Like any other appliance, a water heater can develop issues that can lead to serious safety hazards if left unchecked. One of the most concerning issues is a potential water heater explosion.
While water heater explosions are rare, they can cause significant damage to your home and pose a severe safety risk to your household. In this article, we’ll look at what happens when a water heater explodes and some signs that indicate your water heater is going to explode.
What Happens When a Water Heater Explodes
Can a water heater explosion kill you? In general, when a water heater explodes, it can cause severe damage and injury. The explosion can send scalding water flying, which can cause burns, cuts, and other injuries.
This explosion can cause extensive damage to your home, such as flooding and structural damage. Moreover, the explosion can ignite gas leaks, which can cause fires and bigger explosions.
Signs Your Water Heater Is Going to Explode
To prevent water heater explosion, first, you need to identify the signs that indicate your water heater will explode. Here are several signs you should pay attention to:
A leaking water heater is a clear sign that something is wrong. A small leak may not seem like a big deal, but it can quickly become a more significant problem.
If you notice any signs of a leak, such as puddles of water around the water heater or damp spots on the walls or ceiling, you should have your water heater inspected immediately. A steady drip from the tank may also indicate that the pressure relief valve is malfunctioning.
● Rusty Water
The presence of rust or corrosion on the tank’s exterior can indicate that the interior is also rusting. The most common areas for rust on a water heater are at the bottom of the tank or around the water supply connections.
If you notice rusty water coming from your hot water faucet, it’s a sign that your water heater is rusting from the inside. Rust and corrosion weaken the tank’s structural integrity, making it more susceptible to rupturing or exploding.
● Rotten Egg Odor
A sulfurous odor is a smell that resembles rotten eggs and comes from the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas. This smell may appear in water heaters when the temperature is set too low and the water is left standing for an extended period.
A rotten egg odor indicates that there is a problem with your water heater, indicating that there may be a gas leak inside as a potential water heater explosion.
● Strange Noises
If you hear strange noises from your water heater, it could indicate something is wrong. The water heater exploding noise may be indicated by gurgling, cracking, popping, or banging sounds.
Read also: How to Fix a Water Heater that Gurgles
Those sounds may indicate that the heating element is struggling to keep up with demand or that sediment buildup is causing pressure to build up. If you hear it, it is best to turn off the water heater and call a professional to inspect it.
● High Water Pressure
If your water pressure is too high, it can put a lot of stress on your water heater, causing it to overheat and potentially explode. An abnormally high water pressure usually is consistently higher than 80 psi.
To fix it, you should install a pressure-reducing valve to protect your water heater and plumbing system. Then, you can adjust the pressure inside the tank to ensure it is within the recommended range.
A water heater is a critical component of your home, and it’s essential to be aware of the signs that it is going to explode. Leaks, rust, sulfurous odor, strange noises, and high water pressure are all warning signs that should not be ignored.
Knowing the signs your water heater is going to explode can save you from costly repairs, property damage, and potential injury. If you notice any of these warning signs, don’t hesitate to contact a professional to inspect your water heater and ensure your home is safe.