Cautionary Tale

Inspecting a home with a GE water heater (mfg. date 12 / 2011). I noted a slight leak coming from the plastic drain valve. Snapped a pic of it. I took the cover off the combustion chamber to check the flame and WHAM! The valve blew off and hit me in the shoulder. 138 deg F water comes gushing out - I sprung up like a cat and went to turn off the gate valve feeding the WH - and that sucker fails too! It did drop the pressure a bit, but water still coming out at a good clip, and it was just spinning with a leak coming out of the valve as well (it had NO signs of rust - )

Well this fat old inspector sprang into the crawl space looking for the main cutoff (it wan’t in there), then back into the “Handyman’s Special” finished basement. The owner had set up his office desk with a big White Board covering the main cutoff, which I tossed to the side without much fanfare or care other than to stop the water.

Yadda yadda yadda - the owner wants to sue my pants off. I told him to count to 100 and be grateful that I was there to limit the damage. I showed him these pics as evidence that the valve was damaged: He calmed down and my client gets a new water heater.

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Glad you’re OK

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Just a little sore (like most mornings) Thanks.

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Wow! Crazy!

That would have made a great YouTube video. :upside_down_face:

Glad you were not injured. Cost saving design using plastic that is a bad idea. Any impact from install, shipping, homeowner etc. can easily crack these and leave them ready to blow off at any time.


The tank will drain (40-50 gallons) until empty even if the water is off if the valve at bottom is open/damaged.