Why Do Water Heaters Explode

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Water heaters are a necessary appliance in any home, and they often last for many years without any significant problems. However, water heaters can explode for several reasons, and it’s essential to be aware of the signs that your water heater might be about to blow.

In this post, we will explore some of the most common causes of water heater explosions, as well as what you can do to prevent them from happening. Stay safe and stay informed.

Main Reasons Why Do Water Heaters Explode

Interior of kitchen with brick wall decorated with wicker baskets
Water heater system

1.    High Pressure

High pressure inside a water heater, whether it’s gas or electric, can affect how well your home is heated and make your water heater explode.

When the tank has increased amounts of thermal expansion energy and heats up with boiling waters – like what happens when you turn on any type except those that have automatic shutoff features-

then there will be higher internal pressures within these systems which may lead them not work correctly over time if left untreated long enough.

There are many causes of high pressure inside the tank. Here is a list:

  • Pressure and temperature relief valve which refuses to open and release pressure
  • If the switch on the upper thermostat fails to work properly
  • If the water heater is poorly maintained

2.    Gas Leaks

This only applies to natural gas or propane-powered water heaters. Electric units do not have a supply line for fuel and use an electric element instead, so they’re safe from this particular danger.

Water heaters can be gas or propane-powered, and they all have an incoming line that’s usually connected to the housing supply. This creates a potential source of leaks if there are any corrosion problems with fittings on these tanks, which happen often.

The foul smell will indicate you’re having a leak somewhere since it means something is leaking out, and you should check it.

The gas leaks on a water heater are a safety hazard. The tiny ignition flame or electrical spark from any nearby source could cause an explosion that would seriously terrify and hurt you.

Read: 4 types of heating systems

Black Shower Head Switched on
Water shower

3.    Improper Installation

The water heater is the essential plumbing in your home. If you are unsure how to install one, leave it up to a professional plumber. Examples of improper installation include:

  • Water heaters in garages constitute a significant hazard. The gas lines may be connected directly to the wall, or they might go through an open pipe, which means that if you have cars outside your garage and someone accidentally hits them while driving past at high speeds – there could easily be an explosion.
  • T and P valves that have been installed badly
  • Heaters installed in unreachable locations
  • Sediment traps missing from gas lines

Signs that Your Water Heater is About to Explode

1. If Your Pressure Relief Valve is Leaking

Your pressure valve is vital to the safety of your heater. When it’s working correctly, excess force doesn’t build up inside and cause dangerous problems with leaks or other equipment damage.

2. Rotten Egg Smell

When a water heater leaks, it can emit an odour reminiscent of rotten eggs. This should indicate there is a gas leak.

3. Popping Noises

Over time, the sediment at the bottom of your tank can build up and cause popping noises. The sediment build-up can cause an explosion in your heater.

4. Bad Installation

If you’re not an expert on water heater installation, it can be hard to spot lousy installation. Installation problems lead to leaking or pressure buildup and other dangerous situations like exploding heaters.

5. Brown Water

When you notice brown water, it’s critical to contact a water heating professional as soon as possible. Not only could this be the sign of an explosion, but it could also cause health problems.

Read: How to vent a ventless heater

How to Prevent Your Water Heater From Exploding

To prevent your water heater from exploding, you can do the following:

  • Flush and drain the water heater
  • Always check your temperature and pressure valve
  • Inspect the anode rod
  • Reduce the temperature
  • Exp[and your tank
  • Get a licensed plumber for installation
  • Inspect gas leaks

Read: Types of water heaters pros and cons

Frequently Asked Questions on Water Heater Safety

How Common Is It for a Hot Water Heater to Explode?

It is rare. When it comes to your water heater, you should never take a chance. The best way is by checking for signs before an explosion happens and then mitigating that risk as much as possible.

How Do You Know if Your Water Heater Is Going to Explode?

You may have heard that your water heater will explode, but don’t worry. These are just some of the signs it might be time for an upgrade. The most common reason why heaters do this? Leaking tanks and pressure relief valves- which you can fix by installing new ones or replacing old ones.

Why Does My Water Heater Make Loud Banging Noise?

The water heater is like an engine that needs to be fueled to work correctly. When you turn on the gas flame, this starts up sediment, which blocks heat from rising into your home’s pipes and tanks – leading soon after with loud popping sounds.

What Happens When Hot Water Heater Bursts?

When working correctly, the water will stop flowing when your tank is full. But because of that burst, you got. The consequence? It pushes all its contents out into whatever room or space. You should turn off the cold supply line by twisting valves clockwise until they cannot move anymore to ensure no more leaks occur.

The big question is, what can you do to keep your water heater from exploding? Well, the best way to prevent an explosion is to maintain and inspect your appliance regularly. Keep an eye out for any signs that it’s not working correctly, and get it serviced as soon as possible.

You should also be sure never to store anything combustible near your water heater and make sure that everyone in your household knows how to turn off the gas supply in case of an emergency.

By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your family stays safe and warm this winter. Have you ever had a water heater explode? What was your experience like?

Read: Instant water heater