Water Heater Leaking From Bottom

Water Heater Leaking From Bottom Of Tank

water heater leaking from bottom
water heater leaking from bottom

Hot water heaters are a great device and we rely on them so much these days for the simplest of things. Over time things wear out and your water heater is no different. A water heater leaking from bottom is not a very good sign and i will explain how and why it has happened.

Water Heater leaking from bottom tell tail signs

With out stating the obvious there will be water around the base of the hot water tank. At the beginning more then likely there could be a ugly brown rusted looking colour water that is coming out of the tank. Over time if not picked up early the water will become clear as its washed all the rusted water out. It can be a small leak at the start but will always get worse.

Simple Checks

If you discover a leak around the base area on your hot water tank we have to determine if its the water tank, water valve or from around the electric element area. There easy checks so lets get into it.

PTR Valve check

On the top third of a electric hot water heater there is a valve called pressure relief valve or ptr valve for short. There will be a copper tail on it. Follow the pipe to the end and see if any water is escaping from there. Now these valves are meant to leak at times when the water tank is heating the water so when checking the ptr valve make sure the tank is not heating creating a false reading. best way i do it is turn the heating source off and wait till it cools down and then check. If water is still leaking then have a faulty valve and needs replacing see here.

Electric Element Check On A Hot Water Storage Tank

Make sure power is off to the element from the fuse box area. Remove the 2 screws that hold the cover plate on and check around where the 4 big black bolt heads are. That is the element and sometimes the element gasket leaks but not very often. Most times if leaking from around this area the flange is rusted out and the whole tank needs replacing. You don’t have to go poking around in there you will tell as soon as you take cover off. If you see water leaking out around the element area when taken the cover off like in the picture.electric element

You can pull the element out if you are that way incline to see if it is the element seal of the tank. Depending on the age of the tank say if its getting around its use by date, rule of thumb 10 yrs or so and of course that all depends water quality it might be better to just replace the hot water storage tank all together.

Water Heater Leaking From Bottom

Now if the water is leaking out from around the base of the tank similar to the picture belowwater heater leaking from bottom then there is no other tests to do and the answer is so easy. Simply its bugged. Non repairable, throw away and get new tank bugged. Sorry for the barer of bad news but there is nothing else can be done for the hot water storage tank. If you leave it as it is and think ok at the moment its a small leak trust me it will get bigger. Another thing is that the hot water storage tank is always heating the water as it will never get to temperature as the water is leaking out costing you even more money.


If the hot water storage tank is leaking from around the base itself then it will need replacing. For a diy person doing a like for like electric hot water heater installation change over is very simple process. If you have any doubt then get a plumber to carry out electric water heater installation for you just for your own safety. If you are going to tackle it yourself then have a look here for a easy walk through process on electric water heater installation.

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