When your water heater malfunctions and results in a leak, the issues it involves can range from easy to difficult, depending on your situation. Most homeowners who experience a leak don’t stop for a second to think that they require a water heater repair and not a replacement!

Fortunately, facing a leak in your water heater doesn’t always require you to purchase a new unit right away. Instead, you must focus on figuring out the cause of the leak before forming conclusions.

Plenty of the solutions to your water heater problems aren’t that complicated. In some cases, you simply need to replace a damaged part to get your water heater unit to work again! Keep reading below to find out possible sources of a leak in your heater and how to fix them.   

Water Supply Lines

Once your water heater stops working, you should look at your plumbing pipes positioned on top of the unit. If that’s the source of the leak, it could affect the top part of your heater and drip to the insulation, which makes it seem like the leak is originating from the tank.

If you want to avoid making a mistake, you should take a closer look at your supply lines connected to your heater, which could be rigid pipe connections or flexible supply tubes. Unfortunately, the latter usually breaks down even before your heater grows old and will require a replacement immediately. If you need to purchase new flexible supply tubes, you must make sure that your water supply for your heater is turned off. You can quickly locate the valve on the cold water pipe that’s linked to your heater. When you’re sure the water is completely shut off, you can take out the tubes and secure the new ones in place.

Water Heater Nipples

Water heater nipples often produce leaks in your plumbing and heating system when they wear out. You can find them above your water heater connecting the unit to your cold water inlet pipe with the hot water. It’s also a common place to discover leaks. However, you may mistake the supply tube as the cause of the leak and not the water heater nipples!

If you don’t have enough plumbing experience, it’s best to call a professional to take out the water heater nipples because you will need to use a wrench and have knowledge of handling them. In addition, you have to ensure your water supply is turned off before moving forward with the repairs.

Depending on the state you live in, you will need to use a dielectric union, a special device in case your water heater nipples are galvanized steel and are linked to your copper pipes. The same device works to keep rust from occurring because it prevents the galvanized steel and copper from making contact and causing an electrical charge to encourage corrosion.

Drain Line

The drain valve of your water heater, which you can find located on the bottom of the heating system, can also be the culprit behind the leaks you’re experiencing. Every time you flush out the water from your unit, you could be failing to close the drain valve tightly.

You can fix your situation by acquiring a hose cap for your drain valve or choosing to replace it entirely with a brand new valve. Similar to other methods, you must make sure your hot water supply is turned off and your water heater is drained before you begin working on taking out the old valve and replacing it with a new one.


Your water heater’s supply lines, heater nipples, and drain lines are just some of the common areas that can cause a leak right under your nose. If you’ve gone through them and you still end up experiencing a leak, it simply means your problem is deeper than you thought and could involve the tank inside your water heater! For best results, you should seek the help of plumbing maintenance providers immediately to prevent your case from getting worse.

Are you looking for plumbing repair services in Edmonton to address your water heater issue? Capital Plumbing and Heating provides heating, plumbing, and air conditioning services. We also offer furnace repairs, drain cleaning, and water heater installation. Get in touch with us today to request our services!