Top 5 Signs Your Water Heater Is About To Explode

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Water heaters can explode. This is a fact, not a myth. It is an unfortunate reality that has been proven again and again in homes across the country. It usually catches people by surprise with fatal consequences. Don’t let a water heater explosion happen to your home. You don’t have to be scared of using your water heater but you should keep for eyes open for signs of danger. If you see anything that suggests trouble, contact an experienced plumber to check on it for you.

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Top 5 Signs Your Water Heater Is About To Explode

Below are the top 5 signs that your water heater is about to explode:

1. Leaking Pressure Valve

Pressure is the number one reason why water heaters explode. When the system experiences intense pressure outside of its tolerance, the whole thing can break down in an instant. However, there is often a build-up that precedes this blast. A leaking pressure valve is one of the signs that something bad is brewing inside the heater. Leaks can develop anywhere along the system from the inlets to the overflow pipe so don’t panic right away. Make sure that the source is the pressure relief valve. Call a plumber to stop the leak and reduce the interior pressure.

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2. Rotten Egg Smell

image of a woman covering nose from rotten egg smell from water heater

If you have a water heater that runs on natural gas, then be wary of gas leaks. Failing to handle this correctly can lead to fire and explosion. Pure natural gas is actually odorless so detecting leaks is difficult. Companies add a chemical called mercaptan to make it smell like rotten eggs. With the strong stench, it would be impossible to miss leaks so people can react immediately. Your nose is your best tool for detection so don’t ignore the stinking situation. Just remember that you cannot be complacent if you have an electric water heater because these can cause fires as well.

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3. Improper Installation

Some water heater installations are so bad that even an untrained eye will know that it’s not how it should be. If you bought a house with a heater that seemed like it was installed in a rush, then have your plumber take a look at it for maintenance or repairs. This is not just a matter of aesthetics because the internal components have probably been compromised as well. You could be dealing with botched wiring, faulty sensors, unreliable control systems, and broken parts. If the water heater can’t detect the actual pressure or adjust to the situation, then the unit is more likely to explode.

4. Popping Noises

image of woman covering ears from noisy water heater

It is quite normal for a water heater to make a bit of noise. However, it should not make a ruckus that sounds like several loud pops. Some have compared this to the sound of a popcorn machine hard at work. Of course, you have a water heater so this is not normal at all. This may be due to sediment build-up at the bottom of the tank. If this exceeds a certain level, then even air can be trapped under the sediments. The pressure will build up until it gets so bad that popping noises will be heard from the outside.

5. Murky Water

discolored water

The water heater is there to raise the temperature of the liquid. It should not affect the water’s color or quality. If you see murky water coming out of the faucets and the shower, then you should call your plumber right away. This generally indicates the presence of rust or minerals in the water. A noticeable brown color suggests a large number of impurities that can affect the health of those using it. Do not drink from the tap until the issue has been resolved. Murky water is another sign of imminent explosion so be careful about using the water heater.

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The water heater is indispensable so living without it is out of the question. Even if there is a small chance of explosion, you can continue to use it as long as you take precautions such as routine maintenance and quick repairs. Monitor the system for any of the signs mentioned above. Take action as soon as possible to keep your family safe and your house secure. Contact a plumber to verify your concerns.


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Contact Robinson Plumbing, one of the most trusted plumbing companies in the Lehigh Valley, for reliable plumbing services. We offer a variety of plumbing services ranging from water heater repairs, water softener replacements, plumbing fixture upgrades, water leak repairs, and more. We always give a wide range of solutions when possible for any plumbing repairs. This allows you to choose the best option for your budget and home.

We proudly offer the most affordable and best plumbing services in the Lehigh Valley area. Additionally, our experienced plumbers all have the proper licenses and expertise to ensure your satisfaction. All of our work is backed with a guarantee. Contact Robinson Plumbing today and schedule your free estimate.

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