problems from worsening, which may save you a lot of money in the future.

4. Water Leakage

Aside from the noise, there are several other factors that might degrade the structure of your water heater and cause it to leak. As a result, water collects at the tank’s bottom.

Aside from being extremely dangerous, especially if you have dogs, small children, or other electrical items in the vicinity. It may also create corrosion, which can eat away at the outer pieces and make its way into the interior of your water heater.

If you find a leak in your heater, have it repaired immediately before it causes further damage.

5. Rusty Water 

A rusty water running from your faucet indicates that the inside of your water heater is damaged and rusting. Rusty water, on the other hand, could be a symptom of rusted pipes. An expert will be able to assist you in determining the source of your rusty water and making the necessary repairs to restore clean water flow in your home.

If you notice any of these indicators of water heater trouble, contact a professional as soon as possible to have your water heater fixed or replaced. If you ignore any of these issues, your water heater may eventually quit working, costing you a lot of trouble and discomfort. In the worst-case situation, a faulty water heater can burst and flood your property, inflicting significant damage. If you suspect a faulty water heater, call a plumber Vacaville CA from Gray Plumbing right away!

Do You Require Water Heater Repair?

Having an inexperienced repairman work on your water heater is a risky way of harming it or causing further problems.

Working with only competent plumbers and repairmen ensures that you receive excellent service and that your water heater lasts a long time.

Are you looking for reputable plumbers and water heater repair specialists? Please contact us right away. Gray Plumbing is licensed to work on all types of water heaters and has enough experience to take care of any of your water heater problems.


What to do When Hot Water Heater is Leaking?

No one enjoys having a leak in their home, lest of all a leak coming from the water heater. The good news is a leaking water heater is relatively easy to fix. The most important thing you need to do is take the time to determine the cause and the origin of the leak before taking any other steps.

Why do water heaters leak?

No one enjoys hot water heater leaking. But it is important to know why it happens in order to know what to avoid doing and how to keep your water heater safe. Here are some common reasons why your water heater is leaking.

1. Your heater is just old:
Like every other thing, your water heaters can get old and become faulty as well. Although we must add that when you compare the average heater against other house old appliances, the heaters usually come out on top.
The average heater can function seamlessly without any issues for up to 10 years and this holds for heaters that do not get serviced. But time can fly by fast and if you are not careful, you could find your water heater leaking from the top or your water heater leaking from the bottom.

2. Fault outlets:
Your water heater deals with hot and cold water and it uses separate outlets to take the cold water in and bring the hot water out. Due to their unique position, these hot and cold inlets and outlets are a lot susceptible to damage than the other parts of the heater. This should be your first point of call if you notice you have a leaking water heater.

3. Faulty pressure relief and temperature valve:
You could have a leaking water heater because of a wide variety of reasons. However, a common culprit is the temperature and pressure relief valve. If the valve is dealing with an inordinate amount of pressure, it could cause the valve to start malfunctioning. This could also be caused by the temperature of the water being raised to really high levels which could cause damage to the valves as well.

4. Faulty drain valve:
Since the drain valve was designed to remove any sediment that finds its way into the water heater, it should be no surprise if it drips a bit. However, there is a difference between an occasional drip and a full-blown leak. Check your drain valve to ensure the fault doesn’t lie there.

How to Know Your Water Heater is about to leak

Unless your tank has managed to get a huge hole within it, you might not notice the leak immediately. A great way to know if your heater is leaking to inspect it regularly but most homeowners don’t do this.
Here are the ways to know if your water heater is about to leak:

1. The exterior of the water heater suddenly becomes rusty:
You do not have to detect rust in the water before you can tell your heater might have a leak in the near future. A safer bet would be to inspect the exterior of your heater to check if rust has begun to form on it. If you notice rust forming on it, it is a strong indicator that your system has been compromised and there is a leak somewhere. You should begin an inspection as soon as possible to locate the source of the leaks.

2. Your heater is begun to product loud noises:
Debris is going to fall within the water heater. For the most part, the debris would not affect your heater and you wouldn’t even know it is there. But eventually the debris will harden and will begin to cause noise whenever the heater is in use.

3. You begin to notice puddles of water around the heater:
Although this might seem obvious, this is another indicator that your water heater is leaking. Monitor your heater regularly and once you notice any indicator like this, simply begin the inspection process listed above.

