Exploding Water Heater: How Hazardous?

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Some people are still wondering if an exploding water heater is possible to occur. Water heaters are everywhere in houses around the world. To some four-season countries, it even a mandatory item in the house. Office buildings also use water heaters as one of their facilities. Yet, even though this stuff is dear to lots of people, many of them are still unaware of the harmful potential it brings.

A water heater comes in many kinds. Its basic types are in gas and electric models. Even though they are significantly different in their operating system, they still share the same working principle. In brief, they also have the same potential to explode.

Exploding Water Heater

The majority of the exploding water heater accidents are due to the lack of information dealing with water heater’s maintenance. Most of the people take this household item for granted. Take a look at some information dealing with the water heater below to best avoid the exploding accident. 

Exploding Hot Water Heater

Can a water heater explode? A definite yes. If it does not seem to make sense to you, imagine a rocket flying up to reach the moon. A water heater can exactly do the same, yet not too long after it is taking-off, it will come back to earth. Within seconds, an exploding water heater will crush down any property in its landing.

When a water heater in your house explodes, damage to the building is a certainty. The ceiling will most probably collapse creating a giant hole in your roof. In some cases, casualties also occurred. No wonder, some countries like the USA say that explosions caused by water heater has a high hazardous level.

Exploding Hot Water Heater
Exploding Hot Water Heater

There are many causes that contribute to water heater explosions. The major cause comes from a poor maintenance of some parts in the water heater. A pressure relief valve inside the water heater tank is functioned to control the pressure and to stabilize it when the heat is too much. When this part is broken, the pressure cannot be controlled and can lead to an explosion.

Corrosion can also cause a fatal accident. As the tank is aging, rust as well as corrosion are unavoidable. Although there is an anode rod inside the tank, in 4 or 5 years, the quality of the rod will worsen. Following it, the iron element in the tank will rust and corrode. This issue can level up the pressure amount in the tank and cause it to explode.

Water Heater Exploding Noise

In the exploding water heater cases, noise can actually be a great signal to prevent the accident to happen. When noise is coming from inside the tank, you have to be alarmed that there is something wrong happen inside. Or else, the tank urgently needs maintenance to keep working well.

If your water heater makes popping sounds, it is signaling that there is the excessive amount of sediment in the tank. Flushing the water out can be the solution. In another way, if you hear a screeching sound from it, you have to have fast response to that. A screeching sound means there is something wrong with the water flow. Most probably, the valve is in trouble. You have to check the valve and fix it.

Once all of the sounds coming from inside the tank is ignored, a huge, loud, bump is going to tear your ears apart. If you ever heard the sound of a bomb exploding in a movie, that is exactly the condition that you might encounter in an exploding water heater. For a moment, you could be deaf right after the explosion occurs.  

How Many Water Heaters Explode a Year?

Water heater explosion is a rare case. There is not any specific statistics dealing with this hazardous accident. However, once it occurs, in the worst case it can shatter the whole building. Just like a bomb when exploding, the area surrounds it will no longer be the same.

In spite of its rarity to occur, the water heater explosion has been counted responsible for more than 5,000 cases of home fires in 2010 based on the data recorded in NFPA (National Fire Protection Association). That number was resulting in 80 deaths as well as approximately 200 injured casualties. More than $100 million property was damaged.

You can take several steps to prevent such an accident to happen in your home. Follow the instructions written in your water heater. You also need to do the maintenance in routine. All in all, an exploding water heater does not have to occur once you are being acknowledged about the item.