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???