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[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 5px 0px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”2/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text class=”cs-ta-left”]It’s time for a case study! Today, we’re going to stress the importance of how a little maintenance can go a long way, and how failing to do so can have dangerous consequences… Let’s investigate the case of the forlorn water heater.

Our technicians received a call about a water heater that had burst into flames. Now, this isn’t an everyday occurrence. Right away, our team of master plumbers were on the scene and ready to deduce what had happened.

The Victim: One water heater, ten years old. Pronounced dead at the scene.


There was a large amount of rust at various points on the water heater.

Right away, it looked like a worst-case scenario. The water heater was rusting at various points. Flame marks charred the side of the unit. Water had pooled at the base. Fortunately, the homeowner was present and able to extinguish the fire before it had spread to the rest of the house.


Note the point at which the fire started. At this height, it’s scary to think what else could have caught.

The Crime: Failure to regularly maintain the water heater.

It’s easy to take something like a water heater for granted when it’s working properly. It’s only on your radar when it stops working – or bursts into flames. In this case, it looks like several factors came into play:

  • With the amount of rust present, leaks were bound to take place.
  • The wires shorted out – and the electrical system didn’t flip.
  • Water made contact with the wires, sparking a small fire.

The water heater was too old to be safe. Without the occasional inspection, it seemed to be working properly – but at a cost. Over a decade, it slowly degraded. It became less efficient, which in turn resulted in higher utility bills.

The Professional Opinion: It’s time to get a new water heater.

When maintained properly, a water heater like this could have been in decent shape after ten years of service. But with damage like this, it was just better to replace it. Are you considering replacing your water heater? HEP offers free quotes for new units.

It’s a costly mistake – especially when it gets to the point of a fire breaking out. So, what’s a homeowner to do? Regularly inspect your utilities. Not sure what to look for? HEP has a team of master plumbers, electricians, and much more. If you think your water heater or other home utility is in need of an inspection or repair, don’t put it off. Give us a call and let us spot a minor issue before it becomes a major disaster.

Have you heard about our maintenance agreement? It’s a great way to ensure that everything in your home is in tip-top shape. With the maintenance agreement, you get (5) inspections for your home: two HVAC (fall/spring), one plumbing, one electrical and one roofing inspection. If something is amiss or problematic, we’ll find it! Interested? Give us a call and one of our customer service representatives can provide further details.

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