A leak from the top of your water heater may be less serious than one from the bottom.
Before you diagnose the problem, the first order of business should be to shut off the gas or electrical circuit that powers the water heater.
Don’t turn off the cold water just yet, as certain leaks can stop themselves without much pressure.
Finding the water heater leak
Once the water heater is cool enough to touch, you can take a visual check and take your hand and run it over different pipes and joints to help you determine where the leak located.
You can also use a paper towel and wrap it around the pipes and joints to find any damp or wet spots.
Diagnosing the cause of the leak
Now that you know the location of the leak, you can start to diagnose the cause.
Here are some of the most likely causes of a leak at the top of your water heater:
Most likely it is either a ball valve or in-line valve. If the valve happens to be the source of the leak, you can tighten the nut securing the handle.
Leaking pressure relief valve:
This is a safety valve that is used in the event of over-pressurization. If this is the source of the leak you will likely need to replace it.
This may be caused by a connecting pipe going into the water heater. If it’s a threaded pipe, it’s a relatively easy fix for your local plumber.
Need help with a water heater leak? The experts at Agentis are happy to help.