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Jul 08 2024

How to Identify & Avoid a Water Heater Emergency

Water heaters play a core role in our daily lives, providing hot water for everything from handwashing and showering to laundry and washing dishes. While issues like insufficient or inconsistent hot water supply can be inconvenient, some problems can be catastrophic.

In this brief article brought to you by Rooter Hero Plumbing & Air, we help you identify and avoid water heater emergencies. In order to ensure the safety and functionality of your home’s hot water system, make sure to schedule routine water heater maintenance.

If you are looking for reliable and affordable plumbing service, then call Rooter Hero to hire a uniformed professional today. Our team is on standby to take your call or message at any time of the day.

Emergency 1: Gas Leaks

If you have a gas-powered water heater, then the number one danger to beware is a gas leak. Gas leaks are extremely dangerous and can lead to explosions or fires. If you smell gas near your water heater, take immediate action. Signs of a gas leak include:

  • A distinct smell of rotten eggs or sulfur,
  • A hissing or whistling sound near the gas line or water heater,
  • Dead plants near gas lines.

If you experience shortness of breath, fatigue, or nausea when near your water heater, then evacuate the area and contact your utility provider or emergency authorities as soon as possible!

Emergency 2: High Pressure & Faulty TPR Valve

Excessive pressure in the water heater is a severe hazard. It can be caused by a malfunctioning thermostat, which heats the water too much, by a closed/faulty pressure relief valve, or both. The TPR (Temperature and Pressure Relief) valve is a crucial safety feature that releases excess pressure from the water heater. If this valve malfunctions, pressure can build up inside the tank, potentially leading to an explosion.

If the valve is leaking, it may be stuck open, which can prevent it from releasing pressure when needed. Further, rust or corrosion around the valve can indicate that it is not functioning correctly. Call a plumber if you notice banging or popping sounds and/or water leaking from the pressure relief valve or other parts of the tank.

Emergency 3: Water Leaks

Water is a source of life, but it can also bring life to mold and mildew. It can even cause serious damage to the structural integrity of your building. Water pooling around the base of the heater is an obvious sign of a leak, but also keep watch for rust-colored water coming from your faucets, indicating internal corrosion.

What to do in an emergency

If you suspect a water heater emergency, turn off the power supply to the heater. For electric heaters, turn off the breaker. For gas heaters, turn off the gas supply. Next, shut off the water supply by tightening the shut-off valve. Finally, evacuate the area and contact a plumber or gas technician. Rooter Hero is happy to help at any time of the day.

How to prevent water heater emergencies

A professional installation followed by proper usage and routine maintenance set the foundation for a long-lasting, effective, and safe water heater. Schedule annual inspections by a trained plumber and regularly test your TPR valve, check for gas leaks, and monitor water pressure. Flushing the tank once or twice a year can also do wonders in keeping the water heater efficient and safe.

Contact an emergency plumber today

Whether you need an emergency water heater repair or need a trained plumber’s insight, you can put your faith in the uniformed professionals at Rooter Hero Plumbing. Our team is on standby to take your call at any time of the day – any day of the week.

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