Is Your Water Heater Leaking From the Top? Follow These Steps To Discover Why!

If you’ve discovered that your water heater is leaking from the top, don’t fret! If the leak is truly from the top, it’s generally less costly and easy to fix. But if not properly treated in time, it can eventually develop into more serious issues. Before proceeding any further, it is always a good idea to turn the power off before working on your water heater. We are now going to look into the 3 most likely causes of why your water heater might be leaking from the top: Not interested in self-diagnosing your water heater? Call Al Coronado today and a professional can locate and fix the leak!

#1: Water Inlet Valve

If there seems to be a collection of water on the top of your water heater, it is often a signal that there is a possible leak in the water inlet or outlet pipe. Check your cold water pipe which usually has an inline valve or gate valve that allows you to alter the flow of water to your water heater. Examine these valves for any leakage, and if so, it may be as simple as tightening the connection between the nut and the handle. If there is still leakage, then its possible the valve is defective and needs to be replaced.

#2: Loose Pipe Fittings

Followed step one and still not your issue? Take a closer look at the water inlet and outlet fittings and see if water leakage is present in those areas. If this is the case, take a wrench and try to tighten the pipes until the leakage stops. However, it is fairly common for these pipes to become corroded over time and will mean that you need to replace the actual fitting. The fitting can sometimes be hard to remove, but is typically not a difficult chore. If your water heater uses a copper tubing instead of threaded pipe, you may want to hire a professional due to the difficulty. Plumber using a wrench on a water heater.

#3: The Temperature & Pressure Valve

If you still haven’t discovered the issue, look for the Temperature & Pressure Valve (T&P Valve), which is commonly located on the side of the water heater, to see if you can spot any leaks coming from the valve. It is advised that if your T&P Valve becomes faulty, you should replace it with a new one as these are installed for your safety. However, in order to fully determine that it is the T&P Valve that is faulty and not your entire water heater, you are going to need to remove it to check for corrosion in the threads.

  1. Drain the water level inside the tank until it is below the valve.
  2. Open a hot water tap to allow air inside the tank.
  3. Use channel locks to unscrew the valve and remove it from the tank.
  4. After removing the valve, check for any rust or corrosion on the tank itself. If you spot any, the water heater needs to be replaced.
  5. If you don’t discover any visible corrosion, wrap the threading of your T&P Valve in Teflon tape to help seal the valve, and then screw it back into the tank.

Once you have successfully completed these steps, keep a close eye on your water heater to see if your problem continues. If the leaking persists, or if you weren’t able to determine the cause of your leak, you should call a professional plumber right away.

People Also Ask

What is the best type of metal to use for water pipes?

The best type of metal to use for water pipping in your home is copper. Due to it' strength, durability and resistance to corrosion, it is a plumbers first choice in metal pipping application.

What is the best plumbing pipe for cold weather?

PEX is the best plumbing pipe to use for cold weather, as it is more resistant to freezing water and can expand and contract as necessary with the fluctuations in temperature between seasons.

What type of pipe is used for main water lines?
PEX and CPVC are used for piping main water lines. Due to their wide array of application and ability to withstand high pressure they are frequently used for running main lines in housing and commercial applications.
Which type of plumbing pipe is best?

The best type of plumbing pipe is PEX Pipe or Copper Pipe due to their wide application of use, durability and use of non-toxic materials. 

Read more about the best types of plumbing pipes here!

Is PEX safe for drinking water?
Yes, PEX Plumbing Pipes are safe for drinking water. Due to the composition of the materials used in PEX pipes they are frequently used for similar, if not all the same applications as copper plumbing.