What's the first thing to come to mind when you think about your water heater or boiler breaking down? You likely envision taking a cold shower, washing dishes with cold water, and having no heat in your home. However, faulty appliances such as water heaters and boilers can be very dangerous. Here are a few examples of the dangers of water heaters and boilers that need repaired.
Explosion caused by a tiny hole in the gas line
Story: A home in Pennsylvania exploded when the propane for the water heater leaked into the basement and ignited several hours after a thunderstorm. The explosion and fire caused $1.8 million in damages. Fortunately, none of the family members were home at the time.
Cause: Investigators determined that the propane leaked from a hole in the piping connecting the propane tank to the water heater. They also found that the gas fitter and/or the plumbing contractor did not bond or ground the piping according to industry standards. The gas company, the plumbing contractor, and the pipe manufacturer are being sued.
Prevention: Of course, proper installation practices are important when installing gas operated water heaters and the propane tanks and pipes that accompany them. However, if your home has gas operated appliances, it is extremely important to perform occasional checks for the smell of propane, especially if you don't regularly go down to your basement.
Enormous amount of water pressure caused an explosion
Story: A nanny cam in Chris and Ava-Maria's basement captured their boiler exploding. The explosion caused debris to shoot through their home like shrapnel. Their 2-year-old daughter was sleeping in her crib in her room above the boiler at the time of the explosion. Luckily, nobody in the family got hurt.
Cause: Boilers are similar to water heaters in that they both heat water and contain the water in a tank. When water is heated, it expands. This expansion causes the water to be under a great amount of pressure, which can cause an explosion when there is not enough room in the tank to compensate for the expansion of the water.
Prevention: Boilers and water heaters have functioning temperature and pressure relief valves to allow the water to release from the tank when the pressure is too high. Sometimes, however, the valves can break or stick and not allow for the pressurized water to escape. Test the valve occasionally by flipping the switch to release some water. When you flip the switch back, the valve should close and the water will stop flowing out of it. If it doesn't, contact your boiler or water heater repair contractor.
Carbon monoxide leak caused medical emergency
Story: Early one morning, a mom managed to call 911 to complain of her entire family not feeling well. When help arrived, they found the home filled with carbon monoxide. The family members were very close to succumbing from the deadly gas. Investigators determined the carbon monoxide came from a faulty water heater.
Cause: A leak in the water heater caused the appliance to continue running, which meant the fuel source of propane kept releasing carbon monoxide. The flue for the appliance couldn't keep up with the constant demand for the carbon monoxide to escape.
Prevention: Any time you have an appliance or furnace that operates via a combustible fuel source (such as propane, oil or wood) it is important to have carbon monoxide detectors installed on each level of your home. More importantly, however, is to keep fresh batteries in each detector. Occasionally check the condition of the batteries by pressing the test button.
As you can see from these examples, water heaters and boilers can be dangerous when they are in disrepair. Make it a monthly habit to check and test these appliances for the safety of your home and your family. If you do notice any problems, don't hesitate to call the professionals at a company like Christian Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.
Hey everyone, I am Mort Nicholas. Since I have allergies to pollen, dust and chemicals, I must filter the air blowing through my home day and night. The air filtration systems hook straight to the furnace and air conditioner to provide my home with fresh air at all times. The filters used for these systems capture the tiniest of particles to keep them out of my airways. As a result, I often wake up feeling healthy and refreshed. I hope to share the benefits of having filtered air flowing through your home. I will discuss symptoms caused by contaminated air. In addition, I will share information about air filtration maintenance services provided by HVAC contractors.