Halifax Plumbing & Heating Blog

Why Is My Water Heater Leaking? Your Guide to Common Causes of a Busted Water Heater.

Nobody likes walking down the stairs, seeing a puddle of water and having to ask the question “why is my water heater leaking?” or suddenly feeling water drip down on their arm while lounging on the sofa. 

The last thing you need is a busted water heater that ends up causing damage to your personal property. That’s why we’ve put together this guide which outlines the reasons your water heater might be leaking - and to help you avoid a flooded basement & damaged carpet in the first place.

Here the most common culprits:

Water Heater Rust & Sediment Build Up

Most water heaters are made of steal, which is mostly made up of iron. And yes, that’s right, Iron rusts over time. Water heaters have a safeguard called an anode rod which could wear down or fail, causing your water heater to leak. 

If you notice a brown, nasty tinge to your tap water, we recommend calling a plumber about getting your water heater repaired.

A Drain Valve Leak

If your water heater is leaking from the bottom, it could indicate a drain valve leak. If the drain valve ends up giving out, you could experience a flooded basement. Drain valves are used to drain hot water from the tank in order to remove sediment. If you’re lucky, the valve could be loose and you can solve this problem by tightening it with a wrench. Otherwise, it could be broken, and we recommend calling a local plumber to come and replace your drain valve.

An Internal Tank Leak

Perhaps the most common culprit behind your water heater leaking is an internal tank leak. This happens due to internal damage to the tank itself, usually due to a structural issue. Usually this happens due to corrosion from sediment build up within the tank. In most cases, replacing your water heater is going to be the only solution here.


Time is also a main factor contributing to water heater leaks. Hot water heaters typically have a lifespan of between 7 and 10 years. During the end of their lifecycle, leaks are more likely to happen due to any of the above reasons and general corrosion of the tank itself.

Water Heater Repair & Replacement Halifax

Call the Halifax Plumbing & Heating Team if you experience any of the above issues, or your hot water heater is due for a replacement. If not attended to, any of the above issues can end up being more costly than needed. We periodically have special offers on hot water heater services and are happy to provide you with a free quote. We’re dedicated to providing quality service for the Halifax Metropolitan Area and look forward to hearing from you. You can get in touch with us here.