Water Heater Leaks
When to Replace a Hot Water Heater
Water Heater Woes
Troubleshooting Your Water Heater
I have a 40 gallon gas water heater. It is leaking at the base of each pipe going into the top of water heater. Is this a problem with the water heater when there is no leaking from the bottom?
C.M. from Lees Summit, MO
From your description it appears that you are getting leakage around the threads for the in-and-out water supply lines into the heater. When this occurs shortly after installation, it is an installation snafu. However, most leaks that occur after years of service are caused by chemical corrosion that has "dissolved" the threaded fittings. The corrosion is softer than the original metal allowing water to seep around the threads. Eventually, the fitting will begin to spray water. Therefore, even though you are not in emergency mode as yet, this problem must be taken care of A.S.A.P. The leakage may or may not be correctable, depending on the severity of the corrosion. Be prepared the only repair option may be replacing the water heater.
Most water heater connections are not designed to be taken apart without cutting the pipes so a rescue operation will involve pipe cutting, disassembly and examination of the fittings to determine whether or not they can be saved. It may take nothing more than wrapping the threads of the threaded connector with a few layers of Teflon pipe wrap and reassembling it. Then again, if the corrosion has deeply pitted the fixed connector on the water tank, it may leak when reassembled no matter what you do! Worst case disassembly might even damage the tank!
Since reattachment of the pipes will be pretty much the same for an old or a new water heater, you should give some serious thought to replacing it now. If the heater is ten or more years old, you have reached the end of its useful life and would probably be better off getting a new one. Old water heaters, even if they don't leak, tend to be less energy efficient. Even if you have been diligent in draining the heater annually to remove energy-stealing sediment from the tank, buildup of hard scale in the tank still robs you hard-earned money 24 hours a day! Over a few years a new heater will probably pay for itself in energy savings... with the added benefit of you NOT having to clean up the soggy mess of a major water heater failure.
Have a small home repair question for THE NATURAL HANDYMAN? Just click here www.naturalhandyman.com/aitikia
For more home repair information, visit NH's growing list of original home repair articles and quality links www.naturalhandyman.com
If this information has been valuable to you, please consider making a small donation to support NH's free service to the home repair community! For more information, please visit our "Friends" page www.naturalhandyman.com/friends
The Natural Handyman Site Directory
- Home Repair Articles www.naturalhandyman.com/iip
- Home Repair Links Library www.naturalhandyman.com/linkslibrary
- NH's Bookshop www.naturalhandyman.com/bookshop
- Find a handyman at www.naturalhandyman.com/network
- Win unique home repair gifts and prizes at www.naturalhandyman.com/contest
Please read the important copyright and disclaimer information is located at www.naturalhandyman.com/copyright
Also in Home
- Sell my house? Or buy a new one first?
- DIY wall décor
- Home upgrades - Smart projects vs. costly mistakes Video
- Putting your lawn mower to bed for the winter
- Give your bathroom an inexpensive makeover
- First-time home buyer's how-to
- Combating carpenter ants
- 5 ways your house can make you go broke
- 5 simple and affordable luxuries for your home
- How to keep your mortgage data safe from hackers
- 5 home renovations that can raise your insurance rate -- or lead to discounts
- The right way and wrong way to pay down your mortgage
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- 3 ways (and 1 reason) to refinance a HELOC
- Flood insurance too high? You may have options
- Should I refinance my home equity line?
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- Mortgage refinance break-even calculator
- How much money can I borrow for a mortgage?