Why Is My Water Heater Leaking from the Top?

Your water heater is an essential part of your home’s ecosystem. If you’ve noticed water pooling at the top of your water heater, there are a few ways to remedy this issue, and luckily, most of them involve only a wrench. If you don’t try to fix the leak right away, you could risk water damage. Even a small leak can cause extensive damage that can be very expensive to fix.

Grove Heating & Cooling is Bowie, Maryland’s most reliable water heater repair company. Whether it’s installing a new water heater or making sure the one you have is running efficiently, we’re available 24-hours a day for all of your water heater problems. 

What You Should Do If Your Water Heater Is Leaking from the Top

First, turn off the water heater. If you have a gas water heater, turn off the gas by turning the thermostat control to the OFF position. For an electric water heater, you’ll have to turn it off at the circuit breaker. 

Next, clean up and dry any water you see on top of the water heater tank. Then, find the cold water inlet valve, and make sure the water is on. This is how water gets through the pipes in the walls and into the water heater. With the water on, it will be easier to see where the leak is coming from. Use a paper towel to spot seeping water, and check pipes and connections. Once you locate the leak, turn the cold water inlet valve off.

Common Causes and Repairs for Water Heaters Leaking from the Top

When a water heater leaks from the top, it doesn’t always mean that the top of the tank is the source of the leak. Be sure to check all pipes and connections that come from the water tank. 

Cold-Water Inlet Valve

The cold-water intake valve allows cold water to flow into the water heater. This valve often sits directly above the water heater. If the valve is leaking, it could be the reason why you’re noticing water at the top of your heater. Use a screwdriver to tighten the nut that connects the handle to the valve. If tightening doesn’t stop the leak, then you’ll need to replace the valve. 

Pipe Fittings or Connections

If you find that the source of your water heater leak is at the water inlet or outlet fittings, get a wrench and attempt to tighten them. Tightening should remedy most loose fittings that cause leaks. If the leak persists, it could mean that the pipe fittings are corroded. Rusty pipes or a whitish powder substance on the pipes are common signs of corrosion. The connections of the inlet and outlet fittings could be the cause. These are called dielectric nipples; you can find them at most hardware stores, and they’re a relatively easy and inexpensive fix. 

Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

The temperature and pressure relief valve (T&P valve) is commonly located at the top of the hot water heater. It acts as a safety valve to release excess pressure or water in case of a temperature failure or overpressurization. Inspect to see if the top of your water heater is corroded. If it is, it may be time for a new tank. If there’s no corrosion, and the leak seems to be coming from the T&P valve, it’s best to buy a new one at a hardware store and replace it. 

Still Have a Leaking Water Heater? Call Grove Right Away

Even if you think your home repair skills solved your problem, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for the potential for more leaks. If it leaks again, then it’s time to call Grove Heating & Cooling for a repair. If you notice any signs of corrosion around your water tank, then it’s probably time to call a professional to replace your water heater as soon as possible. Grove offers flexible financing options so you can keep the hot water flowing through your house affordably.

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