In a nutshell, yes!  Even though it is a rare occurrence, it is very possible for a hot water system to explode under certain circumstances.  And this is why water heater repairs and servicing are crucial.  Here are a few scenarios where this could happen:

  1. Pressure Build-Up: If the pressure relief valve on the hot water system malfunctions or if there’s a blockage in the system, pressure can build up to dangerous levels. Eventually, this excessive pressure could cause the tank to rupture or explode.
  2. Overheating: If the water heater’s thermostat malfunctions and allows the water temperature to rise excessively, it could cause the water inside the tank to boil, leading to a potential explosion.
  3. Gas Leak: In a gas-powered hot water system, a leak in the gas line combined with an ignition source could lead to an explosion.
  4. Improper Installation or Maintenance: Poor installation or neglecting regular maintenance of the hot water system could lead to issues such as corrosion or weakened structural integrity, increasing the risk of an explosion.

MythBusters Experiment

MythBusters conducted an experiment involving a water heater to test whether it could explode under high pressure. During the experiment, they sealed a water heater and increased the pressure inside it by introducing compressed air. Eventually, the water heater did rupture and burst releasing its contents forcefully. This demonstrated the potential dangers of high-pressure build-up within a water heater.

The experiment highlighted the importance of safety precautions and the potential risks associated with tampering with pressure vessels like water heaters. It also provided valuable insight into the behaviour of such vessels under extreme conditions.


How to Prevent This?

Things you can do to prevent an explosion of your water heater:

  1. Have your hot water system installed by a licensed professional.
  2. Lift the lever on the Pressure and Temperature Relief valve every six months for approximately 10 seconds.  Ensure it functions correctly as it can help prevent pressure build-up within the system.
  3. Perform regular maintenance checks.
  4. Promptly address issues such as leaks, strange noises or fluctuations in temperature.
  5. Have your hot water system serviced and maintained by a licensed plumber every 5 years.

If doesn’t matter if your system is a solar hot water system, heat pump, gas or electric, repairs and servicing are critical for your water heater.  Contacting a specialist in solar and heat pump repairs, electric and gas is recommended.  Find out more about how we can help you or get in touch with your questions. Ask for a free quote today Call 0416 075 682 or Contact Us HERE.