What Causes a Hot Water Tank to Explode

In terms of having to do upkeep on ones water heater, it is a fairly low maintenance home appliance. Nevertheless, one significant component of it really should be inspected routinely. Hot Water Heater Repair Mesa AZ would like to pass along this safety material about ones water heater today.

High temperature when coupled with tank deterioration inside the storage tank can lead to an explosion. Any time the water temperature is below 212 degrees Fahrenheit, one shall be protected from an explosion, though there is a risk of scalding at that temperature. However, if the water temperature is greater than 212 degrees, water turns into steam, which will enlarge to 1,700 times the space it takes up as water. This is the time an explosion can happen.

Cautionary Indicators of a Water Heater Explosion

The leading sign is if one goes to get hot water from a faucet and only steam comes out. Quickly turn off electric power if one has an electric water heater. If one has a gas hot water heater, turn off the gas valve on the water heater. Then, give us a call to come evaluate the situation.

Minimizing Potential Water Heater Dangers

The primary routine maintenance job having a water heater is to check the pressure relief valve, also referred to as the T&P valve, on a regular schedule. This valve helps manage the pressure buildup within the water storage tank to reduce a risky rise in temperature and overpressure.


Be aware, the water release from a T&P valve may be really hot. If you do not feel safe examining the valve inform us. In addition, executing any type of repairs to the valve really should be performed by a expert plumbing repair provider.

How to Test the T&P Valve

Clear the place near the overflow pipe and floor drain.

Raise the test handle for around 5 seconds or until the water runs clear.

Let go of the handle.

If the T&P valve continues to run with water, lift up the handle up and down rapidly to get it to reseat itself. One may need to do this a several times. IF it has not been tested for a while, it might be difficult to raise it at first. Avoid using too much force, however may need to utilize a little.

If the T&P valve continues to leak, it ought to be replaced.

Other points to watch out for are corrosion on the stem of the valve. If there is any water leaking out of the valve stem or out of the drain valve.

Interested in more tips? Have a look at our other articles here:

Water Heater Maintenance Infographic

Mesa AZ Water Heater Maintenance

Related T&P Valve Testing Videos

Mythbusters did a test of the potential dangers of hot water heater explosions here:

Water Heater T&P Valve Repair Mesa AZ

What the Experts Say

  • The discharge from a T&P valve can be very hot. It is very important that all T&P valves be installed properly with a discharge line piped downward to an adequate drain to avoid property damage and to minimize possible human contact.
    Read more…

Watts Water Technologies

If the temperature in your heater remains high after you turn down the thermostat, the thermostat may be faulty. Consult a professional for repair. Read more…

Home Guides

Pressure relief valves sometime develop a drip when opened for the first time in years. Try opening and closing it a few times to see if it will seat itself. If you have a large leak or the drip doesn’t stop on its own in a day or two, the valve will need to be replaced.  Read more…

Today's Homeowner

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