Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

What Causes a Water Heater to Leak From the Bottom?


You head into the room where your water heater is located and notice a small wet spot near or around the base of the heater. Upon closer inspection, you can tell that it’s coming from the water heater. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it’s not supposed to do that.

Hot, potable water is imperative to your everyday life and health, so what happens when your water heater starts giving you trouble? That’s when it’s time for water heater repair in Frederick, MD before those leaks become a serious issue.

Bottom Leaks Could Be the Drain Valve

Your drain valve is used during maintenance. Sediment builds up in your tank and needs to be removed to prevent issues. But what happens when your drain valve begins to leak?

If it’s serious and you can see a stream of water or more than 10–20 drops per minute, it’s severe enough that it might be wise to shut down your water heater and call for emergency repair.

If the leak is very slow (less than ten drops per minute), it’s worth scheduling a repair visit, but not likely an emergency. Your drain valve can leak over time, but in the best-case scenario, a simple O-ring replacement should do the trick.

The Tank May Have a Leak

If the tank itself has a leak, that’s the worst-case scenario for this entire situation. Once a tank loses enough integrity that it begins leaking water, the entire tank has to go.

You may wonder why simple welding or soldering can’t solve the problem, and that’s because the metal of your water heater’s tank is relatively thin. It’s not designed to be welded; it was manufactured to be a solid piece.

If your tank has a leak, you need a full water heater replacement. If the tank is leaking now, any band-aid solution you can think of will just lead to a larger system breakdown in the near future.

Excessive Tank Pressure

When water heats, it expands and creates pressure. Your water tank is designed to handle this up to a certain extent, but too much pressure is a bad thing.

When too much pressure builds, your tank can burst with enough excessive force to destroy drywall and cause severe injuries if a person were to be in the vicinity of the explosion.

If water is leaking from your tank, this could be a sign of an impending disaster. This is something that a technician will need to handle as soon as possible. If you even suspect tank pressure to be the problem, do not attempt to fix the issue on your own. Call for professional help.

Water Heaters Need Specific Care

Whether it’s as serious as expanding tank pressure, or as simple as replacing an O-ring, either way your water heater needs attention. It’s time to call in a professional who can assess the situation and come up with the best solution possible.

Contact Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing today to fix your water heater leak as soon as possible.