This question was asked before but the title question was not specifically answered: "Hot water tank leaking at bottom could it go from a trickle to a gush?"
I have a old hot-water heater (tank) that is starting to leak. I knew this was likely in that the anode is completely consumed and un-serviceble (i.e. I torque the head off this summer and can see it is completely oxidized). I've since put an electronic leak monitor device.
I want to replace the house hot-water system to tankless as well as overhaul the entire basement plumbing, but I need to wait a few months to pull the trigger, and I don't want to replace hot-water tank only to do it again a few months later.
The question is, typically, does a leak increase quickly or slowly over time? More specifically, will that leak turn into a gusher in a matter of hours or days or weeks or months? Is there anyway to prognosticate the likelihood of catastrophic failure? What should I look for?
I realize the safest solution is to simply replace the heater now ("pennywise, pound foolish" was used to describe what I want to do), but I want to know if I can monitor weekly and replace if/once leak is unsustainable.
UPDATE: I haven't found the actual leak, but lets assume it is corroded wall.