Exploding Water Heater - Around Town Plumbing and Heating
Water heaters are remarkable pieces of equipment when you think about them. They provide your entire house with hot water necessary for laundry, showers, dishwashers, etc. Most homes typically contain a tank-type water heater that provides hot water for the house. The tank-type water heater will typically heat the water with a gas burner or electric coils. The tank is also designed to hold the warm water until another utility in the house requires hot water. However, water heaters can be very dangerous; they have been known to explode from time to time—especially the tank-type heaters.

What Causes Exploding Water Heaters?

The main reasons water heaters malfunction:

  1. improper installation
  2. improper temperature/pressure adjustments
  3. lack of routine inspection

Water heater failures typically occur when water temperature exceeds 2100°F and can result in explosions that can level your home. As temperature increases, so does pressure inside the tank. When the pressure becomes great enough, the water heater will explode and usually cause major damage to the house. The Discovery show Mythbusters even filmed an episode showing the devastating force of an exploding water heater.

Preventing Water Heater Explosions

We want to make sure that these things never happens in your home. There are several measures you can take to decrease the chance of having an exploding water heater. Follow these simple steps to prevent your hot water heater from becoming dangerous.

  1. Make sure you heaters and tanks are annually cleaned and serviced by a properly trained professional.
  2. Manually lift the relief valve every two months to ensure that it opens easily and freely.
  3. Replace the relief valve on your water heater every 3 years.
  4. Remove any paper, debris, or dust from the heater enclosure.
  5. Have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed if your tank does not already have one.
  6. Maintain a temperature set point not to exceed 180°F on any heating boiler or hot water heater.
  7. Option: Upgrade to a tankless water heater system!

Follow these guidelines and you will never have to worry about a water tank exploding in your home. If you have any questions about your water tank call us today at 315-635-5515.