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Thread: Bulging hot water tank

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member MR_B's Avatar
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    Default Bulging hot water tank

    Good Afternoon,
    First of all, please excuse my ignorance. I recently noticed that my hot water tank was bulging out of one side, after some moderate research I discovered that it was due to not releasing the pressure from the Pressure release valve.

    I was wondering if it is pertinent for me to change out my hot water tank ASAP? What kind of damage was done by not releasing this built up pressure?

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default tank

    Replace it IMMEDIATELY. The problem is not so much that it is bulging, but rather WHY it bulged. It implies that the tank was on the verge of a catastrophic failure, which would have destroyed your house and ANYONE in it. After the new tank is installed verify that the safety valve is ABLE to operate by lifting its lever and making sure the water is escaping somewhere around the house. I had one house where the safety valve opened, but the drain line was plugged somewhere in the walls so the water could not flow.

    http://www.waterheaterblast.com/
    Last edited by Terry; 03-29-2009 at 09:30 AM.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member MR_B's Avatar
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    Wow, Thank you. I rent so I hope that it's not a problem to have it replaced quickly.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Tank

    If it is, call your city building department, because this could be a serious safety issue, not just for you, but for the neighbors. A heater like that blew up in Phoenix recently. The water heater landed a block away. The house had to be leveled, AND the insurance company refused to pay the claim because the heater had not been serviced properly.

  5. #5
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    I had a home owner call me and e-mailed me pictures of her water heater. She said she heard a loud pop noise from the basement and found that her heater was bulging. I told her to leave her home immediately, and I will be there ASAP. When I got there I I turned the gas off to her home went down to the basement and turned on the laundry tub faucet and steam came out of it. Her thermostat on the water heater had failed and the P&T valve was frozen. It was a ticking time bomb.

    Here are the pictures




    http://www.waterheaterblast.com/
    Last edited by Terry; 03-29-2009 at 09:30 AM.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member MR_B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    I had a home owner call me and e-mailed me pictures of her water heater. She said she heard a loud pop noise from the basement and found that her heater was bulging. I told her to leave her home immediately, and I will be there ASAP. When I got there I I turned the gas off to her home went down to the basement and turned on the laundry tub faucet and steam came out of it. Her thermostat on the water heater had failed and the P&T valve was frozen. It was a ticking time bomb.

    Here are the pictures




    http://www.waterheaterblast.com/
    That's exactly what it looks like. I'll shut the gas off and call my landlord today.

  7. #7
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Do not let you landlord stall you about the replacement. He legally is obligate to replace that tank immediately. If he gives you any run around trying to stall the replacement, go to the city immediately. Do not use the heater at all.

  8. #8
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    Should the heater be drained?
    Water to the heater turned off?
    Hot water valve on a sink be opened to relieve pressure?
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  9. #9
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
    Should the heater be drained?
    Water to the heater turned off?
    Hot water valve on a sink be opened to relieve pressure?
    After turning off the gas or electricity to the heater, I would go to the furtherest faucet and turn on the hot tap..

    Terry thanks for adding the link of the water heater blast to my post. If you have not seen the video of the water heater blast that Mr Randall Hilton has made please go check it out. http://www.waterheaterblast.com/

  10. #10
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking thats a nice one

    looks like a 75 gallon brad white power vent
    age about 13 years or so....

    that would be a good one to see crack open like
    an aresol can... would do a lot of damage to
    everything around it..


    now , I just have to post my personal best..
    this one took out the water softener next to it







    ....

  11. #11
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewerRatz View Post
    After turning off the gas or electricity to the heater, I would go to the furtherest faucet and turn on the hot tap..
    I would consider this to be a good course of action.

    You could also defuse the situation by turning off the gas at the meter and opening an sillcock unless there are check valves isolating the water heater.

  12. #12
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Heaer

    The important thing is to stop the energy supply to the water heater. Either turn off its gas supply, or turn off the electricity to it. If it cannot heat, then it cannot explode.

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member MR_B's Avatar
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    Default Tank Fixed

    I just wanted to thank everyone on here that replied quickly to my post about the hot water tank. Thank you very much. The tank is fixed now , It was replaced yesterday by 6pm, took a measly 3 hours to install with a friend, could have been quicker but I was having issues with the flux taking on the copper, a couple more quick brushings with the paper and I was back in business. Without the help of you fine people who knows how long it would have taken me to take action.

    Thanks again all and I look forward to posting on here again in the future.

  14. #14
    DIY Member ChuckS's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by master plumber mark View Post
    looks like a 75 gallon brad white power vent
    age about 13 years or so....

    that would be a good one to see crack open like
    an aresol can... would do a lot of damage to
    everything around it..


    now , I just have to post my personal best..
    this one took out the water softener next to it







    ....
    That's nothing a little duct tape can't fix... Duct tape can fix anything...

  15. #15
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckS View Post
    That's nothing a little duct tape can't fix... Duct tape can fix anything...
    I believe you are correct sir however in this application I would consider it wise to have the first layer of tape to be the fiberglass reinforced packing tape for extra strength.

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