September 6, 2022

Why Is My Hot Water Heater Leaking?


A leaky or busted water heater is one of the top sources of residential water damage. Not only can issues with your water heater ruin areas of your home, but they can be expensive to fix too. 

By knowing and identifying the causes of a leaking or burst water heater, you’ll be able prevent these potential problems in the first place. Whenever you have questions about your water heater, you can always call the friendly team at Applewood. We’ve been safely keeping Colorado homes in hot water for decades. Call us today!

3 Reasons Your Water Heater is Leaking and Could Burst

Don’t let issues with your water heater get worse. If you observe any of the following problems, have a licensed professional make the necessary repairs right away. 

1. Water Heater Sediment Build-up 

If your water heater is making a popping or knocking noise, it may be due to sediment build-up. Over time, sediment—the minerals in water, especially hard water—will create a layer at the bottom of your water heater tank. This sediment blocks the water from the burner, forcing the burner to run longer to heat your water. This will cause overheating and deteriorate your tank faster. 

The solution: 

This problem can be prevented by flushing and draining your home’s water heater tank of sediment once a year.

2. Water Heater Corrosion and Rust

Rust and corrosion can affect hot water heaters in different ways. If you notice corrosion on your water heater connections – the pipes or valves – it may be time to have those components replaced. 

 If your hot tap water is a brown, rusty color, you may be dealing with interior rust corrosion. Your water heater is made of steel. This means that over time, water will cause the tank to rust. This is why your water has something called an anode rod inside of it. This 3-5 foot rod draws rust away from your tank and corrodes in its place. So, once the rod deteriorates, your water heater is next. 

The solution: 

To prevent this problem, inspect the anode rod at least once every two years. You’ll probably need to change the anode rod once every 4-5 years (or sooner if you have a water softener) to extend your water heater’s life. 

3. Excessive Internal Pressure 

If too much pressure builds in your water heater tank, it will eventually spring a leak or even burst. What causes too much pressure in a hot water heater? Excessive heat. Water expands as it heats up. If your water becomes too hot for your heater to handle, it could cause more pressure to build up than your tank can handle.

 Luckily, your water heater’s tank has something called a T&P (temperature and pressure) relief valve. The T&P relief valve is in place to release water when the pressure increases beyond a safe level. However, even with the valve, the extra pressure can put undue stress on the tank over the years. 

Test your valve periodically to ensure it’s working properly. If it isn’t working or if you notice corrosion on it, have your valve replaced.  If you ever notice water pouring out of the pressure relief valve, call a professional plumber immediately. 

The solution: 

Set the temperature of your water heater to 120-125° F. Any higher than that and you will increase the pressure in the tank and your chances of getting scalded. 

A licensed plumber checks the settings on a water heater.

Leaky Water Heater Repair in Denver and Boulder

Do you need help with your leaky water heater? Can’t seem to figure out what’s causing the problem? Schedule an appointment with Applewood today! Get peace of the mind of having a licensed professional assure your water heater’s integrity. 

Call  303-328-3060

Schedule Now