Water Heater Explodes Damaging Plaintiff’s House


Plumbing problems1This case involves a water heater exploding, causing significant damage to the plaintiff’s house. The plaintiff purchased a water heater from a large retailer and had it installed by a plumbing specialist into his home’s PEX piping system. Two weeks after installation, the water heater overheated and exploded, allegedly due to a design defect, causing significant structural damage to the first and second floors of the plaintiff’s home.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Is the water heater compliant with safety and heating limit requirements?

Expert Witness Response E-000462

I would be happy to inspect the water heater. Most water heaters have a maximum temperature, usually dependent on the size and materials used, that the water heater can safely operate at. Also, the pressure release valve can become stuck, causing significant pressure to build. An examination of the specifics of the water heater, and any remaining components of the actual water heater, should reveal any issues. For over forty years, I have consulted or designed heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and plumbing systems. I frequently examine construction defects in plumbing and HVAC systems.

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