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Do new gas water heaters have safety features that shut off the gas valve if they over heat? I have one that the pilot will be off and water all around the tank but we cannot find out where the water is coming from. The exhaust is tied in with the gas furnace, I am wondering if there's some extra heat from the furnace causing high heat in the water heater?

  • Is the T&P valve opening? Are there signs the tank itself is leaking? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 2 '17 at 19:15
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Thanks for the input, we figured this one out. Because we could not find a leak in the tank and the T&P valve was not leaking we were a little baffled. When this unit was installed it was so tall we had to actually dig a hole in the crawl space about 1' deep. This hole was filling up with water. Since we are in a group of 5 townhomes we figured out the water was come from 3 homes away due to a broken water line, thus filling up the hole our water heater is in to the point it would prevent enough oxygen to keep the pilot and burner from working. This is one of those crazy things that makes you think outside of the box.

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Some water heaters have a safety feature in the combustion chamber that will shut off the gas if it overheats. See here for more info: How does Thermal Release Device (TRD) work

As for water being around the water heater, I'd go with what ThreePhaseEel commented. If it's not leaking, then it's probably the Temperature and Pressure (T&P) relief valve. Here is a picture of the T&P relief valve: http://f.tqn.com/y/homerepair/1/W/F/5/-/-/T_P_Valve.jpg

If it is your T&P valve leaking, this question has a bit more information on why it might be leaking: What causes a water heaters relief valve to discharge water?

Also, if you have water all around the floor, that says to me that you don't have a drain pan installed. Seriously consider doing this. Code requires it. If you don't, you'll be wishing you had it if your subfloor starts to rot because water is seeping into it.

  • How do you put in a drain pan with the water heater already in place? – Jim Stewart Jan 2 '17 at 22:11
  • @JimStewart You'd have to disconnect everything, in addition to installing some kind of drain. It's definitely a huge PITA. But replacing a floor that's been rotting away is a much bigger PITA. This is just my opinion, not knowing how your house is constructed so your situation might be different. – majikman Jan 2 '17 at 22:21
  • @JimStewart btw, if you're just careful for the next few years, make sure you maintain your water heater and you can have the drain pan installed when you replace the water heater. – majikman Jan 2 '17 at 22:25

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