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 Water heater leaking around gas valve

Also read: Leaking-water-heater
3 things:

1) The gas valve is NOT screwed into the tank correctly ... which would happen if gas valve was replaced recently...

2) The gas valve has gone bad and is the leak is coming through the gas valve.
The gas valve needs to be replaced
How-to-troubleshoot-gas-water-heater
How-to-replace-Honeywell-gas-control-valve

3) The tank is rusted out.
The leak is coming out around the gas valve at the tank because the threads are rusted out ...
... or the leak is above the gas valve and dripping down.
Action:
You need to buy new heater, or apply for warranty coverage.

1) Take photo of the label located on side of tank and figure out the date of manufacture based on serial number, and then estimate if warranty is still in effect.
pdf/Find-Age-of-water-heater

2) Contact the manufacturer with the serial number.

Warranty will cover the tank.
Probably on a pro-rated basis.
New heater?
If you are going to buy another heater out-of-pocket, read following run-down.
Which-is-best-gas-water-heater

If you are installing yourself, read following:
How-to-install-gas-water-heater
Prevent rusted water heater in future:

1) Replace anode rod periodically
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html

2) Turn down level of water softening

3) Make sure water pressure does not exceed 80 psi
http://waterheatertimer.org/Low-water-pressure.html

Automatic water heater shut off valve
Automatic shut off valve

Prevent water damage:

Buy automatic shut off valve:
Water heater shut off valves at Amazon
Water detectors at Amazon

Resource:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Leaking-water-heater.html
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