Thank Your Plumbers — For Real!

Thank Your Plumbers — For Real!

Can Your Water Heater Actually Explode?

by Bill Turner

It's a tale that makes the rounds every once in a while: someone's water heater explodes and causes catastrophic damage to their home. It can be tempting to write this off as a myth, but hot water heaters really can explode. It does not happen often; it's very rare. However, it is still a good idea to be careful. Keep reading to learn the signs that your hot water heater might explode and what you can do about it.

Signs That Your Hot Water Heater Might Explode

If you know what to look for, you can note and remedy hot water heater problems long before they result in an explosion. An explosion results from super-high pressure inside the tank. Here are some signs your tank pressure may be too high.

  • Water leaking from the pressure relief valve
  • A popping noise when the tank heats up
  • A frequently open pressure relief valve

What To Do About Signs of High Pressure

If your hot water heater shows any of the above signs of high pressure, contact a plumber. They will come look over the tank and remedy any problems. If your pressure valve is not working well, they can usually replace it without having to replace the entire tank. Sometimes, the plumber may also drain some water from the bottom of the tank. In doing so, they will remove sediment that can sometimes interfere with accurate temperature and pressure regulation in a water heater.

Preventing Future Issues

If your water heater does not currently show signs of high pressure, you want to keep it that way. Make sure you drain a gallon or two of water out of the tank every year or so. This will keep sediment buildup down, which will ensure the tank can better regulate. 

If you have hard water, consider installing a water softener. The water softener will remove the dissolved minerals from your water before it enters the hot water heater. As a result, fewer minerals will deposit on the pressure valve, and it will keep working better. Plus, a water softener will reduce mineral buildup inside your pipes, on your faucets, and in small appliances like coffee makers.

On occasion, a hot water heater does explode due to unusually high pressure inside the tank. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent this from happening. Reach out to a plumber in your area for more information about water heater repair


About Me

Thank Your Plumbers — For Real!

When you have a plumber come work on your home, we hope you thank them. Really, you should be thanking any contractor who works on your home, but we are a little partial to plumbers and happen to think they deserve a little more recognition. After all, the stuff inside the pipes they work on doesn't usually smell very good. And even though they wear gloves, they have to get pretty close to it! If you would like to learn a little more about plumbers, then we invite you to read this blog. After learning the basics, you'll really want to thank your plumbers!