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leaking water heater

Posted By: Camille
Monday, 21 August 2000, at 9:18 a.m.

I have an almost 5 year old gas water heater that has just started to release a small amount of water through the pressure valve in the last few months. It was such a small amount that I never really saw it leaking, just the effects-the watermark on the cement floor leading to the floor drain. When I asked about this occasional leaking I was told that it was a sign that the valve was doing its job and not to worry. This morning, however, it is a small but steady trickle. I ran the hot water in the tub at full force hoping this would relieve some of the pressure and it did. The trickle stopped for a while, but is now up to a steady drip again. I've read one of the other letters about leaking and pressure valves, but it was for a vacation home. Mine is a very busy household-lots of showers, laundry and dishwashing-so I don't understand how pressure could be building up unless there was something else (sediment?)causing it. I do hear popping and rumbling coming from the tank every once in a while. How do I know what to expect when the plumber takes a look at it? Is there the possibility of having to replace the water heater? Any help or suggestions greatly appreciated.

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