The Most Explosive Device in Your Home? Hot Water Tank Checkup

Did you know that a hot water tank can explode?

When you combine high water temperatures and neglected pressure relief valves, you could have yourself an explosive tank that can literally blow your home through your roof.

An old Mythbusters video  makes light of a hot water tank explosion, but shows how potentially dangerous this essential part of your home can be. While it’s fascinating and even funny to watch a hot water tank explosion in this context, we’d like to assure you that the danger of a neglected hot water tank in your home is a real one.

It’s important to check your T & P (temperature and pressure) valves and discharge pipe to ensure they are working correctly. The valves must not be capped or blocked, as this can cause excessive build up of pressure. If the valve is not functioning, that pressure has no way to escape. Coupled with a malfunctioning thermostat or heating element, the temperature of the water inside the tank could increase to the point where it is producing steam.

If the steam doesn’t find a way to escape, there is a potential for an explosion.

Alas, if you are not sure about what you are doing, it’s a good idea to have your hot water tank installed by a skilled professional and always get it checked if you’re unsure. Corrosion is a tell-tale sign you might need to have the valves replaced or your hot water tank may be old, rusted and unable to maintain pressure.

Note the relief valve on your hot water pressure tank, and don’t forget to check the date! Your insurance company likely expects you to change your hot water tank every 10 years, to be on the safe side.