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.