No one wants their water heater to explode and cause damage. But it could happen, especially if the unit is old or not properly maintained. If you have a leaking water heater and are worried about it exploding, the only thing you can do is replace the water heater. This will cost money, time and effort that could be better spent on other things in life or even savings for your next home purchase. How can you prevent a leaking hot water heater from exploding by following these steps? And how do you know when your new unit has developed a leak in order to replace it for safety reasons? continue reading
- Will a Hot Water Heater Explode If It's Leaking?
- Signs Your Leaking Water Heater is About to Explode
- 3 Main Causes of Water Heater Explosions
- How to Prevent Your Leaking Home Water Heater from Exploding
Will a Hot Water Heater Explode If It’s Leaking?
Leaks are often caused by loose fittings and connections on the hot water tank. If the pressure builds up and the relief valve is broken or faulty, there is a risk of explosion. It’s important to be aware of the dangers of leaking hot water heaters so you can take steps to prevent property damage in case of structural failure. Knowing why a leaking heater is dangerous can help you act quickly if it starts to leak in your home.
If you notice a water heater leaking, turn off the power and water right away. Don’t try to fix it yourself – contact a professional for repairs. And always remember safety first.
Signs Your Leaking Water Heater is About to Explode
Leaking Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
The Temperature and Pressure (T&P) valve regulates the temperature and pressure inside the water heater tank. This valve is an important safety component, as it can prevent a water heater explosion. Newer models of water heaters have this safety feature, but older models do not. If the T&P valve stops working, an explosion is likely. That’s why it’s so important to check that your T&P valve is functioning properly on a regular basis!
Always Open T&P Valve
If the T&P valve always remains open, this could indicate issues with pressure and temperature. If not checked, the T&P valve could clog with sediment, preventing the valve from opening when needed. To check the T&P valve, place a bucket under the discharge pipe. The T&P valve will release water from the heater.
If you are hearing popping noises from your water heater, it is an indication that something is wrong. The most common cause of these popping noises is the buildup of sediment in the tank. This can be caused by hard water and minerals that get deposited on the sides of the tank over time. When this happens, the water gets trapped below the sediment and starts to boil. This can create dangerous conditions, as well as putting a lot of pressure on the tank which can lead to an explosion.
If you are seeing brown water coming from your taps, it is likely that there is sediment in your tank. This sediment can be a result of minerals and metals in the water, and over time these can build up and cause problems. In particular, rust may form on the inside of the tank, which can eventually lead to a leak.
If you see hot water with a brown coloration, it means that rust is present and this could be an indicator of possible issues with the components of the water heater or the tank itself. It is important to address any signs of rust as soon as possible to prevent further damage and potential explosions down the line.
Rotten Egg Odor
Gas leaks can be caused by installation issues, and often produce a rotten egg smell. This odor is done on purpose to detect gas leaks. If you smell this kind of smell around your water heater, you should immediately switch the appliance off.
Ethyl mercaptan is a gas added to natural gas and propane which makes it detectable by smell. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can only be detected through specialized equipment. Carbon monoxide can cause sickness, debilitating injury, and even death.
Install an Explosive Gas Detector near your water heater to protect against these dangers in the event of a leak or accident.
3 Main Causes of Water Heater Explosions
High Pressure Inside the Water Heater
High pressure inside the water heater is one of the leading causes of water heater explosions. Increased pressure in a gas or electric water heater occurs when the water inside heats up, building its pressure. This can be dangerous, as it increases the risk of an explosion. The T&P valve prevents pressure build-up inside the tank, protecting against explosions.
The high limit switch also monitors water temperature and alerts when it is too hot to safely turn on the heater. Older heaters might not have a T&P valve, so they might explode if pressure builds up inside the tank. If the temperature relief valve fails or is blocked, this can cause water heater explosions. This happens when the pressure gets too high and the T&P valve opens to release excess pressure.
Flammable Liquids, Natural Gas, or Propane Gas Leaks
Gas and propane-powered water heaters are susceptible to gas leaks. If you can smell a “rotten egg” smell coming from around the bottom of the water heater, this is an indication of a gas leak.
Using a gas water heater in your garage means you need to make sure that it is not near any fuel. A propane or natural gas leak could cause the water heater to explode, so be careful with this safety device!
Improper Water Heater Installations
There are several ways in which a water heater can be improperly installed, which can lead to explosions or other hazardous situations. Some of the most common causes are:
Gas water heaters should be installed on the proper 18-inch stand. If they are not installed on a stand, there is a greater risk for the tank to fall and rupture. Gas water heaters are not installed in garages without a stop post to prevent cars from hitting the gas line and causing an explosion.
Water heaters should always be vented to the exterior of the home, in order to release any dangerous fumes that may build up inside. If these safety measures are not taken, it puts homeowners at risk for fires, explosions, and toxic gas leaks. It is important that people know what to look for when hiring someone to install their new water heater.
How to Prevent Your Leaking Home Water Heater from Exploding
Drain & Flush Your Water Heater
Drain and flushing your water heater is a simple process that helps prevent sediment from building up inside the tank. The procedure only takes two hours of your time, but it’s essential for the longevity of the water heater. Draining and flushing should be done on an annual basis to help prevent sediment from building up inside the tank.
You can schedule your service online or by calling our office. We have several different options available, so you can choose the one that best meets your needs.
