Home & Garden

What You Should Do When Your Water Heater Breaks: 5 Steps

Water heaters are devices that use an energy source to transfer heat to water above its initial temperature. There are several pieces of equipment used for heating water. However, the heating device must be recognized by the appliance regulations. Small storage gas or tankless gas units are the most commonly used in small households. For more prominent families, commercial storage water heaters and boilers coupled with storage tanks are used. Alternatively, individual water heaters can be installed in each room. However, one should be prepared in case the water heater breaks. A question pops up in mind of what happens when a water heater breaks. Well, this article aims to explain what happens when a water heater breaks?

How Does a Water Heater Work?

First, the electric water heater works by bringing water into the tank and heats it using an electric current. When the water is heated, it rises and is supplied throughout the home. For a gas heater, the cold water brought into the tank is heated using a gas burner. The burner burns air, thereby releasing scorching air, which is toxic, through a chimney between the water tanks. The chimney’s metal is heated, and the water surrounding it gets heated. As there is an increase in heat, warm water is brought into your home through its pipes. According to Genadi Kahanovich, main HVAC technician at “Water Heater Repair Services in Toronto”: “Warm water goes through the tank and gets to the house through the dip tube, displaces hot water, and pushes it through heat out the pipe. You have the choice of regulating the temperature.”

What Happens When a Water Heater Breaks?

You must be wondering what happens when a water heater breaks. Well, home appliances can break down or malfunction at any time. If the water heater is too old, then it has chances of breaking down. If too much pressure builds in the water tank, it will sooner or later spring a leak and break open. 

Common Reasons Why Water Heater Dies

Water heaters can stop working for some reasons: there can be a build-up of sediments in the tank over time. This layer can insulate the burner’s water, making it stop heating water, leading to overheating. The remedy for this would be flushing and draining the tank of the sediment regularly. Corrosion of the tank due to rust is another reason for the breakdown of the equipment. This is because the tank is made of steel, and the water causes the tank to rust. This can be prevented by regular inspection of the anode rod and changing it over time. The next reason is too much internal pressure, which builds up in the tank, leading to leakages and eventually burst. This can be prevented by maintaining water temperatures around 120-125 degrees. Temperatures beyond this point will increase the tank’s pressure, leading to the burning of the system.

5 Steps of What You Should Do When Water Heater Breaks

Besides, there are some precautions one should take into consideration immediately after the water heater breaks.

Step 1: Shutting off the power. The device has a self-shutting mechanism when water reaches a specific temperature; however, it will not shut itself off if the device is faulty. This can bring about accidents such as fires. If a gas system supports the device, the gas line leading to it should be shut off. People should vacate from the area since some toxic gases are released until the smell is completely gone.

Step 2: It involves stopping water from running. On ordinary occasions, when the tank is full, water stops flowing, but in case of any abnormalities, the tank pushes the water out into a room when it comes in from the pipe. The cold water supply line should be turned off by twisting the valve clockwise until it cannot turn anymore. This stops the inflow of water.

Step 3: The other measure to be taken in case of a breakdown is making an insurance claim by contacting an insurance agent or a company. This will help as the insurance company may send experts to help deal with the equipment. Furthermore, they will determine whether the company will pay for damages caused by the burst. It covers the things damaged by the water but not the cost of the equipment. An assessment is done.

Step 4: This involves a clean-up. Those household things that are undamaged should be kept separate from the water-damaged section. The photos of the damaged items/property should be taken to make it easier to make an insurance claim.

Step 5: Draining the water heater is another step. The drain valve of the water tank should be fitted with a hose pipe. One end of the pipe should be placed in an area where the dirty water can flow, such as any backyard area.


The article has achieved the above objective by exploring the steps taken when the water heater breaks, the mechanisms of action of these devices, and the reasons that lead to the breakdown of water heaters. Proper maintenance of these types of equipment should be carried out, and people should be taught how to use these types of equipment to avoid such accidents. Besides, this equipment should be installed appropriately in homesteads as a measure to prevent breakdown. Under proper maintenance, a tankless water heater can last for up to 20 years and, at times, even longer. This varies with the location and design of the unit and the quality of the installation.



Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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