If your water heater is leaking, you may think that this is nothing more than an inconvenience, particularly if it’s in an unfinished basement area with a drain where the water can flow and exit your home.
But you should be aware of the dangers of a leaking water heater. In some cases, leaks could indicate that the tank is about to fail catastrophically – and even explode, as seen in this MythBusters video. Learn more below.
Most Hot Water Tank Leaks Do Not Indicate an Explosion Risk
Most commonly, hot water tanks leak due to corroded pipes leading to the water tank, loose fittings and connections, or a deterioration in the tank itself.
And if your water heater is leaking from the bottom, this may be a problem with the drain valve.
If you notice a leak, you should definitely turn off the power and water right away, and contact a professional for repairs.
Failing to do so could lead to further damage to your water heater, or moisture damage in the basement or area where your water heater is located.
A Water Heater Leaking from the T&P Valve Could Fail Catastrophically
The dangers of a leaking water heater are mostly small, but if you notice that your T&P (Temperature & Pressure) valve is leaking, this could indicate a serious problem.
The T&P valve helps release pressure and control the temperature inside your hot water heater. Typically, it won’t release any water until the pressure reaches 150 PSI and the temperature inside the tank reaches 210° F.
This valve is usually attached to the upper section of the tank, and consists of a valve and a small-diameter pipe that drains downward.
If you see water leaking from this valve, turn off the power and water immediately and contact a professional!
Water leaking from the T&P valve indicates unsafe pressure and temperatures in the heater, and in some cases, the water tank could explode.