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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    St Paul, MN
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    Default Water heater leak

    Last night (Christmas Eve) I noticed water on top of my water heater. It was enough to run down the side and into the floor drain in my basement. I cleaned it up and noticed the water would return, filling the indentations at the Pressure Relief Valve and Sacrificial Anode screw at the top of the water heater first.

    Both the indentations filled at the same time. I removed the pressure relief valve, cleaned it and resealed the treads and reinstalled it. I also turned the temperature down a little. It had been at the "warm" setting. The leak did not reappear last night.

    This morning I noticed it's leaking again, not as bad as before. The water heater is a 8 year old GE, of course with a 6 year warrantee. I'm guessing the top of the tank is cracked and it will need to be replaced. Any other thoughts?

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    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 12-26-2009 at 05:18 PM.
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  2. #2
    Chuck Lambert's Avatar
    Chuck Lambert Guest

    Default Re: Water heater leak

    Time for a new tankless water heater!!. If it is leaking it is done.

    Chuck


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,340

    Default Re: Water heater leak

    Most WH tanks leak at or around the top, so that's par for the course.

    Dom.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
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    2,365

    Default Re: Water heater leak

    Dripping at the connections above the tank is the most common thing I find.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
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    4,170

    Default Re: Water heater leak

    Leave it alone for now since messing with the fittings will likely make it worse in my experience. Plan for immediate replacement.
    With the new heater standing by, you might explore where and what is causing the leak. 9 years would be on the low side of average life in this area (might be normal for your area) but I would be checking the system pressure, and the need for a pressure regulator and/or thermal expansion device to lessen the stress on the new heater.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    St Paul, MN
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    Default Re: Water heater leak

    It's not dripping from the connections. The water shows up in the recesses of the anode and pressure relief valve connections. Fills up the recesses and runs over the side of the water heater. I've found that if I reduce the temperature even further than before, it stops leaking.

    I'll be picking up a new water heater tomorrow.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    3,473

    Default Re: Water heater leak

    Merry Christmas Ken. Treat yourself to a new water heater. Don't you love it how this stuff happens around the holidays?


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chicago
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    548

    Default Re: Water heater leak

    Time for a new heater, what happens most of the time is where the weld the bungs for the T&P and anode rod starts to form a leak at the welds. The newer heaters are much more efficient than your old one. But a word of advice stay away from whirlpool and GE water heaters. They both have troubles with the FVIR system. Try to get a Bradford White, I never had any recalls on their FVIR system.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
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    1,628

    Default Re: Water heater leak

    Ron,

    It looks like you were correct. Prior to reading your post I did a "post mortem" on the old water heater after getting the new one installed. Cracked bung weld at the cold water inlet. (right bung in the picture). The interior of the bung was heavily rusted.

    Not much left of the anode rod either. I think I'll replace it yearly on the new water heater.

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