Water on the floor near the water heater


Old 02-15-16, 08:56 AM
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Water on the floor near the water heater

I have about 10 year old 40 gallor water heater. It uses gas for fuel and it's a self vented heater. I sometime see small amount of water on the cocreate floor by the water heater. It's only there sometime. It's wrapped with the water heater jacket for insulation. Could it be just condensation running down inside the water heater or is there a leak somewhere? How can i find out if it's leaking.
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Old 02-15-16, 09:32 AM
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Where specifically "beside" the heater are you seeing the water? Is it below the temperature and pressure safety valve?
Old 02-15-16, 09:33 AM
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While I have seen condensation drip from a WH when it is first filled with cold water and turned on for the first time, it doesn't usually happen when the heater is hot. If the vent pipe is long and the appliance is located in a very cold area, you will sometimes get condensation inside the exhaust vent pipe that can run back down in the heater, but that is unusual too.

In hot and humid weather, it's not unusual to see condensation on the cold water pipe leading into the heater. But I'm pretty sure it's not hot and humid in NJ right now....

At 10 years old it could certainly be nearing end of life, which is usually signaled by a leak.

But other possibilities should be ruled out first. If it were leaking around the inlet or outlet, you would see water stains on the top of the heater and/or the insulation blanket would be wet or damp on the top surface.

Another potential place for water to come from is the temperature and pressure relief valve, which generally sticks out the side and has a small flip lever on it. There should be a pipe leading from that valve to a drain or down to floor level. If the valve itself is releasing water it could be a sign of a failing valve or it could be temperature is set too high or water pressure is too high. You can tell if the valve is leaking by putting a little container under the pipe leading from valve and seeing if it catches water. There can also be a leak where the T&P valve screws into the heater. If that's the case, you will usually see water stains near that joint and the insulation blanket will be wet below that area.

I don't know of a direct way to tell if the heater is leaking; it's more a process of eliminating the other causes. Perhaps others here will have some suggestions. If you can rule out all those other conditions, then it may be time to think about replacement. *Most* of the time if there's a leak it just slowly gets worse to the point it's obvious. But occasionally they fail quickly and you get a flood. It's that latter situation you have to consider when deciding whether to replace it without solid evidence.
Old 02-17-16, 07:55 AM
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It turns out it wasn't the water heater. My water main pipe was leaking right before the meter. I was able to fix the leak just by tightening it with pliers.

Thank you for your help.
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