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Old 04-12-2021, 08:49 AM   #1
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Blew up hot water tank

Yes, it had been winterized and was empty. I had even left the drain valve open. I plugged in city water and it started dumping...oops...I closed the valve and started to hear the tank fill. Few minutes later water was coming from everywhere. It had blew out at the pressure relief valve. Anyone seen this before?

I spent some time on Friday replacing the unit....it was a HARD part to find...everyone had them on backorder.

Notice all the crud that dumped from the tank when I flipped it over. Here is what I discovered...
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Old 04-12-2021, 09:59 AM   #2
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If you were filling the WH without having a hot water faucet open or the pressure relief open on the tank with high city water pressure the blowout may have been caused by air being compressed in the tank. I'm a water king for city irrigation and with gravity flow to the system cement lines and plastic get broken by compressed air if the drains are closed prior to the system filling. Just one consideration for the possible cause.
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Old 04-12-2021, 09:59 AM   #3
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Sure does look like it expanded from freezing.
On my hot water tank I need to remove the anno rod to drain the tank, I just leave it out until spring.
Just wondering if your valve got clogged and never fully drained?
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaDog View Post
If you were filling the WH without having a hot water faucet open or the pressure relief open on the tank with high city water pressure the blowout may have been caused by air being compressed in the tank. I'm a water king for city irrigation and with gravity flow to the system cement lines and plastic get broken by compressed air if the drains are closed prior to the system filling. Just one consideration for the possible cause.
That’s what the pressure relief valve is for. If the pressure got that high the valve should have released it. Key word here is ‘should’ as there is a possibility the valve was defective...
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:27 AM   #5
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my cooper pipes have that same split when frozen with water in them
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:29 AM   #6
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I would say it looked like it froze. I always drain mine at winter time and even use a syringe to suck out any left over water which can be as much as a 1/2 gal or more. When I refill in the spring I open the relief valve several times while filling this also help from creating all the air in the flines when turning faucets on in the camper. Later RJD
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:50 AM   #7
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I'm in the "It Froze" camp. If the school of thought is that excessive water pressure did this, then the supply lines would have burst before the water heater.
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Old 04-12-2021, 11:56 AM   #8
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When you drain the water heater do you manually open the relief valve? If not, it likely had water left in it that froze.
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Old 04-12-2021, 02:27 PM   #9
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I'm in the "It Froze" camp. If the school of thought is that excessive water pressure did this, then the supply lines would have burst before the water heater.
Me too. Water pressure from a residence won't split a tank like that. It will blow out through the TP valve before that as well as causing the hose to swell like a salami.

Most residence water, whether on a well pump or city water, doesn't exceed 50-60 psi.
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Old 04-12-2021, 04:37 PM   #10
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Watwr Tank Exploding

The pressure relief valve is so high it can not possibly drain your tank. Remove the Anode rod and most will drain out
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Old 04-12-2021, 04:46 PM   #11
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The pressure relief valve is so high it can not possibly drain your tank. Remove the Anode rod and most will drain out
Good point. stepheneadams said he even left the drain valve open. Most RV water heaters require you to remove the anode rod or a drain plug to drain completely, not just open valve. Unless the owner specifically installs a drain valve in the anode rod/plug port.
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Old 04-12-2021, 05:11 PM   #12
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It sure does seem like the OP may have left their water heater tank full of water for the winter....and if they used the temperature and pressure relief (T&P) valve at the top of the tank to falsely believe it was a drain, they absolutely did leave it full of water.


We keep 5 videos from Suburban in the FAQ section, These videos cover various aspects of the water heater, including winterization, anode rod/drain port, and the T&P valve.


Even if the member had an Atwood brand, they function similar except for the anode rod. The Suburban and Dometic/Atwood have drains (no valves) at the bottom of the tank.


This link to these videos may can help:


https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...es-135977.html
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Old 04-12-2021, 05:56 PM   #13
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I assumed he had a valve in place of the anode.
If he was referring to the T&P valve then it definitely froze!
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Old 04-13-2021, 09:22 AM   #14
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Me too. Water pressure from a residence won't split a tank like that. It will blow out through the TP valve before that as well as causing the hose to swell like a salami.

Most residence water, whether on a well pump or city water, doesn't exceed 50-60 psi.
Many mountain regions have water pressure as high 160 but of course the residences have regulators. However regulators can fail and water filter housings split open and other things begin to fail in the residence.
The TP should have saved it but without more inspection one can only speculate.
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Old 04-13-2021, 11:25 AM   #15
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Many mountain regions have water pressure as high 160 but of course the residences have regulators. However regulators can fail and water filter housings split open and other things begin to fail in the residence.
The TP should have saved it but without more inspection one can only speculate.
The high pressure you mentioned connected to an RV I seriously doubt enough pressure would build in a hot water tank for it to split. The water system would spring so many leaks in the plastic fittings, hoses, etc there would be water flowing everywhere.
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Old 04-13-2021, 12:02 PM   #16
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The high pressure you mentioned connected to an RV I seriously doubt enough pressure would build in a hot water tank for it to split. The water system would spring so many leaks in the plastic fittings, hoses, etc there would be water flowing everywhere.
Freezing would also have split those hoses and fittings. Unless the OP was diligent about draining everything except the tank.
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Old 04-13-2021, 05:35 PM   #17
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Freezing water will not burst pex piping used in homes and RVs. It will burst steel tanks and plastic fittings and valves used in RVs.
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Old 04-13-2021, 07:18 PM   #18
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More info. There are two drains under the trailer at tge HW tank. One is fresh water tank and other is hit water. I opened pressure valve but it was closed during tge einter.

I missed something during wintering. I discovered the three plastic valves the other day after I removed a panel in the basement. Never could figure it out last year and assumed the hot water drain was the only requirement.

Bought this last summer after we sold the bumper pull.
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Old 04-13-2021, 07:37 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by stepheneadams View Post
More info. There are two drains under the trailer at tge HW tank. One is fresh water tank and other is hit water. I opened pressure valve but it was closed during tge einter.

I missed something during wintering. I discovered the three plastic valves the other day after I removed a panel in the basement. Never could figure it out last year and assumed the hot water drain was the only requirement.

Bought this last summer after we sold the bumper pull.

That answers the question. The valve below is your low point drain for the trailers plumbing but, not the WH. The only way to drain the WH is to pull the plug (Atwood) or anode rod (Suburban).
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Old 04-13-2021, 07:39 PM   #20
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Figures. Costly lesson for me. $750. Did labor myself..
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