A water heater is an essential part of your homes’ critical equipment. Here are some common causes of water leaks and what to do if you spot a leak. 

There are many reasons your water heater can be leaking. 

Broken drain valves

A broken drain valve is one of the leading causes of leaks in a water heater. If you notice the leak is coming from the bottom of the water heater, then the first thing you should check is the drain valve. Replacing the drain valve is very easy, and the part is affordable. 


Corrosion is another leading cause of leaks in water heaters. Corrosion occurs when sediment builds up at the bottom of the tank and causes it to erode the tank, which leads to leaks. Unfortunately, if your water heater is leaking as a result of corrosion, it is most likely time to replace it. For a water heater replacement, it is best to have a plumber come and replace it, so it is done correctly. 

Water Line connections 

Over time the connection lines to and from the water heater become loose, which leads to leaks. Leaking water lines can quickly be addressed by either tightening the water lines or replacing them if needed. 

Temperature and pressure valve

If you notice that water is leaking from the sides of the water tank, there is a good chance a broken temperature or pressure valve is causing the issue. 

There are some critical steps you can take if you notice a leak on your water heater. 

Turn off the power 

If you are going to work on your water heater, you must turn off the power first so that it is safe. If you have a gas water heater, you can turn off the gas at the thermostat. If you have electric water, you will want to find the corresponding breaker on the electrical panel and turn it off. 

Turn off the water 

You will also want to turn off the water source by turning off the cold water valve, which is usually located at the top of the tank. In the event, the leak is severe enough; you should turn off the main water shut off to your home. 

Drain the tank 

The next step is a bit more complicated in which you need to drain the water tank. You will need to get a hose and attach it to the drain valve that is located at the bottom of the tank. Run the hose from the tank to the sump pump or an alternative drain. One the house is secured, you can go ahead and open up the drain valve. If you open the valve and the flow of water does not start, you will need to go ahead and turn on the hot water at one of the sinks in your home. This should help start the flow of water. 

If you find a leak on your water heater and you are unable to repair it, it is best to call a plumber. If you are unfamiliar with the parts and you try to fix it yourself, you run the risk of making the situation worse, which could lead to a more costly repair in the future.