Water Heater Leaking or Condensation - Rheem Gas 40 Gal Powervent
(New Hartford, NY)
Thanks for taking my question.
I have an 11-year old Rheem 40 Gal PowerVent gas hot water heater and it appears as though it is leaking. I've done some initial research on the topic and I think it is time for an expert.
The leak is tiny so far and it is coming from the bottom "pan" area...specifically where each of the three support legs are attached to the water heater shell. I checked the pressure valve (released it and it snapped back...grimy water came out)--that seemed ok. I also checked the plumbing connections on top and they all seem dry as a bone. Last, I opened the service panel and peered into the chamber where the flame is located. Inside, the pan directly underneath the flame is dry, however the sheet metal beneath that and on the bottom is wet (the outside water heater casing). The water is running from the three legs. Since the service hole is small I cannot get a complete look inside the chamber. From what I can see, I do not see any evidence of water leaking from above the flame or at the outside seam. The belly of the tank (inside the combustion chamber) is full of black flecks, like pepper.
Condensation? Is there a way to test?
Did I miss anything? Time to call a plumber for a replacement?