Hot Water Heater Leaks Occasionally: 8 Problems And Their Solutions

A water heater is the most important device in our everyday life. Now it’s common in houses. Homeowners prefer to install a water heater to have a hassle-free life. But what to do if the hot water heater leaks occasionally? And why does it leak?

The most common reasons for hot water heater leaks are loose and damaged valves, old tanks, temperature & pressure issues, and sediment development. 

That’s only the insights. Apart from these, there are some other problems you might notice. We’ve gathered the significant problems and their fixes in detail that can help you to get rid of water heater leaks.

Quick Glimpse Of Hot Water Heater Leaking Problems And Solutions

Hot Water Heater

In this table, we include some common hot water heater problems and their solutions to help you out.

Water leakage from the internal tankReplace the water heater immediately.
Inlet and outlet connection failureTighten the inlet and outlet connections properly.
Gaskets issuesCut across some insulation.
Storage tank leakageChange the storage tank.
Corrosion on the anode rodInstall a new anode rod
Drain valve malfunctionSecure the valve.
Temperature pressure relief valve problemKeep the pressure low.
Develops sediment inside the tankCleaning the tank

So, the key reasons for water heater leaks occasionally are damaged valves and loose connections. But that’s not all, so here you will get a comprehensive idea of hot water heater leak problems and their possible solutions.

Water Leakage From Defective Internal Tank

Sometimes, the hot water heater can leak due to internal tank damage. It can be cracked for heavy slit development. If you don’t clean the tank every six months, it’ll lose the efficiency of containing water properly. Due to this issue, it can start leaking outside.

Moreover, a good hot water tank can last for 10 years. After some years,  it develops heavy corrosion. And it damages all units gradually and leaks due to corrosion and sediment buildup.

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To fix the problem, you can change the whole unit. Installing a new internal tank unit can be the permanent solution.

Otherwise, it can damage other units of the water heater. And then, it can be difficult to operate the water heater. You should replace the water heater after the internal tank leaks as soon as possible.

Inlet & Outlet Connection Failure

The hot water heater comes up with a cold water inlet and hot water outlet connection. After using the heater for a long time, the connections can loosen. It can be a major reason for hot water leakage.

If the water supply connections aren’t working properly, you’ll notice your water heater is damaging day by day. Also, the inlet and outlet connection can cause water heater leakage.


The primary solution to a loose connection is securing it properly. To secure the inlet and outlet connection, you need to take a regular wrench and tighten the water line.

If the pipeline of the hot water outlet and cold water inlet has been damaged, you must replace it with a new one.

For replacing the flex pipes, you can use a high-quality garden hosepipe, and for the copper pipes, it’s necessary to call professionals.

Besides, installing stainless steel connectors to the outlets would be better. It will expand life expectancy.

Gaskets Issues

If your water heater is seeping water outside, it’s important to check the gasket’s position. Sometimes loose or defective gaskets can cause water heater leakage. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to diagnose this problem. But remember to check it before replacing your water heater.


First of all, turn off the water heater and open the hatch cover. You will notice the gasket inside the heater. Tighten it with the wrench. Also, it might require cutting across the insulation.

But if the gasket leaks, the only thing you can do is replace it. Before replacing it, you have to drain the water tank and remove all electrical equipment. Then you can replace it yourself or call the plumbers.

Storage Tank Leakage

Not all water heaters have storage tanks. It’s optional, but if your water heater contains a separate storage tank to keep hot water, it can be damaged over the years. For this reason, your water heater can leak as well.


You have to change the water heater or replace the storage tank unit. Choose a premium quality storage tank for longevity. It can be a temporary and quick solution. But the permanent solution is replacing the water heater.

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Corrosion On The Anode Rod

The anode rod holds the roughness of the water heater. During this process, it can be damaged with regular corrosion build-up. And also, it can vanish over time. In that case, water starts leaking through the empty anode rod unit.


When it comes to an anode rod, it’s impossible to repair. You have to install a new anode rod immediately before it starts to damage other units.

You might want to know the reasons why water heater leaks from top panel and how to troubleshoot.

Drain Valve Malfunction

For annual water heater maintenance, homeowners use a drain valve. If the drain valve is loose, the hot water heater can leak. It can also happen due to damage and cracks.


You can tighten up the loose valve connection with a wrench easily. But you can’t repair a damaged valve. In that case, change it and install a heavy-duty drain valve.

Temperature Pressure Relief Valve Problem

The hot water heater can leak due to two problems with the temperature pressure relief valve, such as heavy water pressure and high temperature. It causes valve leakage.

In that case, your hot water heater couldn’t take the high temperature and heavy water pressure. Additionally, if the valve has been loosened, then it can damage the temperature and pressure relief system.


If the valve connection is loose, you can tighten it up with a wrench. To keep up the stable pressure and good temperature, you have to adjust it with the water heater requirements.

According to the Department of Energy, you should keep the water temperature at 120℉. Keeping the temperature from medium to high is convenient for a house water heater.

However, water pressure depends on the water supply of your area. Check the water pressure with a measurement gauge.

The perfect water pressure is 60 psi for houses. If it crosses 100 psi, contact the municipality authorities to keep it lower.

Develops Sediment Inside The Tank

After using the heater for many years, you can notice sediment buildup inside the heater. And it may clog the pipe connections and tanks as well. For this reason, the water heater may start leaking. It’s also a reason for rusty tanks and connections.


You should clean the hot water heater tank regularly. Cleaning it can help you to get rid of other problems as well.

Before cleaning the sediment, you have to turn off the cold and hot water connections. Use vinegar and water for light sediment. To clean heavy sediment, you should contact a professional plumber.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is a leaking water heater dangerous?

Yes. It’s dangerous. However, it can blow up the water heater, especially if the temperature and pressure relief valve has been damaged.

What is the temporary fix for a leaking water heater?

The temporary fix for a leaking water heater is repairing it with professional plumbers. They will find out the leaks and repair them with adhesives. But it won’t last long. You might need to repair it frequently.

Can I take a shower if my water heater is leaking?

Yes. You can take a shower if the heater has tiny leaks. Otherwise, avoiding taking a shower with the heater leakage would be better.

How do I stop my hot water heater from leaking?

To prevent the hot water heater from leaking, you should clean the tanks and valves frequently. Replace the damaged units and flush out the sediment development. It will expand the hot water heater’s life expectancy.


Now you know how to fix it if the hot water heater leaks occasionally. The major problems of hot water heater leaks are damaged water tanks, defective drain valves, faulty temperature pressure relief valves, and loose units.

First of all, find out why the water heater is leaking. Turn off the inlet-outlet connections and turn off the heater. Use a drain valve to wash out the tank. You can tighten it with a wrench and twist it counterclockwise if it has loose connection issues.

There is no permanent solution for damaged units except replacing them. You can easily replace the units. But as it’s important to install these units perfectly, it would be better if you call professionals. Moreover,  you can also contact them to repair the leaks.

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