This past weekend, I saw an entertaining TV commercial where the Allstate Insurance Mayhem Guy posed as a water heater, got his pressure relief valve stuck, and turned into what he called a “rocket propelled wrecking ball.” If you haven’t seen it, here is a link to the commercial.
It might be a bit far-fetched that a water heater would blow up and launch, but their point that a water heater can cause mayhem and a lot of damage is well taken. A vessel in the middle of your house with pressurized hot water—heated by natural gas or 220 volt electricity—has the potential to cause a lot of damage if it fails, and believe me, I know it happens because we often get called out to fix the damage from a failed water heater.
Most of the time, a failed water heater is due to neglect or improper installation and use. Here are a few tips to keep you from water heater mayhem:
- A water heater can last for 10-20 years. If yours is more than 10 years old, have it serviced by a reputable plumber and ask him to assess its life expectancy. Replace it before it becomes a problem!
- Find out if your water heater is installed to current building codes. Building codes for water heaters have changed for the better in the last ten years, and include drainage systems in the event the pressure relief valve is activated or the tank starts leaking. If your water heater is not up to code, replace it with one that is.
- Learn how your water heater is fueled; is it by gas or electricity? Make sure you know how to turn the fuel source off in the event of a mayhem-type event.
- Set your thermostat at the recommended level from the water heater manufacturer. Make sure small children can’t access it.
- Set up a reminder to yourself to have your water heater inspected and serviced every one or two years by a licensed professional plumber.
I am a fan of Allstate Insurance. My home and car are insured by them. I find their rates competitive, and their adjuster and claim practices are fair. My agent is Jeffrey Hiemenz, 1601 W. Randol Mill Road, Arlington, TX 76012 817-461-1066. Give him a call for a free quote.
Call me if your water heater pops on you and you need someone to repair the damage from the mayhem.