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Old 03-04-2012, 11:49 AM   #1
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Water heater trickle leak

Heading out next weekend after a long rainy winter. Hooked up to fresh water and de-winterized and noticed a very tiny trickle leak under the heating tube thingy where the gas flame ignites. Checked all connections and went online to see what was what and read that often too much pressure causes those type of leaks.
Yup, I forgot to put my regulator on the hose, and as soon as I did, the leak stopped.

Now what? Does the WH need to be removed so that the leak can be fixed? Do I need to fix it(hoping it will just fo away with the lower pressure)?

I'm not in the least bit handy and don't have any time to deal with it before we plan to leave, so should I take it in to a local RV place and have them work on it? The nearest Airstream shop is 75 miles away and service isn't available on weekends and I work M-F. I checked inside and found no evidence of water anywhere. We plan to use the rig for 6 weeks or so while we try to find the sun in So Cal.
It wasn't the pressure relief valve, but under the heating tube.

The leak is/was tiny, just a drip a minute or so. HELP!!
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:55 AM   #2
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I've seen condensate trickle out of burner tube in cool damp weather. This is when starting water heater on cold tank of water. It can accumulate quite a puddle, and it stops when the tank gets warm. It is similar effect to a cold car exhaust system dripping till it warms up.

If pressure is excessive, you should see it clearly coming from pressure relief valve. I had this issue and solved it with accumulator.
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:00 PM   #3
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If you are where you can leave the water system pressurized, just leave it connected for a several hours or a few days. If the leak persists it is something to repair.

If it does not continue to leak it was most likely an accumulation of rain water or condensation that started to run when you moved the trailer slightly.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:15 PM   #4
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It`s hard to imagine that a 2008 WH could have a leak caused by corrosion. It`s too new for that.
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:53 PM   #5
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I wonder if it is dripping down from the pressure relief valve (probably normal). The pressure in the hot water system increases as it heats up. As many do, I turn mine off at night when at campgrounds and water pressures increase from lower demand during the night.

As a check, see if it stops dripping when you turn off the hot water ignition switch.

Also, there could be some buildup of mineral in the pressure relief valve causing a drip. Turn hot water heater off, let it cool down, then snap the valve release a few times to see if it clears.
If that's the leak source, it's not the end of the world, replace it (easy) when you have time, after the tank is cooled down.

doug k
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:15 PM   #6
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Trickle leak

Thanks for the replies. The leak went away when I put my pressure regulator on the city water hose. Should I risk trying it again without the regulator?
If that is the problem, what would be the fix?
I would love to travel this weekend, and take care of it when I get back if I'm not risking ruining something like the floor.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:34 PM   #7
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Mine does the same only on the initial firing. It is condensation that goes away once the tank is warm.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:09 PM   #8
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Thanks again for the help. I was away all day, but left it hooked to water and the water heater on, and so far, no more leak. I hope it was just as a few mentioned, and is condensation that eventually goes away. It was puzzling to me why it was coming from the gasket underneath the heating tube and not the pressure relief valve.

I'll keep my eye on it on the trip. I'm sure it would cost plenty to run down and fix a leak, especially an intermittent one!
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