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Question DetailsAsked on 2/24/2018

Is my home safe with a 50gallon electeric commercial water heater?

Had my old tank removed. Called a local plumbing company who came out after hours, brought a new water heater and installed it for us. With all of the stress of worrying about if my old one would explode I didn't notice until the next day that the new water heater was commercial.

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1 Answer


Sure - with some brands "commercial" means little, with others it means it heats faster - but that does not use measurably different total energy because it take only so much energy to heat keep a fixed mount of water hot. With others it means it is designed for longer life. But no safety issue - should be as good or better than a normal heater - may have cost $100 or so more.

With water heaters, like most things, on a downhill quality slide as manufacturers compete for cheapest price rther than quality, some plumbers only stock the commercial lines now to get a better, longer-life product and minimize the number of models they need to stock.

As to the "blowing up" thing, as long as you exercise (operate) the overtemp/overpressure valve on the side of the tank annually (per owner's manual - bear in mind the water coming out will be hot and don't let it get the firebox/control area of water heater wet), that is designed to prevent explosions by opening up and releasing the pressure as needed. exercising it is to keep it from sticking or corroding shut from sitting years without being opened. Actually, if a water heater pressures up because of overheating or boiling in the bottom, usually the pressure will just push some hot water or steam back into the cold water line UNLESS there is a backflow preventer or pressure regulator on it, or will blow past gaskets in a faucet and spray out there. Residential water heaters blowing up is real rare - despite the TV "reality" shows making it look like an imminent hazard.

Be sure to register your warranty if needed for that brand.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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