My water heater started leaking at the top. Small streams flow from between the outer skin and the top "cap". No water can be seen on top of the water heater.

  • 1
    If it's really coming from the top check the fittings there -- including the plug that carries the sacrificial anode.
    – keshlam
    Commented Feb 13, 2023 at 20:39
  • 2
    Age? Seems unlikely to me that it's fitting related unless it was very recently installed. Shop for a replacement sooner, not later, unless it's so new it's still under warranty.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Feb 13, 2023 at 20:47
  • 2
    Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Feb 13, 2023 at 21:28
  • There are threaded pipe joints at the top for cold water in and hot water out. There are threaded pipe joints for the anode rod and for the temp-pressure relief valve. Are you saying that the leak is not at these threaded joints but closer to the tank? If so, then the leak is not repairable. Is this an electric or a gas fired water heater? Commented Feb 13, 2023 at 22:40

1 Answer 1


Unless it's practically new (which I expect you would have mentioned) it's probably toast - if a hole has corroded through the skin, the whole top may let go and make quite a mess, or it may just boringly leak faster and faster.

Neither of those is good. If it's old, you almost certainly are in need of a new water heater, and sooner, not later.

There is no "repair" when your water heater has corroded through. Make a note to check the anode rod every few years on the replacement.

  • 1
    Yep. Pretty much any leak inside the cabinet indicates a compromised tank. Coincidentally, mine went Saturday morning. $1400 and six hours later I had a nice shower.
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 13, 2023 at 21:58
  • And, after about 25 years, mine is going - rusting out on the bottom. Haven't bitten the bullet yet, but it won't be more than another week or two...
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 14, 2023 at 15:58

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