The Big Kaboom – Natural Gas Explosions
Natural gas is extremely easy to ignite. This is why it’s used to power gas stoves, grills, and even city buses. It burns energetically and efficiently, because it has a lot of chemical potential energy. The problem is, this can work as much against you as for you if your gas valve is failing. A small spark from simple static discharge can ignite built up gas and cause your tank to detonate violently. Even if the tank itself doesn’t come apart and wreck your home, the ensuing fire from all that burning natural gas should do just as much damage.
I Don’t Want To Blow Up! What Do I Do?
There are several measures to reduce the risk of gas valve failure and water tank explosions.
Don’t skimp on the installation procedure by going with an unlicensed contractor. Get someone who knows what they’re doing so you can be sure they do it properly.
Check on your water heater regularly. Flushing the container and making sure sediment hasn’t built up is a good way to spot potential failure of the valve. It also gives you the chance to check the pilot light and see if you smell natural gas.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon Monoxide can be produced by a faulty gas line in a water heater. Keep a CO detector in the same area as the heater, so you will be alerted if there is a problem.
In short, water heater explosions caused by failure of the gas valve are a very real possibility, but with regular maintenance and proper choices, can be averted.