Water Heater Leaking From Top: How to Fix It

Whenever we have a leak, we tend to panic. A leak is worrisome. It leads to wastage of water and hence spikes our water bills. It also poses a risk to the property. In addition to the immediate water damage that will be caused in the bathroom, basement, and kitchen among other places where the leaked water may seep into, there is the secondary damage that one has to bear. Secondary damage could be the growth of mold, moisture buildup in the property, damage to wooden furniture and fixtures, floor damage and also various types of infestation.

Understanding the Issue

Water heater leaking from the top is not complicated. Once you get to know the mechanisms, it will be a simple issue to inspect and repair. While not all brands and models of water heater will be the same, there is some semblance in the concept everyone uses. Here is what you should know about the water heater leaking from the top.


The different components at the top of the water heater are the flue, the draft diverter, cold water valve, temperature and pressure relief valve, overflow pipe and the wire for electric supply. All other parts are either at the center of the water heater, slightly upward or downward and at the bottom. Given the precondition that we are talking about water heater leaking from the top, it has to be the flue, draft diverter, cold water valve, overflow pipe or the temperature and pressure relief valve.

Water Buildup

It can be a simple case of some water buildup atop the water heater which will then drip down. This could be due to some water splashing during a shower or any exercise, should the appliance be in the bathroom. Heavy rains and water leaks from different sources can lead to water pooling, only a bit, on the heater and that too will make it appear as if the water heater is leaking from the top.

Valve Replacement

In the case of the cold water valve and the temperature-pressure relief valve, you must replace them if they are damaged. In case of overflow pipe being the problem, find out if it is due to the temperature and pressure relief valve malfunctioning or if it is for some other reason. The flue, the draft diverter and other components like the tank itself are usually not the culprits. If they are, then you may have to call in a plumber who can recommend the best remedy.

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