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Can a Leaking Water Heater Explode

Can a Leaking Water Heater Explode?

Although rare, leaking water heaters do explode and cause deadly impacts on the surrounding environment. Explosions often happen with electric or gas tank water heaters, primarily when poorly maintained. However, you can avert this issue by identifying the signs that lead to such disasters. 

As little as these signs are, it is crucial to identify them and avoid any form of catastrophe in your home. So, what are these signs? How do you prevent your leaking water heater from exploding? You will get your answers in this article. But before then, let’s look at the factors that cause water heater explosions. 

Factors That Cause Water Heater Explosion

When there is pressure and high internal temperature in a tank, it contributes to the explosion. Although units often lack safety mechanisms to prevent excessive levels, explosions can still occur when malfunction sets in. When the temperature of the water heater is set at a very high level, the thermal expansion of the heat increases the pressure of the tank to an extreme level. 

Sediments also settle at the base of the insulated tank, contributing to increased temperature to an extreme level. The corrosion and rust of metallic components also prevent pressure regulation and enhance poor performance. Other components of the tank that are at fault can also lead to increased pressure and temperature. However, the pressure relief valve was manufactured to allow excess pressure to leave the tank. 

However, if it is also faulty, it continues to hold the pressure until it eventually lets go of it, causing an explosion. Gas water heaters cause a high risk of hot water explosions and trigger fire accidents. 

Signs Your Water Heater will Explode 

When the temperature and pressure of your tank become high, the unit shows some warning signs. Here are some signs you should consider.

Leaking Temperature and Pressure Valve

The temperature and pressure relief valve regulates the pressure and temperature of the tank. When this valve becomes faulty and leaks, it indicates that it can no longer handle the internal pressures of the tank. As a result, the damage is a leading cause of the explosion.

Brownish Water

Brownish or discolored is another sign you should consider. It shows that sediments are already settled in the tank. Besides, when some of the components of the tank or water heater are rusted, it provides brownish water, which indicates malfunction and can cause an explosion.

Foul Odor (Rotten Eggs)

When you perceive a foul odor in the form of rotten eggs near your tank, it is a clear sign that your water heater can burst due to a gas leak. The gas leak happens due to broken gas lines, poor installation, or other technical issues. Situations like this can cause explosions that can cause fire accidents. This factor is very clear that you need to give proper maintenance to your water heater.

Popping Noise

When you hear popping noises near your water heater, it shows the presence of sediments in your tank. This situation is a potential cause of overheating which eventually leads to an explosion.


Can leading water explode? Yes, it can. Make sure you replace your water heater as soon as you notice any of the signs listed above.


Our commitment to providing high-quality services and exceptional customer service makes us one of the favorite plumbing companies in Oklahoma City and its surrounding areas. Our team of experienced and licensed plumbers are equipped to handle any plumbing issue, big or small, and are dedicated to ensuring customer satisfaction.

Business Name: Butler Plumbing Inc
Address: 524 SE 29th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73129, United States
Phone: (405) 635-8942

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