The Dangers of Defective Water Heaters | Scott Goodwin Law

The Dangers of Defective Water Heaters

by / Wednesday, 22 March 2023 / Published in Defective Products
Side view of a white bathtub with a towel on the edge.

It’s never convenient to realize that your water heater isn’t working as it should. Nobody ever wants to be stuck taking cold showers or not having the hot water they need to wash their dishes or clothes. But when a hot water heater isn’t working as it should, it can be more than an inconvenience. Hot water heaters can potentially be dangerous if they aren’t working correctly. While problems with water heaters can often be resolved with a call to have the water heater repaired or replaced, there can be some cases when a water heater is fundamentally defective. Here are some of the dangers defective water heaters can pose:

Scalds & Burns

If a water heater isn’t working as it should, it often won’t be able to heat water very consistently. This could mean that water goes from feeling comfortable to touch to being dangerously hot with little warning. Burns are the most common type of injury associated with water heaters, with young children and elderly people being the most susceptible because their skin tends to be more sensitive and because they can’t get away as quickly as a teen or adult would. 

It doesn’t take long for excessively hot water to cause serious harm. According to the US CPSC, most adults will suffer third-degree burns if exposed to 150 degree water for two seconds. Burns can also occur if exposed to 140 degree water for six seconds or 130 degree water for 30 seconds. 


In the case of gas water heaters, there can be risks of fire to be concerned about. If flammable vapors from a water heater aren’t vented properly, they can collect around the heater and potentially start a fire when the heater is operating. Considering that water heaters are generally installed in areas like basements, where people often keep many flammable things like old paint cans, cleaning products, and cardboard boxes nearby, it’s very easy for a water heater fire to get out of control. 


There are many different reasons a water heater might explode. Very often, explosions are the result of issues with pressure relief valves that cause pressure to build up inside the tank. Explosions can also be caused by things like electrical shorts, gas leaks, and corroded connections. 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

If you have a gas water heater, it’s a good idea to install a carbon monoxide detector close to it. Carbon monoxide poisoning is another problem that can occur if improper ventilation or other leaks exist. Since carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, it can be very easy for people (and pets) to be harmed by it without even realizing they’ve been exposed to carbon monoxide. 

Contact a Michigan Product Liability Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been harmed because of a water heater that was defectively manufactured or designed, or was installed improperly, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Defective product cases are very complex and it’s important to have a product liability lawyer on your side who knows the law and can fight to help you get the justice you deserve. 

At Scott Goodwin Law, you’ll be able to get help from a lawyer experienced in helping the victims of personal injury cases, including defective product cases. Contact us today for a free consultation and find out how we can help you.

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