With a little ingenuity and preparation (and $ 15 equipment), you can save yourself the trouble of flooding.


Hot water is not something homeowners think of – of course, access is a sad failure. Water heaters heat our water, help wash dishes, and clean our clothes, but they can cause costly and dangerous damage if not monitored and considered carefully.

Tragedy struck

Shawn Gehrt, a Seattle homeowner and senior sales manager at Zillow, has identified the potential dangers of water heaters.

“My husband called and said it was raining downstairs,” Gehrt recalls. “When he went down there, all the floors were flooded. Water in the soil is about four to six inches [4 to 6 cm]. “

Gehrt immediately went home, turned off the water, and cleaned as much water as possible in his Shop-Vac.

“That sounds like beautiful water. It’s probably the equivalent of three baths being filled at once. That’s why the water is on the edge of our reservoir,” he said.

Gehrt and his wife called the landlord at the insurance company, which sent an emergency care company server to help. Specialists pump water, working for about four hours. In addition to cleaning the water, they also clean up flood damage.

“They had to remove all the plates because the water followed Sheetrock,” Gehrt said. “They dug holes in Sheetrock four to sixty. And I probably had about 20 followers under my house for a week to dry it all out.”

Signs of future injuries

Gehrt and his wife did not expect the water heater to come out of them, but in the back, there were signs of severe injuries.

“My storage room was where my stove and heater were, and I found there was a lot of water – a little – about six inches of water in front of the water heater. I cleaned it, and when I got back to the ground a week later, it came back,” Gehrt said.

If you see light or moisture in the water around the water heater, that’s a big sign that something is wrong with it, said Paul Abrams, Roto-Rooter’s director of public works. He says there should be no joints or ligaments. If there is no drop of water, the age of the water barrier determines whether the ship will fail.

“Homeowners need to know the age of the water supply, as this often indicates a moment where there may be a failure,” Abrams advises.

Most water heaters, in ideal conditions, last from nine to eleven years unless you live in an area with plenty of water. Usually, the pump detects the date of suspension on the water heater, but you can also check the serial number on the tank to see if it is already installed.

Causes of hot water failure

So why do water heaters fail? Water and minerals damage the fields and cause holes.

“Usually the tanks are decorated with glass, but there’s metal. And every time you have minerals and dry water, they’ll attack the iron and burn it inside,” Abrams said.

And there are things you can do to extend the life of the tank-like removing the needle rod (especially the magnesium booster rod, which prevents minerals from getting into the tank) every year for another five years, by adding water and tap water from the tank once a year – the best thing that can you do now.

Advice for homeowners

Restoration workers arrived at Geert’s home as soon as possible, but it was badly damaged. They removed the asphalt that covered all the doors. They cut Sheetrock because it was so swollen that it could not be repaired. Carpets and tiles, as well as cabinets, were all damaged and flooded.

The cost of the injury was $ 14,000. While insurance covers injuries, it does not cover equipment use or labor costs. Convinced that Gehrt would calm down, upon learning of his experience, he was able to pay the price of hot water pumps and pipes.

The big lesson Gehrt learned was that there are simple things homeowners can do to prevent water shortages and flooding.

“I spent $ 15 for water. It’s just an alarm – a 3 -inch 3 to 3 -inch box. If you run out of water, it warns you. If [my husband] is told, he’ll close it right away, and we won’t be harmed,” she said Gehrt.

Also, knowing where to turn off the water and how to turn it off is something every homeowner should know in the event of an emergency. But the most important thing is prevention.

“A lot of homeowners want to know about [their hot water supply]. It’s like an elephant in a house. It’s easy to ignore them. It’s hard, but years go by, and there’s something wrong. Often these things are banned,” Abrams said.

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