Little Known Holiday Safety Tip

3 Replies

Hot Water Heaters are thought to be a cause of mysterious home and apartment explosions after extended absences.  Hydrogen gas builds up in hot water lines of a hot water heater if not used for a period of 2 weeks or longer.  This phenomenon is known to definitely occur.  After the above period or longer of non-use, follow this procedure to be on the safe side.  Enter and extinguish/eliminate any chances of a spark or flame.  Turn on all hot water faucets for at least one minute to let any gas escape.  Again this is strongly suspected of causing home/apartment explosions after occupants have returned.  Please pass this along to family members, friends, Landlords, Tenants, Real Estate Agents and any others you know who may be at risk.  Be safe.  Happy Holidays!

Eric Love at the . . . original Paper Landlord, LLC

@Eric Love  

Although it may be obvious, this only applies to gas water heaters, correct?

Any precautions one should take with electric water heaters in the same scenario?

Thanks, Chris

Chris,

My research indicates the gas accumulates in both gas and electric water heaters.  The heating fuel is not relevant.  The heated [and re-heated, and re-heated] water interacts with metal inside the tank, be it the metal anodes or other metal components.  Further, the gas will seek the highest level possible, so higher floors served by the same HWH may need to be "bled" a couple minutes longer. 

I'd recommend you discuss your particular structural layout with a "Certified Pipe Fitter" for more pinpoint advice.

Happy Holidays,

Eric Love,

Original Paper Landlord, LLC, and

Boardwalk Luxury Apartments, LLC

We have a tankless water heater and have not heard of this occurring with them, but we do turn off our main water valve in the house when we leave for any extended period of time.  We've had toilet valves go in the past (they don't make them like they use to), and the force has shifted the toilet lid.  I hate to think what could happen if this occurred while we were away for an extended period.  This is also a great reminder to replace the hoses to your washer every 5 yrs, and same goes for the braided hoses to toilets.  I've never had one go, but have heard of it happening.

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