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Old 11-05-2019, 04:41 PM
FloatyGimpy's Avatar
FloatyGimpy is offline
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My hot water tank tried to burn down my house


Well that was a close one!

I was all ready for work this morning and about to head out the door when I noticed an odor. Took a bit but I pinpointed it to the area around the hot water tank. Looking behind the wall panel I notice lots of condensation and a puddle.

Called the plumber and he pulled the front off of the electrical panel and there is a burning, smoking plastic cover. The water was leaking and was about to start an electrical fire.

I likely would have come home to no house.

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Old 11-05-2019, 04:51 PM
Joey P is offline
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That's one of the t-stat covers. I've had them melt. In my case, there was just something wrong with the t-stat or element. If you saw water, it must have been leaking into that area and probably causing some arcing.
I don't think you would have had a fire. Best case scenario, the breaker would blow. Worst case, some of the insulation and/or plastic bits in the area smolder and fill the house with smoke. But it probably wouldn't have taken the house with it.
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:58 PM
rbroome is offline
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I agree that almost certainly wouldn't have burned the house down. But be glad you found it early! It would have at least stunk up the house and the leak might have coincidently decided to get worse-water and smoke. And of course a slight chance of a larger fire.
You dodged a bullet there. Good timing.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:02 PM
Joey P is offline
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Also, in my case, when I noticed the smell it was a few days before I decided something was probably burning that shouldn't be burning and another day or two before I finally tracked it down.
It's at a business, near a kitchen area so it's not always easy to tell that something is burning and where it's coming from. Mine was probably smoldering for close to a week.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:52 AM
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A sentient hot water tank!?
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