Reminder on storage water heaters safety

An incident last month in which a water storage heater exploded outside a home in Perth’s north if only quick checks and routine maintenance were done, says the Building and Energy inspectors who went to the site.

The incident prompted the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety to remind owners of all storage water heaters to follow the recommended maintenance schedule, which usually involves simple checks every few months.

Inspectors believe that the water supply’s high mineral content and infrequent use caused calcium to build up inside the unit, blocking the valves and preventing the thermostat from sensing the water temperature.

“This created a perfect storm where the water heater continued to heat up without the temperature safety controls kicking in, while the heated and pressurized water inside had nowhere to go,” said Building Commissioner and Director of Energy Safty Ken Bowron.

“Fortunately, no one was injured and incidents such as this are rare. However, it is a reminder of the potential dangers and how to prevent them through simple checks, such as opening the valves for a few seconds every six months.

“We advise homeowners to follow the maintenance instructions provided by the manufacturer, and contact a licensed plumbing contractor if they have any concerns.”

Tip for checking storage water heater and other information are available on the DMIRS website.

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