Water Heater Leaking from Top or Bottom: The Best Solutions to Try

Having a heater can be a real lifesaver, especially if you hate having cold showers. However, it is inevitable that there are times that it won’t end up functioning as it is supposed to. There can be problems, many of which can be resolved on your own and without the need for intervention from a pro.

Among others, one of the most common problems that can confront you would be water heater leaking from top or bottom. From the first sign of the problem, you need to act to prevent it from worsening. Start with the identification of the reason for the leak, and from here, you will be able to determine what is best to be done to solve the problem.

Common Causes of Water Heater LeaksWater-Heater Leaking-From-Top

Before anything else, let us first have a look at the most common reasons why the water heater is leaking. In most cases, this could be a result of old age. If you have a tank-style heater, it can last up to 12 years. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, can last 20 years. After such period, it can be prone to corrosion and other damages that can lead to a leak.

Poor installation and incorrect plumbing can also be the reason. That being said, it will be best to get in touch with a licensed technician to install your heater to lessen the likelihood that there will be problems in the future.

If the leak is on the top, one possible problem is that there is loose pipe fitting. The inlet or the outlet is possibly loose. More so, it is also possible that the pressure valve is not tight, which is why the water can escape from the top of the heater.

On the other hand, if the leak is on the bottom, some of the specific problems include leaking drain valve, leaking pressure valve, damaged temperature valve, and broken tank.

How to Repair a Leaking Water Tank

Now that you know some of the reasons why the tank is leaking, let us discuss the steps that you need to do to provide the remedy that will stop the leak:

  1. Turn off the supply of electricity. This is important so that you can work on the problem safely, preventing the possibility of electrocution. Look for the circuit breaker and turn off the switch. If you have a gas water heater, on the other hand, turn off the gas supply valve.
  2. Turn off the water supply. More often than not, water heaters are designed with a valve that you need to lock so that water will no longer flow out.
  3. Find the location and cause of the leak. This is an important step as this will dictate the next things that you will do, depending on the source of the problem.
  4. If the problem is caused by the pressure valve and temperature controller, all that you have to do is to set the thermostat lower. In some instances, replacement of the valve may be warranted.
  5. On the other hand, there are also instances wherein the drain valve is the problem. This is located at the bottom of the tank. The latter has the main purpose removing sediment build-up that can accumulate at the bottom part of the tank. You can use a hose cap to stop the leak or replace the entire drain valve with a new one.
  6. If the leak is originating from the tank itself, it is possible that there is a hole that needs to be covered or there are loose fittings.
  7. Watch out for the pipes as well. They can be loose and you need to wrap Teflon tape on the threads.

Maintenance of Water Heaters

To avoid leaks, you should pay attention to the care and maintenance of your water heater to avoid problems in the future. Regular inspection is necessary to remedy the problem before the issue becomes worse.

Among the parts of the heater, one that you should check is the anode rod. It should be replaced at least once a year.

Flushing the heater also needs to be done annually, which is important to get rid of the build-up of sediments. This can also help in the prevention of leaking.


Now that you are done reading, I hope that you already know the causes of water heater leaking from top or bottom, and most importantly, how you can solve the problem. In most instances, you can do basic repair tasks on your own. Most of the replacement parts are also cheap and professional intervention is not required to complete the task.

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