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Rheem Water Heater Leaking—What To Do?

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

Rheem is a brand which provides water heaters at a high quality for their customers but are also known for having some leaks due to being a water heater.

If you are encountering a water heater leak then you might need some extra guidance in how to solve this issue.

There can be many reasons for why your water heater may be leaking like old age which is very common in most products that you buy.

The most important part for leaking heaters is how to find a solution for this safely without damaging anything in your home.

In this guide we will be walking you through why your water heater is leaking and how you can tell. This will all be really helpful to avoid any types of excessive leaking in your home. 

How Are You Supposed To Know It Is Leaking?

There are several ways to find out if your water heater is leaking and some are quite obvious and others can be quite difficult to detect. Here are a mixture of different signs that you will need to look out for: 

There are a few obvious types of signs which include: Dripping and water flow which you would most like to be able to see. You tend to use all of your senses as well when it comes to the rattling sound you might hear coming from any loose nuts.

When checking over all of the pipes, it is important to check whether there is any damage to any of them or the seals. Due to the leaks, it can also cause rust to the product in certain areas (metal).

It is also important to check all around the product including the water tank.

If there is any water that has escaped, you will most likely find it underneath the tank and there will be a build up which is very unwanted. 

You will definitely need to keep an eye out for all of these different types of signs because for example, the dripping could be very minor but over time this will become a larger problem.

It is better to cut out the problem at the route so it cannot cause any damage to the product or your home.

The faster you are able to repair the problem, the cheaper it will be because it will be less dangerous. However, if you leave this problem for a long period of time, it could be very costly for you to repair or replace. 

Why Is This Product Leaking?

There are several reasons why this product could be leaking from very simple reasons to more difficult ones to fix. Here are some examples of reasons for leaks: 

  • Too Much Pressure – When there is a large amount of pressure and high temperature it can affect the amount of pressure it can handle. 
  • Through Age – depending on how long you have had this product, it can get worn down over time because materials do not lose forever – especially when it comes to any plastics and rusting metals. 
  • Damage To Product – If you have damaged anything in the heater such as the internal tank, any cracks or breaks could cause these leaks. 
  • Drain – If there is a loose drain valve, it will make it more difficult for the water to get out and can also cause leaks. 
  • Lack Of Cleaning – if you don’t clean your water heaters, then there may be a build up of sediments that can cause holes in the shell which can also cause the leaks. 

If something becomes damaged in your heater, you are most likely able to replace that part which should stop the leakage.

However, if you are able to maintain your heater and keep it clean and take care of it, the product is likely to last a lot longer. 

Step By Step Guide On What To Do With The Leak

Tools you might need: 

  1. Screwdriver 
  2. Cloths and towels 
  3. The spare parts
  4. Wrench 
  5. Hose 

You will first need to first find the source of the problem and it could be any from the list above. As mentioned previously, some can be harder to find than others and you might need to be quite thorough. 

Depending on what the problem is, you always need to be careful of touching anything that could burn you, for example having to change a corroding valve in the heater. 

You need to get yourself some gloves to avoid any injury or health issues.

If you haven’t been cleaning out your water heater very well, there could be sediments and either breathing, or having direct content could be very harmful to your health. Therefore, be careful and try to use protective gear.

  1. You will need to drain out the valve with a garden hose. You will need to drain this somewhere safe and maybe in an outdoors area. 
  2. Close the cold water. 
  3. Open the hot water and release excess pressure. Then close after a few minutes. 
  4. You will need to let the water drain for about 10 gallons.
  5. You will then need to use the wrench to take off the run-off tube. 
  6. You then need to apply the teflon tape and wrap 6 times for the new valve. 
  7. You then need to attach the new valve while checking the placement of it. 
  8. PVC drain line attached to valve. 
  9. Open hot water and cold water at the same time. You should be able to see the water starting to fill up. 

This will help you if you are trying to install a new valve to your system. You do need to be very careful when carrying out this task because of the differences in water temperature.

If you find that the valve is working perfectly well, you might need to find some extra support from the Rheem customer support. 

When Should You Call For Help?

It is always very important to ask for help from professionals if you are struggling to find the route of the problem or if you are struggling with using any tools.

There are some reasons where you will have to call a plumber and these are: 

  • If you have zero hot water 
  • If your water heater is quite old 
  • If the product of hot water is not satisfactory

These are all types of problems that a professional plumber will need to come out and fix because they are a bit more difficult than replacing a part.

You also need to get hold of a plumber if you need a new water heater put in.

When Can You Know If Your Heater Is On Its Way Out?

There are many different indicators to show that your water heater might be in need of TLC or a replacement. Here are some examples below:

  • Water color – you need to be cautious of having smelly or discolored water
  • Odd sounds being made by the heater 
  •  Lower water pressure 
  • If there is a variety of water pressure – can it go from very hot to cold

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Rheem Water Heater Leaking From The Bottom?

If you notice a puddle of water at the bottom of your hot water tank, check the bottom of the discharge tube for moisture.

If you find water, the problem is most likely the temperature and pressure relief valve. The T&P valve is either faulty or there’s too much pressure in the tank.

What Do You Do If Your Water Heater Is Leaking From The Nottom?

If you see water leaking from the bottom of your water heater, check that the drain valve is completely closed. If it is still leaking, it may be loose.

By using a pipe wrench, you can try tightening the drain valve slightly. It is important to not over tighten the valve, as this would cause it to leak more.

Can A Water Heater Be Fixed If It’s Leaking?

Tank. Once the tank itself starts to leak water, and you are certain there is no other cause for the leakage, it’s time to replace the water heater.

The inside of the tank eventually corrodes from mineral deposits and from the constant strain of heating and cooling. There is no way to repair a leaking tank.

Why Is My Rheem Water Heater Leaking From The Top?

A very common cause of gas hot water heaters leaking from the top is a malfunctioning or damaged temperature and pressure valve, also known as a temperature-pressure relief valve. You may have to replace it or check the heat and pressure inside the tank.


Overall, if you are thinking of buying or already have a Rheem water heater there are a couple of things you will need to educate yourself about when it comes to faulty leaks.

This is an important part of looking after your heater because if you want or have one, by maintaining this product properly, it will last longer and be less dangerous in your home. 

It is very important to also keep a close eye on those signs that your heater is leaking because not all of them will be very obvious to you at first.

By having this list of particular things to look out for, it will be easier to find the route problem.

Moreover, if you need to replace the valve in the heater, this easy guide should help you insert a new replacement in no time! 

If you are having any problems that you are unable to fix yourself, it is important that you get in touch with customer support or a plumber to help you try and fix the problem if you are not someone who would want to replace something yourself.

If you are getting a brand new one as well you will need a plumber to come out and install it for you.

As mentioned before, there can be health issues when it comes to water heaters if they aren’t cleaned properly or you can hurt yourself on hot water. These are all things you need to keep in mind when looking for route problems. 

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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