A common question we are asked from concerned homeowners is, can a water heater explode? Many people find themselves wondering about the potential dangers that come along with a water heater. Most of us have heard the story about a water heater that becomes put under too much stress and explodes! However it seems like most people are unsure if these stories are true. Do you have a potential explosion lurking deep in your home?
Well, the answer is yes, a hot water heater does have the potential to explode. If you know how water heaters work, you can learn how to identify warning signs, and avoid potential issues with your unit!
How Does a Water Heater Work?
In general, there are two main categories of hot water heaters—gas and electric. While you must take into consideration that every different model of hot water heater will be unique and operate in a slightly different way, all water heaters have similar functions. The general process all water heaters use is based around a form of combustion that is used to heat water inside the holding tank.
With gas hot water heaters, a burner is used to heat stored water inside the tank. More modern, electric heaters use coils to heat the water. Whenever the water inside the water heater’s tank rises to the ideal temperature, the burner automatically will turn off. The temperature, the gas or coils will heat the water inside the tank to will be determined by the person operating the water heater.
For most water heaters, the manufacturer recommends setting the temperature no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
So What Causes a Water Heater Explode?
If the temperature of your water heater is set to too high or the pressure relief valve of a water heater malfunctions you can be in serious trouble! Both of these situations can lead to a water heater exploding. An explosion does not discriminate and can happen with a gas or electric hot water heater. The pressure relief valve will malfunction if it the pipe is blocked or the pressure is otherwise unable to release.
As water heats up it turns into gas. Once the heat and pressure become too much for the tank to withstand it attempts to release the pressure through the relief valve. If the valve is blocked or broken in any way, the internal pressure grows until ultimately exploding.
The damage it can cause is significant. It has the ability to compromise your entire home. Although it is unlikely for water heaters to explode, when they do, they operate much the same as a rocket. It will blow a hole through your ceiling and the tank itself may end up several blocks away. It is very dangerous.
If you have any concerns about the condition of your home’s water heater, contact Red Lion Plumbing today! We can ensure that you are safe and that your unit is functioning properly.
At Red Lion Plumbing we have integrity, if you call us with a simple issue we are confident you can fix we will point you in the right direction- for everything else we offer service you can trust. Red Lion Plumbing proudly serves The Woodlands, Magnolia, Tomball, Cypress, Spring, Conroe, Montgomery and surrounding areas.