A) Calculate date of water heater manufacture from serial number located on side of tank:
Date of manufacture is not date of installation.
Warranty is usually from date of manufacture
Serial number also shows tank size in gallons, tank volts and watts, and whether tank has 1 or 2 elements.
B) Troubleshoot leaking water heater:http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-at-bottom-of-water-heater.html
Several things can be looked at to see where leak is coming from.
Carefully go over tank pipes and valves to eliminate every suspect.
Final suspect: tank is rusted out.
C) If tank is rusted out, then tank needs to be replaced before it ruptures.
Ruptured tank can cause major damage and water runs until shut off.
To prevent rupture, turn off power to heater, turn off valve located above tank, open tub faucet for a moment to relieve pressure on tank.
Turn on heater only when needed until new tank is installed.
4500 Watt water heater produces 21 gallons hot water per hour.
Shower uses 6-9 gallons hot water. Bath uses 12-14 gallons hot water."It is possible to limp along with
a failed water heater if the leak is slow and if you turn off power and
water when not using hot water. That trick could buy time,
possibly up to 3 months. With time, you can consider how to make the
system do more for less as well as comparison shop, get competitive
D) Now you're home is safe from damage.
If tank is only 5 years old, it rusted out pretty quick.
There are three things you can do so next heater lasts longer.
1) Learn about anode rods, and inspect anode rod every 1-3 years.
Loosen anode rod before installing new tank so replacement is easier.http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html
2) Attach electrical ground wire between hot and cold pipes to prevent stray current from reducing life of water heaterhttp://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html#straycurrent
3) Flush tank each 6 months to prevent sedimenthttp://waterheatertimer.org/Clean-sediment-out-of-water-heater.html#flushelectric