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Question DetailsAsked on 6/8/2013

What is the best way to fix a leaking hot water tank?

leaking from the bottom of the tank

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1 Answer


OK - are you sure it is a leak ?

If you have a gas-fired water heater: When a water heater first fires up, the hot air condenses inside the fllue until it gets hot enough to keep the water vapor (from gas combustion) from condensing - this can cause a minor dripping into the firebox area, which is nothing to worry about. It will go away during the firing cycle, and will NOT continue more than a couple of minutes after firing stops, and total drip volume maybe a tablespoon or two.

If you have a continuous dripping, or pooling water, then you have a leak. First, check the two pipes coming in the top of the heater and the area around the overpressure valve coming out the side of the tank near the top - if any of them are leaking or there is water on top of the tank, the water will commonly run down inside the heater and look like a drip out the bottom - in that case, all you need is a plumber to repair the leak.

Also, check if the water is coming out of the overpressure/overtemp valve drain tube - commonly a 3/4 or 1" pipe comingout of the valve on the upper side of the tank. This can leak as it gets older (or it is working to relieve excess pressure) - again, plumber.

If you have an electric heater, check around the two temperature sensors on the front of the tank - there are probes with wires coming out of them near the bottom and near the top fo the tank. If leaking there, plumber again.

If not leaking at any of those areas, then you have a tank leak - they are NOT fixable. New water heater time - see this most popular question and answers for costs -

I just asked my regular plumbing contractor a couple of days ago what he is charging for water heater replacement these days - heater about $400-800 for a decent one, install typically $250-400 depending on code upgrades needed and amount of plumbing needed. Total bill typically $800 for decent but cheap heater, $1000 for larger or higher end.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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