One of the more dangerous causes of indoor flooding is water heater overflows. Water heaters and boilers are usually located where people don’t go very often like in a basement or utility room closet. So, if a leak or a burst happens, it’s likely that a tenant or homeowner would not find the problem until after significant water intrusion has already occurred.
Water heater related flooding usually occurs from a leak in an older tank that has rusted through or has a worn out seal or gasket. Sometimes a tank can actually burst or explode. Bursts can be violent and very dangerous if anyone is unfortunate enough to be nearby. Leaks are more common and have the potential to flood a basement or large portion of a home when undetected for days on end.
A water heater burst usually happens as a result of a malfunctioning thermostat. Thermostats are used to measure heat inside the tank to know when to turn the heating elements off and on so that the desired temperature range can be maintained. With a broken thermostat, a heating system isn’t able to correctly tell how hot or cold the water is inside the tank. The heating element could then stay on indefinitely which could cause the water inside the tank to boil. As the water boils it turns into steam and builds up internal pressure. The pressure can build up to tens of thousands of pounds and eventually reach a point where the tank cannot hold the pressure, resulting in a burst or even explosion.
When a heater bursts, steam, and boiling water rushes out of the tank while cold water from the intake line flows into the tank. Under normal conditions, the line will shut itself off, preventing water entry when the tank is full. However, since a burst tank continually leaks and is never full, the water from the main line flows in indefinitely. Water enters the tank only to leak out, which then floods the area around and below the water heater. The bright side to a burst is that there’s a good chance someone will hear it and investigate and discover the problem so action can be taken.
A leak, on the other hand, operates quietly and floods your basement or home little by little. It usually happens when one of your heating tank’s fittings gets corroded and is damaged. This can result in a gap that allows water to escape. This type of flooding is not violent like a burst tank, but it can be just as destructive to property and sometimes dangerous to human lives. Regular checkups and maintenance of your water heater will increase awareness of possible problems. A professional can flush the corrosion from your tank and replace the anode as well as check the thermostat and all the valves gaskets for problems or warning signs.
You must act quickly to:
Taking the proper steps will help eliminate long-term mold and moisture problems that can spread to wood surfaces, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, paint, carpet, sheetrock, insulation, and the water damage can become very expensive to fix.
A water heater overflow is an emergency that should be addressed quickly and decisively. The longer you wait the worse it can get and attempting to repair the water heater and clean up the water yourself could be dangerous and risky. Contact our experienced professional team today for a quick and easy resolution to your problem. We’re ready to help you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long.
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