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TCinKC 09-25-2008 12:30 AM

Water heater "leak"?
A couple days ago I noticed a very slow stream of water coming from what looked like my T/P valve on top of my water heater. The valve is right in the middle of the top of the heater. Dried it off with a towel and it looked like it was coming from the threads. The valve was pretty nasty - the tank is 8(?) years old - so I decided to just go ahead and install a shiny new one with some teflon tape. Flushed the tank while the water was off, then turned the water back on and nothing leaked from the threads.

I don't have a digital camera avaliable right now, but this pic is identical to mine

The strange part (and here's what I completely don't understand!) is water came out from around the base of the threads - i guess straight through the "rust ring" around them, but did not spray out like water under pressure does. It does not run off the top now, but if I turn on the hot water on a sink and play with the cold water inlet valve the water goes up and down accordingly - it fluctuates just enough to rise to the top of the heater but goes back down below the top. Nothing sprays out. Any ideas???


Termite 09-25-2008 12:01 PM

At 8 years old, it could be the connection corroding and a pinhole leak resulting from the corrosion. Our water around here seems to eat anode rods and then tanks pretty quickly.

I'd rule out a faulty connection from the T&P to the tank first though. How many wraps of teflon tape did you make? It will take at least 6 or 7. You also really need the T&P tight.

Did you open the T&P, i.e. test it? If you did, they rarely reseal and must usually be replaced. It could be slowly leaking due to that. Put the new one in and leave it alone.

If all that doesn't work, I'd recommend a new tank.

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