Mystery water leak

I went down to my basement last Friday and found the carpet soaked and 1/4" of standing water in the furnace/water heater closet. There were no drips from the ceiling or walls so I assumed that the water heater - which is at least 15 years old - blew out. But the tank was full and it was still serving up hot water and the leaking had apparantly stopped?!? The pressure relief is vented outside so that's not it. What could have happened? The only possible explaination I could come up with is that the tank developed a leak that somehow sealed itself with sediment. Is that possible? Anyone ever see such a thing?
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bregent wrote:

Rare, but it could be the water heater. Pressure could build high due to thermal expansion (especially if you're on city water), but not high enuf to trip relief.
15 yrs is pushing your luck. I would think about replacing. At the very least, get a "flood alarm". They're only a few bucks.
Jim
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Thanks Jim. I did replace the water heater the day after I found the flood. But I'm still baffled as to where the water came from. If the tank developed a leak, why did it stop?!?
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bregent wrote:
<SNIP>

Dunno, but they do that sometimes when pressure changes greatly. In fact, you might want to put a pressure gauge on this one if you're on city water. Watch for pressure creep during heater firing or even late at night. Jim
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Do you have central air? Has it been running? If so, either the pan drain could be clogged or you could have a hole in the pan.

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Nope. We just have a ceiling fan and wait for the fog.
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