Imagine you’re relaxing at home at home when suddenly your ceiling caves in; water starts flooding everywhere.The cause? It’s not a storm; your water heater has burst. A ruptured water heater may not be one of your top concerns, but it is actually one of the most common types of system failure. Is your water heater at risk of bursting? Here are three things that could cause your water heater to burst.
Don’t believe us, watch this video by Mythbusters: Water Heater Explosion
- Sediment Build Up
Aside from the health concerns related to sediment in old heaters, there are also some pretty serious structural problems that this buildup can cause. Because your heater now has to work overtime and apply more energy than might be safe to transfer it through the buildup to the water, the metal chassis is now under a lot more stress than it was designed for.
2. Rust Corrosion
Corrosion is metal’s biggest enemy, and it’s fair to say that nobody wants any appliance they own to suffer from the weakening effects of corrosion. It’s one that especially applies to water heaters, which combine metal, water, and oxygen—the perfect mixture to start the chemical reaction that leads to corrosion.
Fortunately for your water heater, it was designed with the dangers of rust and other forms of corrosion in mind. It has a number of safety designs to keep rust away: the inside of the tank is lined with glass; an overfill tank creates an air cushion for the water pressure without actually allowing oxygen into the tank; and a special device called an anode rod that runs from the top the bottom of the tank attracts corrosion to it so that it rather than the tank corrodes.
However, corrosion still can’t be prevented 100%. Your water heater may at some point start to show signs of corrosion.
How to prevent: Annual Water Tank Inspection
3. Excessive Internal Pressure
If the temperature on your water heater is set too high, this can not only cause you to burn yourself but can also create excessive pressure within the tank. If your water tank has too much pressure for it to handle, it’s going to spring a leak or burst open. And if that pressure is really high, it can explode and cause a lot of damage. Your tank’s temperature and pressure valve will help keep that pressure at a minimum, but if the valve itself isn’t working correctly, that’s a big problem. Be sure to keep your water temperature set below the maximum and test the valve at least twice a year.
So the best way to keep your water heater from bursting is to hire a plumber to maintain your water heater once a year. So you get the peace of mind you want without having to do the maintenance yourself.