Go Back

Potential Leak Issues and Other Facts About Tankless Water Heaters

Home » Blog » Potential Leak Issues and Other Facts About Tankless Water Heaters
Water Heater in Columbus, OH

Are you considering a tankless water heater for your home? If so, you’ll want to learn as much as possible about this type of water heater. Maybe you want to know if a tankless water heater can spring a leak. Or, what are the benefits of having this type of water heater? The best place to start is by looking at its unique design.

What Is a Tankless Water Heater?

As its name indicates, the design of this water heater doesn’t include a tank for storage. A tankless water heater supplies hot water on demand. This is much different from a traditional water heater. A traditional water heater continuously heats a supply of water.

Can a Tankless Water Heater Leak?

This may seem like an unusual question considering its design. But the answer is yes. Though this water heater doesn’t have a stored supply of water, it can experience leaks. Water can leak around the pipes, joints, and other connections of a tankless water heater.

What Causes a Tankless Water Heater to Leak?

There are a few things that can cause a tankless water heater to leak.

Acidic Water

One is the presence of acidic water. The flow of acidic water wears away metal creating pinholes in the pipes of your tankless water heater. The pinholes get larger over time, resulting in leaks. Testing the pH of the water in your home helps you gauge its acidity level.

Hard Water

Hard water can also cause corrosion and damage the pipes connected to your tankless water heater. A water softener can help remedy this issue.

Improper Ventilation

A tankless water heater with improper ventilation is also prone to leaks. When a system has proper ventilation, the condensation created by a water heater flows outside. However, if condensation flows back into the tankless water heater, it leads to corrosion. Eventually, this corrosion causes a leak. Improper ventilation of a tankless water heater is usually a result of poor installation.

Loose Connections

A pipe with a loose connection is another common reason behind a leak. Connections can become loose over time with wear and tear. A connection may need a simple tightening or require replacement.

High Water Pressure

High water pressure is another cause of tankless water heater leaks. These water heaters are designed to work with low water pressure. So, a tankless water heater trying to operate with high water pressure can wear out and leak over time.

Can a Leaking Tankless Water Heater Cause Damage in a Home?

Yes. But the damage is usually minimal. Of course, the amount of damage depends on how long water has been leaking from a pipe or other connection. A leak in a tankless water heater usually takes the form of a slow, constant dripping from its pipes.

As a comparison, a traditional water heater can hold from 40 to 120 gallons of water at any given time. Not surprisingly, a leak from a traditional water heater has the potential to cause much more damage than a leak from a tankless design.

Keep in mind that a leaking water heater can cause mold growth on a floor or even inside a wall. Mold can create a persistent odor in your home. More importantly, it can pose a health risk to the members of your household. That’s why a leak from either type of water heater should be looked at right away.

Our team of licensed plumbers at Apex Plumbing, Heating, and Air Pros in Columbus, Ohio are experts at diagnosing and fixing leaks in a tankless water heater. We also offer maintenance services for tankless water heaters to keep your system up and running! Thinking of making the switch to tankless? We're happy to talk with you about a tankless water heater and provide you with first-rate installation services.

Precautions to Take Concerning a Tankless Water Heater Leak

Though a leak in a tankless water heater is not likely to cause much damage to a home, there is a precaution you can take. You can have a drain pan installed beneath the tankless water heater to catch any drips. Drain pans are available in a variety of sizes, so you can have one that's appropriate for your water heater.

A drain pan is a good idea if your tankless water heater is on the second floor of your home. A leak could damage your floor and maybe even your first-floor ceiling.

Also, consider a drain pan if your tankless water heater sits above carpeting or hardwood flooring. The pan is there to give you extra peace of mind about the condition of your floor in the event of even the smallest leak.

Plus, seeing drips of water in the drain pan allows you to act quickly to get the issue looked at before it gets any worse. Otherwise, you may not notice a leak right away.

Is It Worthwhile to Get a Tankless Water Heater?

Despite the possibility of a leak, a tankless water heater can be a worthwhile investment for your home. When trying to determine whether you’d like to get a tankless water heater for your home, it’s helpful to look at some of the benefits.


One of the most notable benefits of a tankless water heater is its size. You can have it installed on a wall in a utility room or a pantry where it takes up very little space. This is a significant difference from a traditional water heater that takes up a lot of space and can even dominate a small utility room.

Energy Savings

Energy savings is another benefit. Having a system that heats water only when necessary definitely reduces the amount of energy it needs to operate. This means lower energy costs for your household.

Longer Lasting

With regular maintenance, tankless water heaters are known to last longer than traditional ones. While traditional water heaters can last approximately 10 years, a tankless design can serve your household’s hot water needs for 20 years.

Environmentally Friendly

Tankless water heaters are friendly to the environment. This water heater design doesn’t continuously consume energy.

Home Selling Point

It can be a highlight on a real estate listing. Most people are learning about all of the benefits of having a tankless style water heater. So, if you’re selling your home, having a tankless water heater can be a very appealing feature to savvy buyers.

Constant Hot Water

Owning a tankless water heater means even if you’re third in line for a shower, you’re going to have hot water right away. On the other hand, if you have a traditional water heater, your third place in line means you’ll have to wait for the next supply of water to heat up.

Contact the Pros

Tankless water heater repairs, maintenance, and installation are just a few of the services our company provides. We repair and install faucets, garbage disposals, toilets, sump pumps, sewers, and more! Have a problem with a clogged drain? Experiencing an issue with your septic tank? Our knowledgeable plumbers stand ready to help.

Contact Apex Plumbing, Heating, and Air Pros in Columbus, OH to schedule an appointment today!