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Eploding water heater!? Help!

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  • Eploding water heater!? Help!

    O.k, so I just got back from Atlanta and my husband, father-in-law and I are back to work on the step van to get it ready for mobile. It was set up for mobile already, but not set up very well (shoreline only, tub too small, no clear or grey tanks, no pump since it was city water hookup only). So we are installing the tanks, pump and the generator...yesterday Steve (my father in law) thouroughly terrified me with a lecture about never EVER EVER EVER letting the water tank run out because if my tank ran dry, my pump would continue pumping (air) which would then get into the water heater, burning it up and possibly making it EXPLODE sending scalding water everywhere as well as deadly bits of sharp flying metal, possibly killing or maiming me and my customers dog. He said in a house this is usually not an issue since the water from the city never runs out, but someone he knew (I guess was maybe ona well and the well ran out or something?) had the water interrupted to the heater, which exploded and nearly killed him since his bedroom was right next to the water heater. How do you all deal with this problem? I know what without some kind of shut-off or sensor, eventually I will run my tank dry, because I'll be rinsing a big dog at the end of the day and not realize how much water I'm using in the rinse. The clear tank is 50 gallons, but I am just getting started mobile so it will be awhile before I develop a good feel for how much water I'm using how fast. Is Steve correct in saying that my water tank running out will be very dangerous? If so, what do I need to do to prevent this?? Thanks!!

  • #2

    Anything is possible but that is not likely because water heaters are equipped with a pressure relief valve to prevent them from doing that.
    Plus you are pumping water into and through the water heater tank not sucking the water out of it. If you run out of water there will be no more water to flow in or out what ever is it will stay there. Unless you have set it up so the water heater is your clean water holding tank. If you did that then you should not have to run the heat all day long it will stay hot enough all day once it is warmed up before you leave.
    It's better to run your water from a clean tank to the pump then out where it "T's" one side to the cold water valve the other to the water heater and then to the hot valve. That way your not running hot water through the pump which would shorten the life of the rubber seals in the pump.