Everybody has one, and they all leak.
Maybe not all the time, and maybe not for a long time, but eventually your water heater is going to fail, and when it does, the ensuing water damage can be catastrophic.
Your average tank-style water heater has a typical life-span of about 10 years. Like any appliance, wear and tear and the inescapable effects of time degrade the connections or even the tank itself, and inevitably, something gives.
Most commonly, connections where the cold-water supply line comes in or where the hot-water line goes out begin to leak, often going unnoticed at first.
Like a spreading disease, slow leaks can be devastating in their own way. Long-term water heater leaks which go unnoticed can cause widespread damage as moisture saturates drywall and wicks outward from the source, creating a perfect environment for mold to cultivate. Some of the worst mold damage we have witnessed was a result of a slowly leaking water heater.
Think about your own home. Are you able to access or even see that water heater in your garage behind the pile of Disney princess bicycles and the unused camping gear that Uncle Melton bought you 4 Christmas’ ago? Would you even know if your water heater was leaking?
Now think about the rooms which share a common wall with that ticking time bomb. Does your newly renovated kitchen and your beautiful new cabinets back up to the same wall your water heater sits behind? Kitchen cabinetry is often the most costly casualty when a water heater leaks unknowingly for a long time. Entire walls 20 feet long can be affected as water seeps into sill plates and spreads outward, bringing with it the potential for devastating mold damage.