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Why Is My Water Heater Constantly Draining?

Your water heater is constantly draining, and you are wondering why. It may just be a simple problem that can easily be solved by doing some DIY repairs.

A leaking water heater is a costly, time-consuming and unpleasant problem. If you have an old water heater that’s constantly draining, it’s likely the cause of your leaky problems.

We all know water heaters are a necessity for every household, but this doesn’t mean they’re easy to maintain. The main causes of frequent and costly repairs can be found in the article linked below.

When your water heater is leaking or not working properly, it could lead to mold on walls and floors that you might have never seen before as well as damage your home’s insulation system by causing air gaps throughout the building.

Water heaters need to remain in use for long periods of time because they help provide the hot (or cold) water necessary for everyday living. When your unit breaks down it needs to be replaced with an efficient one fast!

This article will teach readers how their current system works, what causes the continuous leaks in your water heater and how to fix it, what damages the warranty will cover and how to protect themselves from leaks.

Why Is My Water Heater Constantly Draining?
Source: Mr. Rooter

Why is my Water Heater Continuously Draining?

One of the most prevalent causes of a water heater consistently draining is a leak. If your water heater is leaking, it must continue to drain in order to compensate for the loss of hot water.

This continuous draining could be a result of a bad TPR valve. If the TPR valve malfunctions, it can cause a water heater explosion. To prevent this from happening, make sure your water heater is installed properly and that the installation includes an auxiliary drain valve.

A leak can happen when there’s some type of malfunction with your water heater. This happens when deposits of minerals build up inside the valve and cause a blockage, which in turn prevents the water from circulating properly.

Temperature pressure relief valves are attached to the discharge pipe of a hot water heater. These valves can get stuck open or closed due as they are designed to relieve excess pressures and prevent damage from excessive temperatures that may be encountered when running your water heater.

If you hear an unusual noise coming out of the bottom, then it’s possible that one has become blocked by debris or other obstructions and needs repair.

If you want to avoid leaks and keep your appliances working efficiently, it is important that you regularly check for signs of corrosion or mineral buildup around any valves on the appliance such as TPR (thermostat-programmable) valves that are located at either end near where hot water enters and leaves the unit.

What Should I Do When My Water Heater Leaks?

When a water heater is constantly draining, it can indicate that there is a leak in the relief valve. You need to test the relief valve at least once a year to ensure that it’s working properly and not leaking.

If you feel like your water heater has been drained for more than two weeks, then it likely needs to be replaced. Flushing the tank will help alleviate any issues with mineral build-up and save money on having to replace an old water heater.

A leak, no matter how tiny, can do significant damage to your house. Water may discolor your carpeting, ceiling, and even penetrate into your drywall. When leaks are left unattended for an extended period of time, they become costly to fix and attract mold.

Your energy cost will rise if your water heater is continually emptying. So, how do you check for a leak in your water heater? how do you stop your water heater from constantly draining? Here is a list of the spots to inspect and what to do if they are leaking.

5 Ways to Stop Your Water Heater From Draining

Your water heater is constantly draining your home’s water. Here are some effective ways to fix this issue.

Always Check the Water Heater For Leaks

There are a few likely places for your water heater to leak. The most common place is the TPR valve, which is located on the top of the water tank and allows gas to run through it.

It should have an inch or two copper tube that extends out a few inches and then turns downward to make sure there isn’t any wetness at the bottom of your water heater where it connects with pipes.

If you find that this area is wet, call a professional who can come check for leaks in your system immediately as well as determine what needs fixing. Always check your water heater for leaks. If you see puddles after mopping up, it might be time to call a pro!

Replace the TPR Valve

If the water heater is constantly draining, there may be a blockage in the TPR Valve. Turn off cold water entering to tank and turn off power or gas to the tank itself before checking the owner’s manual on how to turn it off.

Then hook up a hose to spigot after turning off any main water sources, then drain enough that level falls below valve in the tank before turning it back on. If the valve is on top of the tank, empty one or two gallons.

Insulate the Water Heater

When the water heater is draining, it can be because there is a leak in the tank or a problem with the combustion unit. You can try to stop your water heater from draining by insulating your exterior units and burner units.

