October 16, 2013
Get ready to have your mind blown (pun intended).
Your water heater can possibly explode and rocket through your home’s roof, causing hundreds—maybe thousands— of dollars in damage to your home.
MythBusters showed us it’s possible. But this isn’t just TV showmanship at work.
In Australia, a water heater exploded on a factory rooftop, launching the water heater 437 yards. The back of the factory was “pretty well destroyed,” Country Fire Authority operations officer Bernie Fradd said.
In Phoenix, Arizona a water heater exploded, hurtling it 135 yards, and causing catastrophic damage to the home where the explosion happened.
So, what causes these crazy water heater explosions?
Thermostat failure—With the above Australian story, the water heater’s thermostat failed, causing the water heater to heat continuously until it exploded. A water heater exceeding 212°F can result in a catastrophic explosion.
Safety valve failure—The pressure relief valve (typically found at the top of the water heater) is like the radiator cap in your car: it relieves excessive temperature of pressure build-up. So, if it’s shut or restricted in some way, pressure builds until the tank explodes, as it did with the above Phoenix story.
Gas leak—If you have a gas furnace, a gas leak can turn into a fiery explosion from just a small ignition flame.
In this article, you’ve learned that water heater explosions happen because of safety failures and annual water heater maintenance can prevent these safety failures from happening.
If you need water heater maintenance ASAP, contact Plumbing Today online, or call us at (800) 226-2636.
Posted in: Tips