WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
TO PREVENT YOUR HOT WATER HEATER OR BOILER FROM EXPLODING
General Causes for Catastrophic Hot Water Heater and Home Heating Boiler Failures
- Improper adjustment of temperature and pressure controls
- Altered safety valves or relief valves
- Work performed by unqualified or untrained personnel Check a license!
- Lack of routine inspection and proper maintenance
- Improper installation
- Lack of proper controls and safety devices
What Home Owners Should Do To Minimize the Potential of a Catastrophic Failure
- Have your home heating boilers cleaned and services annually by qualified personnel..
- On hot water heaters, it is recommended to manually lift the relief valve every two months and at the least once a year to ensure they open freely. Due to the relatively low cost of safety valves for this service, it is recommended that a defective valve be replaced with a new valve if the valve does not open easily or close tightly.
- Make sure your hot water heater has a relief device that protects the heater from excessive pressure AND temperature. Pressure & temperature relief valves (commonly known as PT valves) are noticeably different from a regular relief valve due to its long protruding temperature element attached to the inlet of the valve.
- Regardless of the condition of the "PT Valve", replace the pressure & temperature relief valve on your hot water heater every three years.
- Maintain a temperature set point not to exceed 180°F on any heating boiler or hot water heater. Water temperature should NEVER exceed 212°F on these units. Boiler or hot water heater failures with water temperatures exceeding 212°F can result in catastrophic explosions that can level homes.
Effects of a 5 gallon hot water heater explosion - Avon High School 5/11/00