My 20 yr. old gas water heater that's located in my basement has had a slow leak for 6 mos. My husband doesn't feel the need to replace it yet and feels we can just continue soak up the water with a rug/rags until it doesn't heat up any more. I fear that it will one day break through the rusty bottom and leak 40 gals. like a faucet left on not just a trickle. He feels I'm being over worried about it and to wait another month after our company of 3 more people come and go. It's not the fittings their fine but I can see at the very bottom under the white tank it is visibly rusty and wet. What's your opinion? Thanks, Jenny

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    Your husband is the reason the phrase "penny wise pound foolish" is so popular – Bryan Boettcher Jun 18 '15 at 21:29

If the tank itself is rusted out, it's time to replace it. Water expands when it's heated, which creates pressure in the system. Pressurizing a rusty water tank is a recipe for disaster.

Replace the tank before it causes problems. Trying to eek out a few more months is foolhardy.

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    Yep, personally having been there on the cleanup when a rust blister burst, I'd recommend she have him move everything off the floor and place it elsewhere if it can't be raised off the floor level. An amazing amount of stuff gets damaged, just by sitting in water and having capillary attraction pull it up inside. The leaking spot is small on the outside, but a large crater on the inside just waiting for that little extra overpressure to pop a flake loose. – Fiasco Labs Jun 19 '15 at 6:14

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