The Water Butler

All Ways Plumbing


Better Water
Better Life

Water Heater Repair, Installation & Replacement MN

Water Heater Installation Repair MN

Without a functioning temperature & pressure relief valve your water heater can explode with the force of dynamite! The average homeowner cautioned to look for a bomb in their utility room, would be likely to feel as if they were being made the butt of some practical joke. Yet, that is some good advice. For a potential bomb does exist in many utility rooms today. It can look innocent enough, because it is nothing more than a water heater. Right?

Your Water Heater Could Be A Ticking Time Bomb!

Without a functioning temperature & pressure relief valve your water heater can explode with the force of dynamite! But if it explodes from overheating, it can rip with the force of dynamite, destroying property, causing injury, even death. While it is a rare occurrence, it can and has happened. Tragic explosions caused by superheated water heaters are unnecessary. They result from a complete lack of temperature and pressure relief valves, or failure to check these safety devices periodically to determine whether they are working properly. Water in the heater is under pressure. It has to be, in order to reach various outlets at remote locations in the home. Many water heaters in use today have become weakened through the normal process of aging. These are the ones most likely to spring a leak permitting superheated water to escape and instantly expand into steam with a sudden blinding explosion.

If the water is made of galvanized iron, it flies apart like shrapnel when it explodes. If it is made of steel, it is likely to soar like a rocket from the cellar clear through the roof. A hot water heater, without a Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve is a ticking bomb which can shoot vertically through the framing of a two level home like a rocket. An improperly installed TPR can also cause significant burns to anyone coming in contact with the steam or hot water discharge the boiler or hot water heater is producing.

Temperature/Pressure Relief Valve (T&P)

This valve is designed to prevent a water heater from exploding if temperature or pressure exceeds safe limits, by opening and venting. Unfortunately, residential valves are somewhat prone to failure. They should be checked once a year by pulling up on the handle. Water should flow freely out and stop when you let go of the handle. If it does nothing, runs or drips, then the valve should be replaced. Banging on the handle with something hard, like pliers, sometimes will stop drips or even runs. If not, replace the valve. Hooking up the drain line with a union or flex connector makes T&P replacement MUCH easier. People don't like to test their T&Ps. But then, we don't think it's so much fun to wake up in the hospital, or to patch a big hole in the roof, either. When water heaters explode, it's catastrophic. Buildings are severely damaged, people are injured or die. If you think we're joking, The Mythbusters did a graphic test, which is on Youtube. They set up a three-tier scaffold to simulate a two-story house. The lowest level housed the 52 US gallon (200 L) water heater, second level contained a simulated living room, and on top was a roof built to standard California building codes. Here is another video from Mythbusters that demonstrated how devastating a faulty tank water heater can be. Not only does this water heater explode, but it shoots off like a rocket, flying almost 500 feet in the air. MythBusters - Exploding Water Heater - YouTube The resulting explosion from the water heater caused it to shoot through the living room floor and the roof. It's a lot of fun to watch -- as long as it's not your water heater and your roof. Watts, which makes T&Ps, made a similar film back in the 1940s.

Replace Your Water Heater Before It Fails

A water heater pressure relief valve is a simple and easy fix or installation, but one that can have life saving implications. The best way to guard against a water heater explosion is to hire a licensed Minnesota master plumber to install your water heater. For safetys sake, check them periodically for proper functioning against a possible catastrophic emergency.