How to Prevent Your Water Tank from Exploding

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One of the dangers of the rising temperature of water in heating systems is an explosion. This risk is higher for homeowners with cylinders and expansion tanks inside ceilings. On rare occasions, the roof could cave-in when hot water expands and floods the home. Apart from the risk of hot water spills, the explosion can cause water damage to the property. However, smart homeowners can avoid explosion mishaps with these tips.

firemen putting out flames at a burned down houseAvoid Wrong Installations and Negligence

According to plumbing regulations, proper installation of water tanks can prevent contaminants and explosions. When water tanks fail, expansion and quality of installations are often probable causes. Usually, installers use tight-fitting lids to resist the expansion of water inside these tanks. While water heating elements trigger an increase in temperature, they cause at least 4% expansion. An improper installation and tanks materials with low-quality are ticking time bombs.

How to Detect Impending Explosions

When the water tank’s expansion tank can’t retain internal pressure, a burst is only natural. However, some signs can help users by alerting them on an impending explosion.

With Faulty Pressure Relief Valves

The Pressure Relief Valve (PRV) works as an automatic shut-off valve in gas cylinders. Look at the top of your water tank or heater for the PRV.

When pressure builds up and exceeds the maximum allowable level, the PRV will control the condition by letting off some volumes of liquid (or gas). Naturally, letting out some of the content is an effective way of reducing water pressure. There will be a tank explosion when pressure relief valves leak.

When Sediments Build-up

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Usually, manufacturers of water tanks add insect screens to their equipment. This mesh is a trap for both crawling and flying insects. It’s normal for insects to move with the supply of water through inlet pipes. Contamination of tank water often involves sediment like mineral particles and insects. Also, sediments build-up faster when tanks lack lids and pipes with holes.

Since these sediments are denser, they stay at the bottom of the water tanks. Their thick layers of mineral ions and particles might reduce the efficiency of this equipment. Also, the insulating layer can weaken your tank’s material or cause an overheating condition.

A Popping Sound

The sound that popcorn machines make is similar to the knocking noise from an explosion prone water tank. When the heating elements of hot water tanks cause expansion, bubbles of molecules move in random motion. While trying to escape, the boiling water creates pressure inside the tank. Be careful of too much pressure and overheating conditions that trigger explosions.


Since most water tanks have metal fabrications, rust corrosion is inevitable. Even high-end designs with steel, iron can’t withstand the effects of water forever. Oxidation activities can lead to internal rust, and the deterioration will weaken the tank’s quality of materials. Change your water tank when its surfaces show brown, red, and other rusty colours. Also, inspect the anode rod of the water tank annually, and install a water softening device.

Other Tips for Preventing Water Tank Explosions

Inspect the water tank’s pressure relief valve, and replace it if it’s not functional.

Keep the working temperature of the tank’s heater between 120 to 125 degrees. By exceeding the maximum temperature, internal heat and pressure will cause, there will boost the risks of explosion.

Hire a licensed professional for installation and regular maintenance of your water tank.

Hot water temperatures that exceed 156 degrees can cause 3rd-degree burns within two seconds of body contact. To avoid this incidence, get a qualified plumber to check the status of your water tank and heating equipment regularly.

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