The Water Butler

All Ways Plumbing


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Water Heater Repair Replacement Service MN

Hot Water Heater Service, Repair, and Installation MN

Faulty water heaters are more than an inconvenience and a service expense. Many people dont know that they have a potential ticking time bomb inside their home. When safety devices on a water heater fail, bad things can happen! Water heaters are in fact able to blow up. While it is a rare occurrence, it can and does happen. While there are precautions you can take to prevent this, a faulty tank water heater can release a tremendous blast force which can easily demolish a home.

Water Heater Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

There is a temperature pressure relief valve that is a little lever on top or side of your water heater. This safety valve does not receive the attention it is do and because of this many injuries and burns occur and could have been avoided. This is the Temperature and Pressure Relief valve which is found on both hot water and steam boilers, and hot water heaters. This device is truly a safety device installed for your protection.

How T&P Valves Work

The temperature and pressure relief valve, or TPR valve, is a water heaters fail safe for the high pressures it can generate. T&P relief valves are two in one devices, responding to both excessive pressures and to excessive temperatures in a water heater. These are abnormal and potentially dangerous conditions. First, they respond to excessive pressure by opening at the pressure set point of the valve, typically 150psi, to prevent further pressure increase. When a relief valve is dripping, it is typically due to thermal expansion. When water is heated, it expands. This causes excess pressure in the system. When the T&P relief valve senses this excess pressure, it opens relieving the thermal expansion* and returning the pressure back to normal conditions. Second, they respond to excessive temperature. When the temperature of the water in the water heater reaches 210F, the T&P relief valves internal thermostatic element expands, lifting the valves disc off its seat to discharge the overheated water. This allows cooler water to enter the tank and moderate temperatures. When the temperature returns to a safe level (under 210F), the thermostat contracts, allowing the loading spring to reset the valve. At this point the automatic temperature relieving element is ready to protect the system again. If a T&P relief valve is relieving a high volume of water, it is due to excessive water temperature, an unsafe water heater condition.

An Exploding Water Heater = The Force Of A Stick Of Dynamite!

An exploding 30-gallon water heater has the force of about one pound of dynamite and has the power to destroy a house and injure or kill those inside. Experts report one-third of all water heater TPR valves are not operational because of mineral buildup, rust or corrosion. Thankfully, explosions have been significantly reduced because temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valves are now being used nationally to protect water heaters from explosion. T&P relief valves, when installed properly, prevent high water temperatures, which can cause flashing of hot steam at faucets or any water outlets in the system, or cause an explosion. And, they prevent high pressures, which can damage the water heater system piping or components. When Water Heaters explode they dont just harmlessly buzz around in the basement. They rocket through floors, roofs and out into the public domain as you will see in some of the following newspaper articles: Avon High School Hot Water Heater Explosion It was determined that a five gallon electric hot water heater - catastrophically failed causing severe damage. Explosion From Hot Water Heater At Avon High School Four Hurt as Water Heater Explodes The steam-powered tank rockets out of a Burien store and crosses over 6 lanes of traffic landing 439 feet away. Water Heater Explosion At Shopping Mall Burien Washington A November 1, 2007 article detailed a water heater that landed 70 feet away from its starting point and caused an estimated $20,000 worth of damage to the home from where it was launched. A Hot Water Heater in School Kills Seven A malfunction of an 85 gallon hot water heater occurred during a lunch period at Star Elementary. Spencer Oklahoma Hot Water Heater In School Kills Seven Explosion in Union County Pennsylvania October 22, 2007 A water heater is to blame for an explosion that destroyed an apartment. Officials believe a pressure valve on one of the water heaters broke, causing pressure to build in the tank, and then explode. KANNAPOLIS, N.C. A Kannapolis home is in pieces after an electric water heater exploded. KANNAPOLIS Water Heater Explosion Firefighters were called to the vacant house on Independence Square just before 6 a.m. They found the home destroyed, but it was not on fire. During their investigation, they found part of the water heater nearly 70 feet away from the building it shot up through the roof, over a building and landed in a driveway. Debris was scattered more than 300 feet from the residence. Here's the rest of the news story. Phoenix, AZ Neighbors thought it was a bomb. An electric water heater was launched over 500 feet early one morning. Apparently, the water heater had been tinkered with by a handyman. Incidentally, the tank landed across the street from a school. A couple of hours later and kiddos may have been in that cross walk where it landed! Fox 10 News Video: Watch here RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. March 2009 Authorities narrowed down the cause of the blast to failure of some sort of industrial-strength water heater. It was a large water heater, it was an electric water heater, not a gas water heater, and somehow or another, it failed and caused an explosion. The powerful blast blew a hole in a concrete wall and shook a fire station across the street. Here's the rest of the story: Water heater blamed for deadly explosion - Video - abc7.com2 KLAMATH FALLS RESIDENTIAL 20 GALLON WATER HEATER EXPLOSION In Klamath Falls, Ore., a residential water heater that built up pressure because of a faulty pressure release valve exploded through the basement, living room floor and roof to land next to the satellite dish. Klamath Falls Residential 20 Gallon Water Heater Explosion WATER HEATER EXPLOSION IN SO. ST. PAUL MN. JUNE 2nd 1993 An overheated electric water heater exploded in a So. St Paul, MN home. St Paul Explosion_Explanation 1993

Can This Kind Of An Explosion Happen In Your Home?

Unfortunately...yes it can! Over 21,000 accidents occur annually in the United States from failed TPRs. All of the above explosions were caused by a very simple, but often overlooked, portion of a hot water heater or boiler, a failed or missing Temperature Pressure Relief valve. This safety valve releases water, and in this process relieves pressure in a boiler or hot water heater when the temperature or pressure within the unit gets too high. You see, water turns to steam at approximately 200F; then, thatsteam expands to up to 1600 times its original water volume. When that steam expands inside an already full water tank, it causes an enormous amount of pressure. Once the pressure builds beyond the tanks capacity, it tends to goBOOM!

Replace Your Water Heater Before It Fails

Don't let it happen to you. A water heater pressure relief valve is a simple and easy fix or installation, but one that can have life saving implications. It is recommended by most manufactures that temperature and pressure relief valves on water heaters be tested at intervals of at least one year, with more frequent testing being desirable. It is further recommended by many manufactures that these valves be removed and inspected by a qualifiedlicensed Minnesota master plumber, like Allways Plumbing at intervals of not greater than 3 years. If the valves are found to be worn or defective as the result of testing and/or inspection, they should be replaced.