"WILBERT AMP C GILLIARD"
It might be as simple as the expansion tank being waterlogged, or maybe
the relief valve itself is defective. The dangerous possibility is that the
gas valve isn't shutting off properly, causing the water to heat way past
its norm. Does the water seem super-super hot (like scalding)?
If the water seems normal in its heat, then have someone check the
expansion tank and change the relief valve. Remember, if the tank itself
isn't leaking, then there's no need to change the whole water heater (unless
it's cheaper than messing with the gas controls.