Hot Water Stinks – How to stop the sulfur (rotten egg) smell

Troubleshooting – Do you smell sulfur (rotten eggs) in the bathroom?

Do you smell of sulfur (rotten eggs) in the bathroom?
Do you smell of sulfur (rotten eggs) in the bathroom?

Well, there’s one smell that no one likes to notice in their home – and that’s rotten eggs. No matter what’s happening in your day, one whiff of this very unpleasant (and very overpowering) odor is sure to throw you off!

If your hot water heater stinks, there’s a reason.

When your water heater smells like sulfur, here’s what is probably happening. The most common cause of smelly water is anaerobic bacteria that exist in some water and react with sulfur and the magnesium and aluminum sacrificial anodes that come with most water heaters to produce hydrogen sulfide gas, making the classic rotten egg ordor. The problem is most common in well systems either private or municipal.

Softening the water can make smelling water much worse. The water heater manufacturers cannot be blamed. It’s a condition that exists in some parts of the country and each person has to deal with it individually.

A Quick Fix . . . But It won’t last.

When you notice this rotten egg smell one wat to confirm that it’s coming from your hot water heater, is to try a do-it-yourself solution.

  • Shut off the cold water valve that’s connected to your water heater.
  • Drain some of the water from your hot water heater.

When you notice this rotten egg smell and you’ve confirmed that it’s coming from your hot water heater, you can go into water heater repair mode and try a do-it-yourself solution.

  • Shut off the cold water valve that’s connected to your water heater.
  • Drain some of the water from your hot water heater.

  • Next, reconnect the metal hose that you disconnected in step 3.
  • Turn the cold water valve back on, which will refill your tank.
  • Let it sit for a few hours.

If you’re wondering why hydrogen peroxide will get rid of the rotten egg smell, it’s because it’s a surefire way to kill the foul-smelling bacteria. It’s classified as environmentally safe by the FDA, so no worries there.

Long Term Solutions – Powered Anode Or Tankless

Sacrificial anode rods are typically made of magnesium, aluminum, or an aluminum/zinc alloy. The anode rod create an electrical reaction inside the water heater as it corrodes. A powered anode does the same by feeding electricity into the tank. Since there is no magnesium or aluminum, there’s no smell. Powered anode rods are a permanent solution as they do not need replacement.

How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

Tankless water heaters make sure you have hot water whenever you need it. Essentially a hot water on demand system, you will not have to heat a tank full of water and have to wait for hot water. With a tankless system, the water is only heated when you need it, so have the benefit of saving money and enjoying hot water on the spot without waiting. They are designed without an anode rod so you will not have any smell.

To find out more about tankless water heaters click here.

Benefits of Working With Us

We know you have a choice when you choose professional services to install or repair your water heater, so when you choose us we do not take that decision for granted. We prove to you we value your business by providing you with several key benefits and services:

Personalized Solutions: You have a lot on your plate. We understand that and we want to make your plumbing situation as hassle-free as possible. You will always be treated with personalized service, and we will never pressure to agree to an upset. You will always be given the option to repair or replace.

Experienced Technicians: Our respectful, knowledgeable technicians know what good service means. We know that to provide you with the best experience possible, we have to be on top of our game. That means we are always up to date on the latest techniques and solutions to make sure we make the most effective, efficient repairs and installations.

Honest, Upfront Pricing: We don’t believe in leaving you in the dark. You will always receive a free estimate before move forward on any project. That way, there is never any confusion or surprise charges.

We believe in doing the job right the first time, utilizing top quality industry standard parts to ensure that everything works properly. You can trust us to provide you with the service you deserve, satisfaction guaranteed!

Want to save on your hot water heating costs and remove that rotten egg smell? Call (707) 600-2969 to install a tankless water heater! Jeffrey Gray Plumbing serves Fairfield, Napa, Vacaville, Vallejo and the surrounding areas. Take advantage of our current specials and exclusive online coupons and save on your next service.

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How To Maintain A Water Heater

Tank type water heaters are one of those common appliances you rely upon every day. Whether gas or electric, they are generally very dependable and quiet. Water heaters can last for a decade or more and with the simple 3-step annual maintenance plan outlined here, you can extend the life of your water heater even further and save money in the process. Continue reading