Having a leaky water heater can also be potentially hazardous. If you have a water heater leaking, there are a few things that you can try to fix the problem before calling in the plumber. You do need to get it fixed as soon as you can though because it can cause extensive damage to your home.
If longer you have a full drip pan, the more money it will cost you, and it is much more likely that you will run onto other issues such as mold and mildew. The first thing you need to do is locate the source of the leak. Once you figure the issue out, you will have a better idea of what you need to do to fix the issue before too much damage is done.
Just because your water heater appears to be leaking it does not mean that it is going to be a big and costly repair. Don’t always assume that where the water is that is also where the leak will be. You will have to do some investigating to figure out where the source if the leak is. A trick you can try is to put a couple of drops of food coloring around the leak and see where it flows.
It could be as simple as a condensation leak. A water heater will produce condensation and gas water heaters are more likely to do this. It is quite common for condensation to build up on your water heater in cold weather and it will typically go away on its own once the tank warms up. You should keep an eye on your water heater, and if the “leak” goes away on its own, it was probably just condensation.
Leaking pipes and fittings could be another reason for “leaks.” If this is the case, it will continue to leak until you fix it. You can typically find the source of the leak by following the water trail. It could originate from the top of the water tank, or it could originate at the thermostat. The leak could also be near the bottom of the tank which could indicate that the turn off valve is leaking.
If the leak is from the top of the tank, it could be coming from where the cold-water supply line and the hot water exit line connects to the water tank. If this is the case, it will be right around the anode rod fitting located on the very top of the tank or right at the pressure and temperature relief valve near the top of the tank. It could also be the heating elements that are causing all the trouble if you have an electric water heater. If your water tank is older or damaged, the leak could be coming from the body of the tank. In this instance, you will not be able to repair your tank on your own, and you will need to go shopping for a new one.