Skip to Content

Gas Hot Water Heaters Pose Significant Risks


Have you ever thought about the possible hazard that is located within a gas-powered hot water heater? Most people don’t. They simply have the hot water heater installed and forget about it unless they aren’t getting hot water. That can be a serious issue because of the pilot light and other factors associated with the hot water heater.

The issue that you have to think about is that the pilot light never goes out on a gas hot water heater. When the need arises, that pilot light kicks on the main burners to heat up the water. Even when there is hot water in the tank, the pilot light remains on.

One of the main hazards that can occur is the flammable vapor ignition hazard. This hazard occurs when a flammable substance that releases vapors comes into contact with the constantly lit pilot light. This can cause an explosion or a fire that can lead to injuries.

An interesting point about flammable vapors is that they aren’t always noticeable. In some cases, these vapors can travel more than 30 feet. Since they are colorless and often odorless, knowing that the hazard exists can likely only occur if you pay close attention to what is being stored in the area around the hot water heater.

While this hazard is often blamed on consumer behavior, there have been calls for changes to hot water heater designs. Still, people who have been injured in flammable vapor ignition hazard accidents have opted to seek compensation for their injuries. This is one course of action that you might choose to take if you are injured in a hot water heater accident.

Source: Phoenix Society, “Dangers Associated With a Forgotten Appliance: Water Heaters – Part I,” Thomas J. Wuori, accessed May 03, 2016