Tip-Locate water heater. Pay attention for any smell of gas or signs of a gas leak in the area. Look for any signs of water leaks on the unit or around it. The area around the water heater should be free of clutter and combustibles. If the water heater is installed in an area where water damage can occur, a drip pan should be installed beneath unit to help prevent water damage from leaks. Next look for rust or corrosion on the tank which is usually on the top by the connection pipes or at the bottom of the tank. Rust on the tank indicates a previous or current leak that can drastically shorten the life expectancy of the water heater and cause water damage. Examine the water inlet and outlet lines looking for sharp bends, kinks or leaks. If copper pipe is connected to the water heater, then a dielectric union, a union with a rubber bushing separating the two types of metal, should be installed on the inlet and outlet copper pipes before the connection to the galvanized pipes on the water heater. Copper connected directly to galvanized pipe can cause galvanic action which can cause the pipes to corrode and leak. Water heaters should be drained to remove sediment build-up every six months to help extend the life expectancy. Contact a licensed and insured plumber for corrective actions for issues found.