Exploding Water Heater: How Hazardous?

Some people are still wondering if an exploding water heater is possible to occur. Water heaters are everywhere in houses around the world. In some four-season countries, it is 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 exploding accidents are due to the lack of information dealing with water heater maintenance. Most people take this household item for granted. Take a look at some information dealing with the water heater below to avoid the exploding accident best. 

Read also: Envirotemp Water Heater Age

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 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 heaters have a high hazardous level.

Many causes contribute to water heater explosions. The major cause comes from the poor maintenance of some parts of the water heater. A pressure relief valve inside the water heater tank is used to control the pressure and 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 and corrosion are unavoidable. Although there is an anode rod inside the tank, in 4 or 5 years, the rod’s quality will worsen. Following this, 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 exploding cases, noise can actually be a great signal to prevent an accident from happening. When noise comes from inside the tank, you have to be alarmed that something wrong happens inside. Otherwise, the tank urgently needs maintenance to keep working well.

If your water heater makes popping sounds, it is signaling that there is an 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 a 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 are 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?

A water heater explosion is a rare case. No specific statistics are 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 surrounding it will no longer be the same.

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

You can take several steps to prevent such an accident from happening in your home. Follow the instructions written on your water heater. You also need to do the maintenance in routine.

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HomeTips is an experienced author and expert technician. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects related to home improvement, including installation, maintenance, and repair.