Water heater leak from top. Am I on the right track?

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Brando81

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I have a probably 13 yr old water heater, so I know its getting up there. I just got a leak on what looks to be the hot water outlet. (The leak is hot). It doesnt look to be the joint, and it seems to be coming from under the cover/red cap. I found some threads talking about dielectric nipples. Could replacing or tightening these help? What should I do to further diagnose without causong a problem getting things back together if thats not it considering the age of the heater? I included a pic if that helps.
 

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Jeff Handy

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Time for a new one.
Nowadays 10 years is pushing it, 13 is on borrowed time.

Is there any chance the water is coming from a leak in the piping above, and then just sitting on top of that red seal?

Also, your picture is pretty hard to see, but if your piping is pvc as it appears to be, then I think dielectric nipples are less important.

They are critical when dissimilar metals are attached together, like copper piping going to a steel water heater. Galvanic action corrodes the metal, a very weak electric current is created almost like a battery.

The old pros on here can add more info or correct me if wrong.
 
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