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Thread: Myth Busters

  1. #1
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    Default Myth Busters

    Anyone watch Myth Busters last night?

    They were testing the "myth" that water heater could damage a house.

    They built a small one room 'house', installed a 40 or 52 gallon water heater (I forgot which it was), set a tub in the 'house' with a female mannequin in the tub, ripped out the thermostats, capped the T&P opening, then applied power and waited ...

    At right around 335 psi pressure, the tank blew.

    It went way far up in the air (a technical measurement) and, when the tank blew and the hot water went from 335 psi to atmospheric pressure in a fraction of second, the boiling point of that water water reached in that same time frame, and the expanding steam force literally blew that small house apart.

    *They were shocked*, if only they had called me , I would have told them 'Well, what did you really expect? THAT is EXACTLY WHY T&P safety relief valves are REQUIRED. 'Exploding water heaters' are not a "myth", they are "real".'

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  2. #2
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Myth Busters

    Jerry,

    Didn't see that one ... I'm sure I can pick it up on another run cycle. They do some interesting things on that show.

    Speaking of T&P ... then there is the "very precise" (make no mistake ... cannot be an 'oops') T&P "UPHILL" drain line I inspected today.

    Obviously can't read ... the instruction tag was IN THEIR WAY!!!

    Dunno what they were thinking .... well, that's just it ... they were not thinking.

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    Last edited by Nolan Kienitz; 11-08-2007 at 08:43 PM.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Myth Busters

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Anyone watch Myth Busters last night?

    40 Gallon tank with 32 gallons of water. Tank reached a height if 500 feet. Went threw 2x6 joist and roof was build to California code. Slow motion of LIFT OFF was great.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Myth Busters

    Jerry,

    Check out this video. It evens thanks a Jerry at the end of the video.

    rick


    Water Heater Blast


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Myth Busters

    Rick,

    Yeah, that's in my 'south forty'.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Myth Busters

    Nolan,

    You can see the whole show and a deleted scene from that episode where they blow a 40 gallon electric water heater as well as a 50 gallon electric. Go to the Discovery Channel website and click on "Video-watch full episodes" or "Mythbusters Uncut".

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Myth Busters

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Go to the Discovery Channel website and click on "Video-watch full episodes" or "Mythbusters Uncut".

    MythBusters : Adam : Jamie : Kari : Grant : Tory : Discovery Channel
    I don't see the one on there from 2 nights ago where they actually built a small house (maybe 4' x 8' or so) around the water heater.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  9. #9
    Tom Munds's Avatar
    Tom Munds Guest

    Default Re: Myth Busters

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Anyone watch Myth Busters last night?

    They were testing the "myth" that water heater could damage a house.

    They built a small one room 'house', installed a 40 or 52 gallon water heater (I forgot which it was), set a tub in the 'house' with a female mannequin in the tub, ripped out the thermostats, capped the T&P opening, then applied power and waited ...

    At right around 335 psi pressure, the tank blew.

    It went way far up in the air (a technical measurement) and, when the tank blew and the hot water went from 335 psi to atmospheric pressure in a fraction of second, the boiling point of that water water reached in that same time frame, and the expanding steam force literally blew that small house apart.

    *They were shocked*, if only they had called me , I would have told them 'Well, what did you really expect? THAT is EXACTLY WHY T&P safety relief valves are REQUIRED. 'Exploding water heaters' are not a "myth", they are "real".'
    Theres an awesome one on you tube as well...looks like a missile!


  10. #10
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Myth Busters

    Every time I have a realtor say something like, "Oh... that T&P valve is no big deal, you can do that anytime."

    I just hand them a copy of this that I have multiple copies printed for just such an occassion:
    _________________________________________

    Hot water heater explodes in Washington


    A water-heater explosion at a Burien, Wash., video store last summer has been attributed to a combination of poor installation, mechanical failure, and human error. According to King County assistant fire marshal Bill Harm, the 50- to 80-gallon heater, which was located in a storage area next to the employee bathroom in the Seattle-area strip mall, had apparently been installed without a pressure-relief valve. When the high-temperature cutoff to the electric heating element failed, the heater began producing scalding water.

    “The occupants first noticed the problem when the lavatory near the heater began filling with hot water,” Harm says. “The pressure was high enough that the hot water was being forced out the inlet against the pressure in the city main.” The owner called a plumber, who reported that the heater needed to be replaced; he turned off the power and closed the coldwater inlet valve.

    What happened next is not entirely clear, but Harm believes that a store employee probably turned on a hot-water tap, and — upon getting only a dribble of water — turned the heating element back on in a misguided effort to solve the problem. Steam pressure quickly built up in the now partially drained tank, which then exploded, shattering masonry walls and raining glass and debris onto cars parked in front of the building. The heater itself rocketed through the roof and over a six-lane highway before coming to rest in a parking lot nearly 500 feet away.

    Miraculously, only four people were injured in the blast. Three were treated and released at a local hospital, while a fourth — the owner of the store — received second-degree burns on the arm. Property damage was estimated at half a million dollars.




    Rich


  11. #11
    Jim Zborowski's Avatar
    Jim Zborowski Guest

    Default Re: Myth Busters

    Hey Jerry, that was an awsome stunt. Really had to like the slow motion of it. Wish I would have taped that episode.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Myth Busters

    This is the one I hand out:

    Hot Water Heater Explosion

    "And that was a five gallon heater, about the size of the bottle on an office water cooler.

    "Now this one, is forty gallons..."

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 12-05-2007 at 11:55 AM.

  13. #13
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Myth Busters

    Michael,

    Its funny, the first thing out of the buyers mouth (after I hand them a printed sheet) is, "Oh My Gawd!!"

    Works every time.

    Rich


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