Sorry for the wall of photos. It's my first post so I was concerned that I might not be able to describe the situation clearly without them.

It's a hybrid electric water heater. I didn't shut off the water valve tight enough when I was replacing the anode rod. I removed the anode rod and was away from the water heater for a few minutes. When I came back, the water was slowly running out of the anode rod hole and dripping from the gaps between the outer shell and top of the water heater. See photo below. enter image description here

It's been 5 days. There's no water left outside. But when I pressed down around the compressor drain pan, there's still a few drops of water came out. See photos below.

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Pressing down this location.

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A few drops of water came out.

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There's definitely still water below the compressor drain pan (not in the pan). My question is that, should I try turning on the electric breaker? I am concerned that it might cause short circuit or other electrical hazard. Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    "Sorry for the wall of photos." Don't be! Much better to have too many pics, so long as they're good (and yours are) than a wall of indecipherable text with no pics at all! Have you vacuumed the water out with a shop vac? Do you have fans/heaters running to try to drive the water out? What brand/model is it? Have you tried contacting the mfgr to see what they say? I'd be tempted to say "turn the breaker on and see what happens", but then, it's not my heater. ;) If the breaker trips, you'll know it's still to wet...
    – FreeMan
    Jul 11, 2022 at 16:17
  • Thank you, @FreeMan! I was so tempted to turn it on, too. "If the breaker trips, you'll know it's still to wet". The breaker would trip to it's probably safe to turn it on, but do you think it would cause damage to the water heater? Like, do you think the possibility that the circuit being fried would be high? etc. There were not much water buildup so I used paper towel to dry it out. I haven't used a heater because I was afraid this could cause the plastic parts to warp. It's an A.O. smith signature premier. I didn't contact the mfgr since it thought it prolly have voided mfgr warranty.
    – user810992
    Jul 12, 2022 at 21:37
  • I probably will give it a try tonight and report back. Before I turn it on, I will put more paper towels in there and try to get as much water out as possible.
    – user810992
    Jul 12, 2022 at 21:42
  • So I turned it on last night and it's been working w/o any problems for now. I think it's probably be fine.
    – user810992
    Jul 13, 2022 at 16:00
  • You can write that up as a "self-answer" - those are perfectly acceptable and welcome here. You can even click the check mark next to it (when the system allows you to do so) so that others know this has a working resolution. As noted, I'm hesitant to recommend that as a general rule, but it can work...
    – FreeMan
    Jul 14, 2022 at 14:33

1 Answer 1


Thanks to @FreeMan 's suggestion. I put more paper towels in there to get out as much water as possible, until the new paper towels didn't feel damp at all. Then I turned it on - it's been a few days and it's working w/o any problem for now. I think it's probably fine.

  • @FreeMan should have typed up an answer and you should have accepted it. All you did was do exactly what he suggested. ... just professional courtesy. you can still make this right.
    – JACK
    Jul 15, 2022 at 17:21

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