A tankless water heater is not just a piece of equipment—it’s an eco-friendly solution for your home! The Hydro Jetter is a tool that makes the traditional snaking process less impactful on your home and the environment.
Preventing a water heater from exploding is one of the best ways to prepare for hot weather. PVC pipe can be cut and used in several different ways, including as piping inside a tankless water heater (gas vs electric). Electric tankless water heaters are more efficient than their gas counterparts, reducing fuel consumption and noise levels. They also require less maintenance than traditional water heaters
Inspect Your T&P Valve
The temperature and pressure relief valve, or T&P valve, is a safety device that helps prevent your water heater from exploding. The valve is typically located on the top or side of a water heater. It’s important to check the T&P valve at least twice a year, but make sure it’s not capped off or impeded in any way.
If you have a T&P valve, wear gloves and a long sleeve shirt before testing. Be sure to close the valve immediately after use. If the discharge pipe is above ground level, use a bucket to test it. After the T&P valve is opened, lift the lever to allow water to exit. Leave the valve open for a few seconds before shutting off the power.
Check Your Anode Rod
Anode rods protect the tank from rust which could weaken it and cause it to explode. There are three types of anode rods: Aluminum, steel, and ceramic. It is recommended that anode rods be replaced every three years. If something goes wrong, you should call a licensed plumber for help.
Lower Your Temperature
Most water heaters are set to a default temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this is much too hot for most households and can lead to scalding injuries or even an explosion. You can lower your water heater’s temperature setting without any negative impact on your appliance’s lifespan. In fact, many experts recommend turning the thermostat down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit in order to save energy and extend the life of your water heater.
The Temperature-and-Pressure (T&P) valve is another safety feature found on most water heaters. This valve helps release pressure and control the temperature inside your hot water heater. It’s typically found at the top of the tank, and it releases water when the pressure reaches 150 PSI. If you see leaking water from this valve, turn off the power and drain your tank immediately. This valve indicates unsafe pressure levels in your heater which could result in an explosion if left unattended for too long
Many municipal water supply systems now require an expansion tank to absorb the shock caused by the water hammer and excess pressure caused by thermal expansion. An expansion tank is a partially filled container with air, which helps to prevent a water heater from exploding.
You can prevent your home water heater from exploding by turning off the power and water, contacting a professional for repairs, and ensuring that all pipes leading to the tank are in good condition. Leaks may be caused by corrosion on pipes or fittings leading to the tank, deterioration of the tank itself, or leaking from below. Taking these precautions can help you avoid further damage and ensure your safety.
Installation by a Licensed Plumber
Many people think they can save a few bucks by installing their own water heater. However, this is not a job for the average person. Installing a gas water heater incorrectly is one of the most common problems we find at PlumbCenter. It’s important to have a licensed plumber do your installation to ensure it meets current code requirements and up-to-date safety standards.
Additionally, gas water heaters should have pipe bollards or vehicle barriers installed to protect the ignition source in case of an accident. Expansion tanks, seismic strapping, and drain pans are now required in many buildings which use gas water heaters – so make sure you ask your plumber about these when he or she comes out to do your installation!
Check for Gas Leaks
If you have a gas or propane water heater, it’s important to check for leaks regularly to avoid dangerous explosions. One way to do this is by using the Kidde AC Plug-in Carbon Monoxide and Explosive Gas Detector Alarm. This device is designed to detect both carbon monoxide and explosive gas and has a loud 85-decibel pulsing alarm that will sound when there’s a potential problem with the system. It also features three mounting options, including one on the side of your water heater and one on a wall or ceiling.
Another way to check for gas leaks is by smelling ethanethiol gas. This additive is added to natural gas and propane in order to make the carbon monoxide gas detectable by smell. If you think your heater has a leak, be sure to switch off the mainline of fuel before calling a plumber.
Is it safe to leave a leaking water heater on?
Water heaters are generally very safe, but proper maintenance can help to keep them that way. If you’re leaving for an extended period of time, it’s important to turn off your water heater to avoid any potential leaks or explosions. For more information on what to do if your water heater is leaking, please see our blog post on the subject.
What happens when a hot water heater explodes?
A hot water heater explosion can be a scary sight. But what exactly happens when one blows? And more importantly, is your home at risk for this type of disaster?
The truth is, while an exploding water heater can cause some serious damage, it’s not as common as you might think. That said, it’s still important to know how to prevent pressure from building up in your tank and what to do if the T&P valve starts opening frequently. One way to prevent an explosion is by making sure the temperature setting on your water heater doesn’t exceed 120-125 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also test the T&P valve twice a year to make sure it can release pressure when needed.
Will a leaking water heater explode?
It is possible for a leaking water heater to explode. The pressure relief valve protects the water heater from excessive heat and pressure. If the leaking of the relief valve is an indication that it cannot handle the heat or pressure in the tank, then the cause can be identified by locating rotten eggs around the unit.
If you smell gas around your water heater, turn it off immediately and call a licensed and qualified plumber. A corroded tank can cause pressure and temperature to build up which leads to an explosion or breaks in the heater. Brown water is an indication of a potential explosion. Unprofessional installations can lead to potential problems and explosions. Seek the opinion of another licensed plumber if you are not sure that your water heater was installed correctly