What Can Cause a Water Heater to Explode?

burst water heater

Water heaters have the potential to be dangerous if not properly maintained. In rare instances, they can even explode, posing risks for your home and threatening the safety of everyone inside. A.M. Plumbing & Rooter, your trusted expert in water heater repair in Murrieta, CA, shares what can cause this type of disaster to help you prevent such an occurrence.

Sediment Buildup

Over time, sediment can accumulate at the bottom of the hot water heater tank. This can form a layer that overheats when the burner or heating elements are activated. The friction against this hardened sediment can lead to a rapid temperature increase that the tank isn’t designed to handle, potentially resulting in an explosion.

Temperature and Pressure Issues

If the thermostat of your water heater malfunctions, the temperature within the tank can rise uncontrollably. This, alongside issues with the T&P relief valve, which is designed to release pressure if it exceeds safe levels, can create a dangerous environment within the tank. The combined failure can cause an explosion. It’s best to call for professional water heater services when you notice that these components are not functioning properly.


The materials in your water heater are not invincible. Over time, rust and corrosion can weaken the structural integrity of the tank, making it more susceptible to burst. Ensuring the anode rod of your heater is functioning and regularly replacing it can mitigate this risk to a great extent and save you not just from needing new water heater installation, but also from potential harm.

Gas Leaks (for gas water heaters)

Gas leaks are incredibly dangerous and can lead to explosions if not addressed immediately. The buildup of natural gas, which is highly flammable, can easily ignite with a small spark from the water heater’s ignition system or even a nearby appliance. If you detect any signs of a gas leak, evacuate your home immediately and call emergency services.

A.M. Plumbing & Rooter is the expert team you can turn to for all your tank or tankless water heater needs. We offer top-notch water heater repair, installation, and maintenance services to ensure your unit operates safely and efficiently. Contact us today to request a service visit.

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