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Thread: Is my hot water tank leaking?

  1. #1
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    Default Is my hot water tank leaking?

    My hot water tank is about 6 years old, has a 9 year warranty on it. I've noticed there is always water under it lately, sometimes reaching about 3 inches around it. The manual says some condensation puddling around the base is normal, I just don't know if this amount is considered normal. Does anyone know of any DIY checks I can do on it before calling Sears to look at it? The manual doesn't say much more. If they don't find a problem they'll charge me so I'd like to be able to confirm that it needs a repair first.

  2. #2
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    If it is under warranty, why not phone the number on the tank instead?

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    can you see where the ""condensation" or leak is coming from?

    If you can narrow the location down, it will be easier to find if its deffective or operating properly
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    How much hot water have you been using lately? Fill any water beds or take some loooong showers?

    If you run hot water for long periods - ie until the water is cold the piping in the heat exchanger becomes cold enough that water (a product of the combustion process) will form on the outside of the water piping and drop to the floor.

  5. #5
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    it could be the drain valve leaking.
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    It could be the drain, so look for drips. The tank is under pressure, so any "leak" tends to be more of a "spray" if it's an actual problem with the tank integrity. It's tough to check for condensation since you can't get at the actual "tank" part to observe. However, if you're running a humidifier in your house, or it's been very humid lately, it can happen.
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  7. #7
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    I don't think it's the drain valve, that's the spout on the side right? I've got a pipe on that going into a bucket and it's dry in there all the time. Hmm, I did have my kids here last week and we'd have 3 showers almost one after another some days. But now that it's just me again it's still always wet under the tank, just not as big of a puddle. The manual said condensation should dry up after a couple of hours, but it doesn't for me.

    For comparison's sake, would a couple of you mind looking under your tanks to see if they are dry or not?

    Originally posted by sputnik
    If it is under warranty, why not phone the number on the tank instead?
    Like I said, if they don't find a problem they'll charge me so I'd like to be able to confirm that it needs a repair first.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Swank
    The manual said condensation should dry up after a couple of hours, but it doesn't for me.
    Condensation is normal for humid areas, not for Calgary. The last time I found "a little puddle" near my water tank, it was a prelude to it bursting open.

    If you haven't been doing monthly flushes out the drain valve, it's probably corrosion, especially if you have a soft water system as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    The AHS system is quite good.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by Tik-Tok


    Condensation is normal for humid areas, not for Calgary. The last time I found "a little puddle" near my water tank, it was a prelude to it bursting open.

    If you haven't been doing monthly flushes out the drain valve, it's probably corrosion, especially if you have a soft water system as well.
    Your supposed to be doing monthly flushes? I always thought no water under the tank was normal-I have never seen any before.

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    Originally posted by bignerd


    Your supposed to be doing monthly flushes? I always thought no water under the tank was normal-I have never seen any before.
    Reread my post. In Calgary you shouldn't have any water under there, we're not humid enough to have condensation outside the tank (unless your running a grow-op or something).

    Monthly flushes will help prevent corrosion at the bottom of your tank, from sediment that settles down there. You don't have to empty the tank, just lets a couple gallons out through the drain valve (into the drain), to get the sediment out.

    The problem is, if you haven't been doing this since the tank was installed, you may have too much filth down there, and if you open that drain valve, it might not seal properly when closed, because some crap might get stuck in the valve.

    Soft water systems are especially hard on hot water tanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    The AHS system is quite good.

  11. #11
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    I'm not saying this is the problem but...

    You WILL get condensation if you run the tank out of hot water for long periods.

    Another source for water under the heater is from the pressure safety valve. If you have the temperature set too high it can vent on occasion.


    Edit: oh regular flushing is also a good thing.
    Last edited by alloroc; 09-12-2009 at 11:26 AM.

  12. #12
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    Haha, no grow op, and I keep the temp pretty low. No soft water system either. Maybe I should call for service then, it's wet again and I just soaked it up this morning.

  13. #13
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    I had a similar problem about a month ago, big puddle under my tank... after a closer look it turns out it was the humidifier on the furnace which is right beside.

    Apparently you're supposed to turn off the humidifier valve in the summer...

  14. #14
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    Turns out the spout that I thought was the drain valve was the pressure release valve. The actual drain valve was behind a cover that snaps on in front of it so I never knew it was there. Service dude replaced the leaky drain valve and life is good/dry!

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by Swank
    Turns out the spout that I thought was the drain valve was the pressure release valve. The actual drain valve was behind a cover that snaps on in front of it so I never knew it was there. Service dude replaced the leaky drain valve and life is good/dry!

    great! so i was write. i wonder how much work is involved for us with older homes.

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