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My hot water tank is leaking! Does it need to be replaced?

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Hot water tanks are often overlooked or forgotten about, and this is common due to its 10-12 year lifespan. Along with most hot water tanks being located in a rarely used part of our home, we fall victim to the, "out of sight, out of mind" trap. We only tend to realize there is a problem when something very obvious is wrong. So how does a hot water tank start to leak?

Why is my hot water tank leaking?

1. Too much pressure in the tank - Hot water tanks have a temperature & pressure relief valve(T&P valve) that is designed to release pressure if the water gets too hot or there's too much pressure inside the tank. This valve has a tube that runs to the floor so if water leaks it does so safely to the floor, rather than spraying outwards and causing injuries. If you notice water at the bottom of your tank, the valve may be damaged.

2. Drain valve issue - Every water tank has a drain valve at the bottom of the tank. This is used to drain the tank of water in order to perform maintenance or to replace the water heater. If you notice water puddles around the bottom of your tank, you may have a leaky or faulty drain valve.

3. It's an older tank - Just like any other appliance in your home, the older your hot water tank gets the more prone it is to problems. Hot water tanks are built with a glass-lined storage tank inside, and over time, the natural minerals in the water can calcify and create deposits on the inside of the tank. The sediment and calcification can crack the glass lining and cause your tank to leak. Also, as water is heated, it expands and this expansion creates stress on the glass lining of the tank causing cracks. Sadly, when this happens, the tank will need to be replaced because the cracks in the glass liner are not repairable.

4. Other causes - Loose fixtures, improper draining, the age of the tank are all reasons that your water heater may be leaking. It’s always a good idea to do some troubleshooting on your own, but having a professional come in will always be the safest and best way to avoid potential long-term and expensive damage to your home.


Rest easy knowing that CMC Plumbing, Heating and Cooling is here to keep your systems healthy and running. Call or text us today at 248-546-8800!

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