The Little-Known Explosive Device in Every HomeDismantle Yours ASAP to Prevent Damage
Inside every home, there’s a deadly explosive device. At any moment, it could erupt, causing serious (or even fatal) injuries to your family members and irreparable damage to your home.
What is this device? It’s your tank water heater.
In just five minutes, you can learn about the dangers of this device and check your heater to make sure that it is unable to cause you any harm.
What Heater Explosions: The Facts
In this first video, you’ll see how an error in pressure can turn your hot water heater into a bomb. Watch what it could do to your property.
This second video tells the shocking story of how a simple overheating problem caused a water heater to shoot through a home’s roof and across the street. In the process, it destroyed the property and even damaged some neighboring houses.
Why Explosions Occur
In some cases, explosions are caused by a gas leak in a pipe of your tank water heater. The pilot light can set the leaking gas on fire, causing it to explode.
However, pressure building up inside the tank is more common. This means that electric tank heaters are not safe either. In fact, the second video featured an electric water heater. In the case that pressure does rise too high, the water heater should shut off and release the excess pressure through a safety valve.
Old units, unfortunately, are not always reliable and can easily fail. In a situation where the heater does not shut off, pressure continues to build up until the tank cannot hold it anymore, at which point it bursts.
There are ways to avoid an explosion. For instance, you should only receive repairs from an HVAC professional, you should schedule annual checkups, and it is best to keep water temperature low. All the same, these precautions are far from failsafe. Besides, what will happen if you forget one year and delay your checkup by a couple of months? What if you need to heat your water to a high temperature?
If you have a tank heater, you always have a potential bomb in your home.
So, what is the solution?
The only thing you can do to ensure total safety is to dismantle and remove your tank water heater.
Steps to Make Sure Your Water Heater Is Dismantled
It is important to confirm that your water heater really is dismantled and no longer poses a risk. Follow these steps.
1. Turn off the power source. For an electric heater, this means switching off the circuit breaker for the water tank. It is best to test that the power is definitely off by unscrewing the hatch over the electrical wires and connecting the white wire with the black wire. If the heater produces a reading, it is still on. You’ll need to turn off the main circuit breaker. For a gas heater, simply use the cut-off valve and gas control knob.
2. Stop the supply of water to your heater. Find the cold water shutoff valve. It will be on the supply pipe near the tank. Turn the valve all the way off and no more water will be able to enter the tank.
3. Drain the tank of the water it already has. Turn on all the hot water faucets in your house — in the bathroom sinks, kitchen sink, shower, and tub. Drain the rest of the water using a hose. Be careful! If you are draining the tank right after you switched off the heater, the water will still be scalding hot.
Once you’ve done this, your water heater can no longer function (and, therefore, no longer explode!). You can remove it and replace it with a safer tankless unit.
Other Risks of Old Tank Water Heaters
If the possibility of an explosion doesn’t scare you enough to dismantle your tank water heater, consider some of the other risks of keeping it in your house.
There’s always the chance your water heater will spring a leak. This is extra problematic if you rarely check your water heater, such as if it is hidden away in a closet, the basement, or the garage. In fact, it could be as long as weeks before you notice a leak.
The most obvious problem of a leak is damage to your property. Unless you notice the leak straight away, water will start seeping into the walls and floor. It may also damage items stored nearby. Left even longer, a leak will start to cause mold. This is a serious health risk for the occupants of your home — mold can lead to symptoms like coughing, throat and skin irritation, and difficulty breathing.
If the leaked water makes contact with electricity (such as an electrical appliance, wires, or a power outlet) it can put you at danger for electrocution. Small children and pets are particularly at risk.
Another problem is corrosion. Tank units use an anode rod that, using electrolysis, receives all the corrosion to stop rust building up on the side of your tank. At a certain point, though, the anode rod becomes too corroded and no longer functions. Then, rust starts to develop in your tank and contaminates all your heated water.
Tankless water heaters don’t suffer from corrosion — they don’t even need an anode rod.
Why Switching to Tankless Is the Smart Move
Rather than storing water inside it, a tankless unit only heats water when you need it. Water enters through pipes, reaches the right temperature, and heads to the faucet you’ve turned on, all in a matter of seconds. This system means there is no risk of explosion.
Furthermore, since there is no tank, a tankless water heater will never suddenly leak gallons of water all over your house. If the heater suffers damage, a small amount of water will drip into the drain pan — and you’ll know that it’s time to replace your heater.
However, even a small leak is unlikely to happen any time soon: tankless water heaters have a lifespan of at least 20 years. To extend their lifespan, all you need to do is some basic maintenance, such as a yearly limescale cleaning. It’s easy to do this yourself.
In contrast, electric tank water heaters have a lifespan of 15 years and gas water heaters just 12 years. In both cases, that’s at the very most. Many only last between 8 and 10 years.
Act NOW to Make Sure You Are Safe
Share this article to help save lives. Once you’ve done that, switch to a tankless water heater and encourage your friends to do the same. It is the best thing you can do to ensure your family’s safety.
Check out the top-rated tankless water heaters on the market to decide which model is best for your home.