The feeling of stepping into a shower and feeling the warm water gently run down your body is one that provides many people with extreme comfort. From having a long stressful day, a long journey, or coming in from the icy-cold, warm showers are an immediate source of comfort for many people of the world. Your hot water heater is in charge of making sure that your water is nice and warm, not only for your shower but also for doing the dishes, laundry, and helping clean around the house. When you come home and find that you have standing water in your home, due to a hot water heater burst, you know you have some trouble on your hands. It is important to know what to do when your hot water heater bursts and the signs that trouble might be brewing.
What causes a Hot Water Heater to burst?
Have you ever taken an empty plastic water bottle and twisted it so much that the cap suddenly shot off? If so, you know the unmistakable sound of the pressure forcing the cap to snap off, allowing for the trapped air to escape. When your water heater bursts, it is because of a similar principle. Your hot water heater is like the water bottle, holding contents that under extreme pressure, begin to swell. Here are some of the ways and signs that your hot water heater is about to burst.
Sediment build up occurs when natural minerals and debris from the water begin to collect at the bottom of the hot water tank. The sediment build-up makes it harder for your hot water heater to heat up the water, as the sediment acts as an insulator. Because of extra work, the water heater has to put in, the water heater becomes too hot, causing pressure to build up. Just imagine boiling water for too long in a pot with the top on, eventually, the water is going to try and escape from underneath the top, and spill out onto your stove. Unlike a pot though, the water heater doesn’t have an easy way for the pressure to escape, causing the water heater to eventually bust.
- There are some warning signs before the sediment build-up becomes a problem. If you hear a popping sound coming from your hot water heater, you know it is time to get it looked at. A plumber will be able to help flush out the drains in your hot water heater, allowing for the sediment build-up to leave the tank and get rid of the problem.
- Corrosion on the hot water heater tank due to rust is a sign that the sacrificial anode rod has completely rusted. The sacrificial anode rod is designed to sit within your hot water heater to help prevent rust from occurring on the tank by acting as a shield. Once this rod is gone, then the hot water heater tank begins to rust. If not caught quick enough, can cause your hot water heater to have a hole which will result in water flooding your home.
- The sacrificial anode rod should be checked every two years to make sure it doesn’t have too much wear, and if it does, that it is replaced. You will probably have to replace the rod every 4-5 years, but that is a lot less expensive than paying for a whole new heater. You can catch this problem early if you notice that your tap-water is beginning to take on a brownish coloring.
- Internal Pressure built up in the tank for too long can cause a hot water heater burst or, in worse cases, to explode. Pressure builds up naturally over time in your hot water heater due to steam caused by the hot water. Your hot water heater is designed to protect itself against that with its temperature and pressure release valve. It opens up, allowing the water and steam to escape from your tank. Like anything in life, the temperature and pressure release valve begin to wear down over time, causing it to be less and less effective and releasing the built up steam and water.
- You will recognize this problem if your temperature and pressure release valve is constantly opening up to release water or if it leaking. These two problems signal that pressure is building up within your tank and you have the risk of a hot water heater burst. Making sure that the temperature of your hot water heater isn’t too high can help resolve this issue. The temperature should be anywhere from 120-125 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Making sure you get the temperature and pressure valve tested every two years will also make sure that everything is running properly, and if any repairs are needed, that they can be taken care of before a bigger problem emerges.
Notice any of these problems but are not sure who to turn to? Warranted Plumbing Services is able to help with all of your hot water heater needs. Whether your hot water heater needs a routine check-up or there is already a burst/explosion, our experts will be able to give you the help and guidance you need to not only fix the problem but to also give you a peaceful frame of mind. Call us at (925) 526-6230 in Pittsburg, CA to talk to our team today!
Is It Dangerous to Have a Leaking Water Heater?
A leaking water heater is usually a clear sign that something is amiss. Leaking water is dangerous, as it means the integrity of your hot water heater is in jeopardy. If left unresolved, that leaking water can lead to some serious problems such as a burst, an explosion from built up pressure, water damage to your property, and contaminated water from rusty pipes. If you notice leaking water, call a professional immediately, as it will save you from dealing with major damages and expenses later. Don’t forget that your trusty neighborhood plumbers at Warranted Plumbing Services can help with any of your hot water heater needs.
What To Do When A Hot Water Heater Burst?
One of most dangerous parts about a hot water heater burst is the flood of water that is escaping from the tank. It is crucial that you stop the water first, as to avoid any more water damage to your home. Make sure to turn off the water supply valve that is feeding water to your tank. (With a properly working tank, the valve shuts off automatically when it fills, but because of the burst, there is no way for the tank to ever be completely filled.) If this doesn’t work, turn off the main water supply to your home.
If you have an electric water tank, it is important that you cut off the power going to the tank. The heating element of your tank can cause a fire if it does not have water around it to act as a buffer for the heat. You can do this by switching off the breaker that is in control of the hot water heater. If you have a gas powered water heater, make sure you turn off the gas valve. WARNING: If you smell gas, leave your home immediately and wait until the gas dissipates, if it doesn’t, it means that the gas pipe was damaged as well and you have a gas leak.
If you have a basement, turn on the sump-pump and allow the water to drain as much as you can. If not, try to sop up as much water from your home, and remove any furniture or belongings that are at risk, or have already, come in contact with the water.
Finally, assess the damage and call your insurance agency. Most insurance agencies will work with you in covering the damages done by your hot water heater. That’s when you can turn to your trustworthy team, at Warranted Plumbing Services, to help you assess the damage, offer support, and provide either a water heater replacement or repair the damaged one, if it is salvageable. Dial (925) 526-6230 today to talk with an experienced plumber to help you with all of your hot water needs.
What Happens If A Hot Water Heater Explodes?
As mentioned earlier, your hot water heater can explode if the pressure inside the tank is too high. The gas in the hot water tank, caused by the heating of water, pushes against the walls of the tank when the release valve is blocked. When this happens, your water heater will respond much like a rocket and explode, blasting through your ceiling and landing a couple blocks away. This is extremely dangerous for not only you, your home, and your family, but it is also dangerous for your neighbors. The damages to your home would be extensive and costly, which would only leave you with more turmoil. If you suspect that there is a problem with your water heater, it is important that you call for professional help. Not doing so only puts you and your family at risk. If you are looking for a reliable team that is quick to respond to any call or emergency, just call Warranted Plumbing Services at (925) 526-6230 in Pittsburg, CA.