Water Heater Question

I was just wondering after doing research on this. When water heaters in homes reach the end of their lives, do they just stop working, or do they always explode and create a flood?

If it's the latter, or if the latter is more common and thus the norm, how do you anticipate about when it will happen?


New Member
Hi Heaven or Hell :)

If your talking electric water heaters In 'Direct' units the water is heated by one or more electric immersion heaters. In 'Indirect' units the heat source is an external boiler that circulates hot water through a coil heat exchanger within the cylinder, and the main reason for failure is the heat exchanger breaking down.

God I love your avatar...and sig. :drool:

Ahem, so would you say this is the main reason for failure in both cases of direct and indirect? From what I know my kind of electric heater is the type that can burst or leak (not necessarily will, but may after its usual life). This is from what I've heard of the house owner.


Excellent Member
What Ciara says is the greatest trouble. An electric hot water heater has two heating elements. One is located at the top and the other at the bottom. My experience with them is that is what usually gives. In time the heater can start to corrode. That can cause a heater to burst. usually the main cause for a heater gas or electric to burst will come from not being used in the winter time. If a tank is not drained and is in a place that is not heated at the time they can freeze and will burst when thawing out. Had that happen to me. I bought a trailer in the winter and it had been setting vacant for about 3 months before I moved in. I did not realize that it was not drained and had frozen. What a mess.

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