I just found my tank hot water heater leaking from the bottom rim. Appears to be a slow leak, as there's not too much water on the floor and it feels cool. It's a Rheem hot water tank from Home Depot, manufactured Sep 2017 with a 6 year warranty, so it's just 2 months past warranty expiry of course.

Anything I can do to help plug up the leak until I can get it replaced? I'm going out of town in a few days, so was planning to drain the whole thing to make sure I don't have a flood while I'm away. I don't have time to replace it before I leave and would like to still have hot water before then if possible.

Also anyone know if either Rheem or Home Depot are flexible on their warranties? Can't believe this thing is leaking after just 6 years.

Edit: figured out the seam of the drain valve is leaking.

  • 1
    The problem is you need almost an hour to get to the leak and have no way of knowing if the patch lasts five minutes or five weeks. Usually the tank is rusty and the pinhole is just the first place to let go.
    – crip659
    Nov 10, 2023 at 21:16
  • If the leak is at the bottom, the water will be cold, as cold water goes into the tank at the bottom. It is likely that it is the pipe connection that is leaking. Have you run your hands around all the pipe joints Nov 10, 2023 at 21:26
  • On my tank the cold water goes in from the top. But no leaks on the connections. It appears to just be slowly leaking out of the rim of the base of the tank.
    – Taylor
    Nov 10, 2023 at 23:17
  • Rusty after only 6 years? Shouldn't these last longer than that?
    – Taylor
    Nov 10, 2023 at 23:18
  • Try flex tape..
    – user177013
    Nov 11, 2023 at 4:55

1 Answer 1


There is no magic.

You will need a new tank.

You should consider how you might absorb what water leaks out, until that time when replacement is in plan. perhaps just a thick towel, that is changed. Maybe a baby diaper. Possibly some mesh with those water absorbing crystals in a pouch?

  • Hmm I think a diaper or pouch are probably not going to be enough, not sure though. I was thinking maybe I could funnel it towards the nearby drain with some plastic or something.
    – Taylor
    Nov 10, 2023 at 22:34
  • I have no idea of the location or amount of water that is leaking from your HW tank. They were all just suggestions that hopefully you could build on.
    – RMDman
    Nov 10, 2023 at 22:39
  • For sure. It seems to be leaking out of the rim of the base of the tank.
    – Taylor
    Nov 10, 2023 at 23:19
  • I think I found the source of the leak. Looks like a tiny leak from the drain valve pipe. Wonder if that can be replaced. And putting a diaper on it is a great idea now that I know this lol.
    – Taylor
    Nov 11, 2023 at 1:52
  • plastic or brass drain valve? Nov 11, 2023 at 2:06

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