What to Do When Your Water Heater Starts Leaking from the Top

water heater leaking

Oh, the beloved water heater. It keeps our daily showers hot and our never ending piles of dirty dishes properly washed. It seems hard to imagine living without it!

Because a water heater is so important to your daily home life, it’s essential to do whatever you can to keep it in good working condition. That means checking it regularly to make sure everything is good to go.

So what do you do to prevent further damage if you see water heater leaking from top? Your friends at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Bay Area have created this handy do-it-yourself guide below to help you identify and solve this common water heater issue.

Before we jump right into the solutions, let’s take a quick look at the potential causes.

Leaks from the top of the water heater are usually caused by one of the three connections at the top, as shown in the diagram below:

1) Connection that generates hot water
2) Connection that generates cold water
3) Connection that releases pressure

water heater leaking

What to do when you see water coming out of water heater’s top

As mentioned above, it’s important to closely examine these three connections at the top of your hot water heater if you spot a leak. Your course of action will be determined by which one of these connections isn’t secure.

Usually, one of these connections needs to be tightened, which you can fix yourself. Just use a wrench to tighten the loose fitting. This commonly fixes the leak right away.

1. Using paper towels, wipe down the wet areas on the top of your water heater so it’s dry.
2. Then observe where the water starts to come from.
3. Once you identify that a leak is still currently happening, immediately turn off the power source to avoid any electrical issues.

If you have a gas water heater, turn off the gas supply. Turn the gas valve clockwise (it’s located to the side or behind your water heater at the end of the gas supply line).

If you have an electric water heater, turn off the breaker switch in your home’s circuit box. If you can’t find the label for the water heater, turn off the main breaker.

If the leak is coming from the pressure relief valve (see diagram above), the valve itself could be faulty or there could be debris built up inside that’s inhibiting its function.

1. You can test this by placing a bowl right underneath what’s called the overflow tube.
2. Next, pull the tab on the pressure relief valve. You’ll want to make sure it’s pointing straight out. The valve should then open, getting rid of any debris that may be lurking.
3. If you find that the valve continues to leak after you do this, you’ll definitely need a replacement.

If the pressure relief valve shows the leak at the connection, simply tighten it or try placing Teflon tape around the threaded connection.

Another solution to solve the problem of your hot water tank leaking from top

If you’re not sure what the cause of the water heater leak is or you don’t have a lot of experience with hot water heater leaking from top, our Bay Area Benjamin Franklin Plumbing team is more than happy to assist you.

Our plumbers have decades of experience and expertise repairing water heaters – and we guarantee 100% satisfaction. Furthermore, we’re available 24/7.

Give us a call anytime!