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Signs Your Water Heater is Going to Explode

A water heater is an essential appliance in any household, but did you know if they’re not properly maintained your water heater could explode? Seriously, they can do that. Luckily, the risk of an outright explosion is extremely low, however they will stop working if not properly maintained, and cold showers are almost as bad as an explosion. Kind of.

The good news is that there are warning signs that can help you identify an impending problem before it escalates. In this guide, we’ll delve deeper into the key indicators that your water heater may be at risk of exploding and tell you what you can do to prevent a hazardous situation.

Age and Lack of Maintenance

The lifespan of a water heater typically ranges from 8 to 12 years, depending on factors such as maintenance, water quality, and usage. As your heater ages, it becomes more susceptible to malfunctions that can lead to explosions. Regular maintenance and inspections are essential to keep your water heater in top condition. If your heater is more than a decade old and you notice any of the other warning signs mentioned below, it may be time to start shopping for a replacement.

Rusty and Corrosion

Over time, the interior of your water heater can corrode due to reactions between water and the metal components. This corrosion can lead to rust formation, which weakens the structural integrity of your water heater, increasing the risk of leaks and explosions. Be on the lookout for visible signs of rust on the tank, valves, and pipes. If you spot any, contact a professional plumber to assess the situation and determine whether repairs or a replacement are necessary.

Leaking Water

A leaking water heater is a clear indication that something is wrong, and it requires immediate attention. If you notice water pooling around the base of the unit, it could be a sign of a weakened tank, increasing the risk of rupture or explosion. Additionally, leaks can result from loose connections or damaged components. Regardless of the cause, it’s essential to address the problem by calling in a professional plumber to pinpoint the source of the leak and recommend the best course of action.

Unusual Noises

A properly functioning water heater should operate with minimal noise. However, if you start hearing strange noises, such as rumbling, popping, or hissing, it could indicate sediment buildup inside the tank. Over time, minerals like calcium and magnesium can accumulate at the bottom, forming a layer of sediment. This buildup can cause the tank to overheat and pressure to rise, increasing the risk of an explosion or other failure. Having a professional plumber flush the tank will remove the sediment and restore proper function, reducing the danger.

High Pressure

A water heater is designed to maintain a specific pressure range for safe operation. If the pressure inside the tank becomes too high, it can cause the tank to burst or explode. This excessive pressure can result from a faulty pressure relief valve or an obstruction in the system. Keep an eye on the pressure gauge and make sure it remains within the manufacturer’s recommended range. If you suspect an issue with the pressure relief valve, contact a professional for an inspection and repair if necessary.

Faulty Temperature Settings

An improperly set thermostat can cause the water heater to overheat, which increases the risk of failure. The ideal temperature setting for most water heaters is between 120-140°F (49-60°C). This range balances the need for hot water with energy efficiency and safety. If you’re unsure how to check or adjust your water heater’s thermostat, consult your owner’s manual or contact a professional. Regularly monitoring the thermostat ensures that it is functioning correctly and helps prevent dangerous situations.

While the risk of a water heater explosion is relatively low with proper maintenance and safety measures, it’s crucial to remain vigilant and address potential issues as early as possible. By being proactive and paying attention to the warning signs listed above, you can protect your home and family from a dangerous situation. If you notice any of these red flags, don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumber to assess and resolve the problem. Remember, regular maintenance and timely repairs are key to ensuring the safe and efficient operation of your water heater, giving you peace of mind and a consistently comfortable home environment.

What’s Next? Don’t Let Plumbing Issues Go Unresolved!

I Fix Pipe has seen it all. Frozen pipes, leaky faucets, and exploding water heaters are nothing new to our specialized team of plumbing experts. If you’re having plumbing issues or want to be proactive to ensure you don’t run into any, give us a call. We’ll be glad to help you save money on future repairs or find you the most cost-effective solutions for current ones.

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