Flexible water supply connections are the major source of water leaks on top of a hot water tank. It is therefore vital to check if the leak is originating from the threaded inlet and outlet connections on top of the tank. A leak may easily form if the fittings are loose or the threads are not taped properly. The anode rod, which is usually threaded into the top of the tank commonly leak around the thread. This anode rod normally helps in preventing corrosion.
A malfunctioning pressure relief valve can also release water when the pressure or temperature in the tank surpasses the regulated levels. In case your hot water heater is leaking from the top seam, the leak may be easier to repair if it is discovered on time. However, if not fixed on time, the leak can lead to a more serious and expensive damage. While a leak from the seam may seem common, it can be difficult to establish the exact point of the leak. Here are some major causes that can occur when water leaks from the top seam.
1. Loose Pipes Fittings
Both the inlet and outlet fittings should be checked to see whether there is a leakage. In case there are loose connections, or the leak is coming from one of the connection points, it is important to tighten it. Some fittings also get corroded; in such case, the fittings should be replaced and if the leakage continues, it could be an indicator of a more serious problem with the tank.
2. Temperature and the Pressure Valve
The temperature valve and the pressure relief valve are usually located either on the side of the tank or at the top. It is important to check closely to confirm if there is any leakage on the valves. If there is as leakage, especially from the threads, simply remove the valve. This will help you determine if this is the problem and if this is the case, you may be required to replace the T/P valve.
3. Defective Water Inlet Valve
Presence of water on top of your water heater is an indication of a leak on either the outlet or the inlet pipe. Check the cold water inlet pipe first, and turn off the water flowing to your water heater, using an in-line valve or a gate valve. If there is dripping, it can be rectified by tightening the nuts that connect the handle. If the problem persists, it may be a sign that the valve is damaged and needs to be replaced.
When your hot water system begins to leak from the top seam it is important to quickly fix the problem since this water can drain down and cause electrical problems. It can also cause property damage like your carpet and the lower part of your walls leading to mold growth.