If your water heater is not adequately insulated, you may have to pay a higher energy cost. This is due to the unit failing to shut off when it should.

It will not be able to maintain the optimum water temperature if it is not adequately insulated. This implies it will have to remain running in order to stay heated.

Always Flush the Water Heater to Remove Sediment

If you have a sediment blockage in your water heater, the best way to stop it is by flushing the water heater. If you do not know where the leak is coming from, this method will be less effective.

Mineral deposits accumulate as silt and scale in a water heater tank over time. These deposits can build up to create a thick, crusty layer at the base of a gas water heater or cover the components of an electric water heater. This coating reduces heat transfer from the burner or heating sources to the tank water, wasting energy and money. It eventually causes rusting.

When determining how severe of a clog there is, try one or all of these methods: first use a pipe snake and see if it works; next use a vacuum cleaner to remove any remaining debris; finally turn off power to the unit for 60 seconds and then back on again.

Although newer water heaters are less prone to rusting than older models, they still require regular maintenance. If a new model is installed, it should be drained and flushed out every so often.

Change your Water Heater

The water heater warranty is about 5 to 6 years. Replacing old water heaters with new ones can be costly and maintenance work is expensive.

Once a water heater stops working properly, it starts developing more problems. It’s best to replace the old unit right away so that you don’t have to worry about the snowballing of problems later on. Replace and not keep doing pricey repairs.

How to Flush or Drain a Water Heater

Flushing is one of the ways of stoping your water heater from draining or leaking profusely. Flush your water heater tank at least twice a year to eliminate mineral debris and scale for best efficiency. Your water heater will heat up faster and last longer. Here’s how to do so.

1. Turn off the gas or electrical power to the water heater, depending on whether it is gas or electric. Simply set the gas control to “Pilot” on a gas water heater.

2. Turn off the cold water input valve, which regulates the tank’s water supply. Make certain that this is the entering cold water valve, not the outbound hot water valve (the pipe should be cold). Turn the lever perpendicular to the pipe if the valve has one, as indicated below.

3. Connect a hose to the tank drain valve at the bottom of the water heater and connect it to a drain, the outdoors, or a large bucket. Check that the hose’s end is below the level of the drain valve.

4. Open a hot water faucet someplace in the home and the water heater’s pressure-release (PT) valve to allow air to enter and drain the water heater. As the water drains, this prevents a vacuum from building.

Keep in mind that the water exiting the water heater will be quite hot! To avoid scorching, exercise extreme caution. Allow the water heater to cool for several hours before proceeding with the following step if you wish to be extra cautious.

5. Turn off the water heater and open the drain valve. Allow 3 or 4 liters to escape until the water from the drain valve flows clean if you’re only flushing sediment. Then, close the drain and PT valves. To flush clean water into the tank, open and close the cold water supply valve several times. (If you’re totally draining the water heater, leave the drain valve open until the tank is empty.)

6. Turn off the water and unplug the garden hose.

7. Recharge the water heater. Before draining the tank, turn off the hot water faucet in the home that you opened. To refill the tank, reopen the water supply valve. Allow approximately 15 minutes for the tank to fill. Then, reopen the hot water faucet to remove any remaining air from the tank and pipes. The hot water pouring from the faucet will first contain air bubbles; wait until this foggy combination clears before turning off the faucet.

8. Turn on the water heater. Relight the pilot light on a gas water heater or switch on the power to an electric water heater.


Do you have a water heater that refuses to stop draining? Then I’m confident this post has provided you with five solutions to your water heater problem.

Hi Guys, Mike is a Mechanical Engineer who specializes in Heating, Ventilation, and Air-conditioning. His love for humanity and his profession propels him to share useful and factual Information on this blog.

Wateriit.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

4 thoughts on “Why Is My Water Heater Constantly Draining?”

  1. I did not have a problem with the relief drain until after I flushed it. Is there something that I might have done wrong. I followed a video on youtube and the instruction were the same as what you describe here.
    I thank you in advance for any helpful advice.
    Ed Scheier

    • Hi Cesar,

      Please Check the Water Heater For Leaks. One of the most common reasons why a water heater constantly drains is because it has a leak.

      You can call a technician to troubleshoot this for you.


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