water heater leaked once, but not anymore

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Apr 29, 2010
so I am a landlord of a 1100 sq ft townhouse. the tenant complained about water heater leak a few days ago.
I went to take a look. I saw half of the basement had water mark, and there was circle of water mark a round the water heater. however, everything is dry now. the water heater is not leaking anymore.
I think it must be one time thing, but how did it happen? where could the leakage come from?
the tenant did mention that she was using dish washer/cloth washer, etc all together at the same time. and the house was build in 1996. so it is 14 years old water heater.
I thought about floor drain backing up, but have no way to prove it. if that's the case, would it make the basement smell bad?
if it was the pressure pop off valve, then it was a lot of water for that valve!
These are just my thoughts, I'm not a plumber.

Most pressure relief valves are incorporated into the toilets. If the line pressure gets too great, the toilet float stand pipe overflows and drains. Most people think the toilet is constantly running but in reality the line pressure coming into the home has been exceeded. This could be due to the water dept flushing lines, bringing a new pump on line and running it to set the pressure, the water dept installing a new corporation valve or fire hydrant upstream the and cranking up the pressure to test the coupling, etc.

If the line pressure was exceeded in the water heater, the pop off valve is open and will not seat until the pressure drops below a recommended level. This is a safety device built in so the hot water heater does not explode.
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I just replaced my 13 year old water heater this past Tuesday. I think now days, anything older than 10-12 years is running on borrowed time. Here in Ohio, we have the clunker appliance program going, so I am getting a $100 rebate for gettting an energy star certified unit.

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