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Water Heater Leaking from Bottom: What Do You Do

For many homeowners, waking up to a leaking water heater on a chilly winter morning is nothing short of a nightmare. Water heaters, just like any other household appliance, can develop problems overnight. These problems can cause them to leak. The good news is that most minor water heater leaks can be easily fixed. Before you call a plumber, make the effort to diagnose the problem. Here are some common reasons that can cause a water heater to leak.


If you are using an old water heater that has not been cleaned, inspected or maintained for a long time, there is a good chance that sediment build-up has caused the bottom to corrode. Sediment build-up can also cause holes or cracks in the bottom of a water heater. If the damage is irreversible, you must seriously consider replacing your old tank with a new one.

Broken/Loose Drain Valves

One of the most common reasons for a water heater to leak is a broken/loose valve. Loose drain valves leak water at a very slow rate. Before the problem gets out of hand, tighten the leaking valve using a wrench. Avoid overtightening the valve. If your water heater’s valve has broken, get it replaced.

Too Much Internal Pressure

Setting the temperature on the hot water heater too high can cause pressure to build up. The excess pressure forces the water out of the tank. Another common reason that can give rise to the problem is a malfunctioning/broken temperature pressure relief valve.

Loose Water Line Connections

Regular wear and tear can loosen the inlet or outlet water lines. To address this problem, tighten or replace the loose or worn water lines.

What toDo After Detecting a Water Heater Leak?

Turn off the Power Supply

To turn off the power supply of your water heater, locate a small knob with three settings: ON, OFF, and PILOT. Press the OFF or PILOT button. This will shut off the gas. You can now safely inspect the heater. If you are using an electric water heater in Santa Rosa, CA, locate the breaker labeled water heater and turn it off.

Turn Off the Water

To turn off the water supply of your heater, you will first have to locate the cold-water line running to your heater. You will find a valve on this line. Turn it to the right until it closes.

Drain Your Tank

Though your water heater technician will drain the tank after they arrive, you must take matters into your own hands if you have a serious water leak. To drain your water heater, locate its drain valve, and attach a garden hose to it. Run the hose to a sump pit. Open the valve. Break the vacuum in the heater by opening a hot water faucet in your home. Once this is done, the water will drain in about an hour.

Don’t worry! Holman Plumbing has you covered. Whatever problem you are facing, we will come up with a sustainable and cost-effective solution. To discuss your plumbing needs, call us at 707-495-5002.

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