Myth: Water Heaters Explode Regularly
“My pilot light is out, will my tank explode?” “My water heater is leaking, will it explode?”
Myth #7: A leaking water heater will explode.
The answer to this questions is a resounding NO!
A pilot light being out doesn’t indicate an impending explosion. It just means that your water is no longer being heated in the hot water tank. Re-lighting the pilot is easy and it can often be done by following the instructions on the tank. If you are unsure, always call a plumber! If the pilot light doesn’t stay lit after it has ignited, you may need to have some parts replaced.
A leaking water heater is highly unlikely to cause an explosion. A water heater leak is a sign that your tank has rusted out, or that the water pressure in your tank is too high. In this case, refer to your water heater Owner’s Manual for directions to shut off the water going into the tank. This will save you from having more water on the floor. If you water heater is electric, make sure that you shut off the water and the breaker.
Special Note: You may have seen the guys on Myth Busters cause some legendary water heater explosions. What is especially important to note is that the water pressure required to cause these tank to “blow” was 3-5 times higher than what you will ever experience in your home. Make sure the pressure reading on your water heater is under 85 PSI, and if it ever goes above this, have your pressure reducing valve (PRV) replaced so you don’t void your tank warranty!