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The Critical Eye!

Michael Leavitt’s professional inspection related blog.

Water Heater Fire Leaves 6 Homeless

Water Heater Fire Leaves 6 Homeless

As a Northern Utah Home Inspector, only a small percentage of my home inspections involve mobile homes. Most of our housing stock includes houses with basements. This means that the water heater is usually located on solid concrete, so when they leak the floor does not rot out. However, mobile homes, multi-story condos, and houses with crawl spaces usually have their water heaters positioned on a raised wood floor. When the units leak, then the wood subflooring gets wet, rots, and turns into “Was Wood”. Water heaters usually have a minimum of 40 gallons of water at about 8 pounds per gallon. That means 320 pounds, plus the weight of the water heater concentrated onto a 24”x24” area. When the wood floor gives way, the unit shifts. This can cause the shearing of the gas line and then comes a devastating fire.

My latest addition to features a news story where the above scenario happened and left 5 adults and a little 1 year old homeless.


Go to your service room and look at your water heater.

  • How long has it been since you have checked it out?
  • Have you tested the TPR valve within the last year? HOW TO TEST
  • Are there any sign or water leakage?
  • Are there any signs of charring or smoke staining?
  • Have you had a plumber evaluate the unit in the last 3 years?
  • How old is your unit?
  • If the tank ruptured, would the water head towards the floor drain?

My goal is to keep you safe and out of my water heater explosion archives. Have your water heater evaluated for safety today.


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