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  • Writer's pictureG&C Plumbing and Heating

Why is My Water Heater Leaking from the Top?

why is my water heater leaking from the top

If your water heater leaks from the top, you might wonder if it can be fixed. If you don’t solve the issue, you are likely to encounter even more severe problems. Identifying the cause of the leakage can help determine the best way to solve the problem.

Common Reasons Why Water Leaks from the Top

Loose Pipe fittings (most commonly found on calls)

Water enters and leaves the water heater through outlet and inlet connections. Over time these connections can loosen and cause leakages.

In most cases, check the outlet and inlet fittings with your fingers and see whether there is a leakage.

Leakages commonly occur at points where pipes connect to the fittings.

Consider tightening the pipe or fitting with a wrench if this is the case. Too much pressure on your tightening could worsen the leak or damage the pipe permanently, requiring new piping.

Faulty outlet/Inlet Valve (not always the tank it can be from the piping above)

The cold water going into a water heater goes through the inlet valve. A faulty or loose inlet valve can be the cause of a leakage.

Hot water can leak from the outlet valve; if it is worn out, you may notice a leakage.

Repairing an outlet valve in some water heaters can be complex. Therefore, it may be essential to reach out to your plumber for advice on whether you should repair or replace the entire set.

Leaky Temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve

A temperature and pressure valve are an essential feature of the heater’s pressure, to avoid an explosion.

Some water heaters have top-mounted relief valves, while others are side-mounted.

Due to the high pressure and temperature regulating activity, your water heater’s relief valve can deteriorate over time. Excess pressure can cause the T&P valve to discharge.

You may also notice a leak around the heater’s threaded fittings. The connection can corrode and leak from the top of your water heater. Provided the threading on the T&P valve is in good condition, you can stop the leakage.

Anode Rod

If the tank is old and water leaks from the top, the anode rod could be the most probable suspect.

Typically, older tank models have an anode at the top between the hot water supply outlet pipe and the cold inlet valve.

The corrosive elements in your tank can ruin the integrity of the anode over a period, thus ruining the threading connection. The leaking water forms bubbles and may creep up the anode rod.

This explains why you see water leaking from the top.

Final Thoughts if You’re Experiencing Water Sitting on Top of Your Water Tank

If you know how to tell if your water is leaking slowly, you can easily find the cause of the problem and fix it. Regardless of whether your water heater is leaking from the bottom or top, reaching out to a plumbing contractor is advisable.

If you want to maintain a consistent and adequate flow of hot water in your home, ensure you perform routine maintenance to ensure the fittings are damage-free and well-fitted. G&C Plumbing & Heating in MA is here and ready to answer any questions you may have about your water heater repairs.


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