Can a gas column explode: why the threat arises and how to prevent it

Vasily Borutsky
Checked by a specialist: Vasily Borutsky
Author: Alena Bevz
Last update: September 2019

In modern apartments, hot water is not a luxury, but a necessity. Agree, warming water for domestic needs on the stove in the 21st century is wildness. Since in our country it is more profitable to use gas than electricity, gas columns (instantaneous gas water heaters) are simply irreplaceable.

Thanks to this equipment, there is hot water in the house all year round. However, all gas appliances are potentially dangerous. We will tell you whether the gas column can explode and for what reasons.

You will also learn the basic rules for the safe operation of a geyser, what protective devices are installed in modern water heating equipment, what to look for when buying a geyser.

How is the geyser arranged?

The term "gas column" is a legacy of the Soviet period. In those days when hot water supply was just getting better, during the construction of houses in apartments simplified wall-mounted gas boilers were installed, not equipped with automation and security systems.

Morally, technically and technologically obsolete units were inconvenient and dangerous. Modern equipment is fundamentally different from its ancestor. The devices are convenient, beautiful and completely do not pose a threat to the health and property of the owners.

Gas boiler diagram
Geysers are manual, with piezo ignition and electronic ignition, equipped with sensitive sensors that interrupt the flow of fuel in the event of attenuation

Flowing gas water heaters are a metal structure with a heating system. Pipes for entering cold and leaving hot water, for circulating through a heat exchanger, are connected to it coolantas well as for gas. The igniter is located at the bottom of the equipment. It functions like a lighter.

The gas valve opens automatically immediately after turning on the water or activating the process of heating the coolant. Gas is supplied to the main burner, which ignites from the igniter and generates heat.Water enters the heat exchanger, which is a spiral tube, where it is prepared for supply to the heating circuit or to the hot water supply.

Already hot water enters the water tap. It heats up for 2-3 seconds after turning on the burner. Its temperature depends on individual settings. A chimney is required to remove combustion products.

What could cause an explosion?

A gas water heater, like any gas-powered appliance, is a potential hazard to users.

Outdated equipment
Outdated equipment does not respond to overheating, as a result of which the risk of explosion increases. There are no volatile devices in it that stop the operation of the boiler when a brewing or a threatening situation occurs

The main reasons why the threat arises and the gas column can explode:

  • independent connection;
  • outdated equipment;
  • unauthorized changes to the heater.

After the acquisition instantaneous gas water heater it is necessary to collect permits for installation. After allowed install the device yourself and bring pipes for water supply to it. Only GORGAZ employees should connect equipment to the gas pipeline, as well as put it into operation.

Equipment installed in Soviet times is not equipped automation and a protection system, therefore, does not respond to leakage of blue fuel and overheating.

Gas explosion
An explosion occurs when the gas concentration in the room is 5-15%. If a leak (gas odor) is detected in a room, it is necessary to carry out volley ventilation and immediately call an emergency light. It is forbidden to turn on the light, “strike” with matches and a lighter

For safety reasons, it is recommended to timely replace obsolete equipment with modern appliances.

Can a new generation gas column explode?

Despite the presence of protective devices in modern technology, new gas boilers could also theoretically explode:

  1. In the absence of water, an empty pipe heats up.
  2. There is no water circulation in the heat exchanger and it boils to a critical temperature.

Today, even boilers of the economy segment are equipped with a security system. The burner will not start until water appears in the coolant and circulates.

All models of wall boilers currently manufactured are equipped with various types of sensors for work control and safety systems, including:

  • temperature sensor - water heating is turned off when the set value is reached;
  • flow sensor - monitors the pressure in the pipes;
  • waste product sensor - monitors the presence of draft in the chimney;
  • flexible diaphragm - captures the pressure in the line (at normal pressure, the membrane passes fuel to the burner, if the pressure drops, the membrane returns to its previous position and gas supply stops);
  • ionization sensor - the technology turns off if the burner flame goes out;

If there is a tangible smell of gas from the gas water heater, immediately shut off the fuel supply and call the emergency service. Does it smell like burning? Check the chimney of the gas unit, its condition and the presence of draft.

Why are explosions taking place today?

In recent decades, people have begun to live much better. Massively, metal-plastic windows and armored doors with improved insulation, hoods, gas stoves and other appliances for a comfortable existence are being installed.

However, few people realize that such amenities can lead to tragedy. Often the media report incidents of blue fuel explosion in houses where gas columns are installed.

Aftermath of an explosion
The owner of the housing is responsible for the gas inside the dwelling. Regular routine inspection of equipment will avoid a disaster and save lives

In Krasnodar, in 2008, a gas explosion occurred in a private house. The reason is column malfunction and leakage.When the gas concentration became critical, one of the residents lit a cigarette and an explosion occurred.

In 2013, a wall-mounted water heater exploded in Volgograd. Due to a violation of the operating rules, the wall between the bathroom and the kitchen was destroyed.

In 2016, in Borisov (Belarus), the explosion occurred in an old five-story building, the apartments of which were equipped with Soviet columns. Residents of the house did not notice the leak and did not call the emergency service on time.

Causes disaster using outdated equipment is understandable. This technique is recommended to be replaced. If this is not possible, then every weather it is necessary to call gas workers to check its performance and the presence of normal traction. And why do modern geysers explode?

A catastrophe can occur as a result of a gas leak, as well as at the time of ignition, when the gas enters both the ignition and the main burner. The consequences are hermetically sealed windows and doors. But this is only possible if the owner of the equipment interfered with the operation of the device.

Gas boiler check
Once a year, gas equipment should be inspected by a representative of the gas service, with whom a homeowner has concluded an agreement for the supply of gas and maintenance of equipment consuming it

During operation of a gas boiler, care should be taken and a number of rules should be followed:

  • when operating the equipment in the room must be an influx of fresh air (windows should be kept ajar);
  • it is forbidden to leave a lit burner unattended;
  • if you smell gas: immediately shut off the supply of blue fuel, do not use electrical appliances and do not turn on the lights, do not light a fire, ventilate the room and call the emergency service.

The equipment should be kept clean and regularly inspected by the foreman for timely troubleshooting.

How to prevent the explosion of gas equipment?

To secure your home and prevent emergencies, it is recommended to purchase gas equipment in specialized stores.

Gas Equipment Certificate of Conformity
All technical devices, including gas water heaters, are certified by the Russian State Standard. Without this permission, gas appliances are not allowed for domestic use.

At a specialty store, you are required to provide a “certificate of conformity” when you purchase. If the equipment is not of domestic manufacture, it is worth asking whether the speaker is tested and certified in Russia. Take a look at the data sheet of the wall-mounted gas boiler, see what security systems it is equipped with.

The purchase of a gas-fired gas water heater at specialized points is a guarantee of quality. In addition, you can subsequently contact the center in the event of a malfunction of the device and the need to replace it if a manufacturing defect is detected.

For the prevention of breakdowns, inspection of the device by gas workers is recommended annually. You should also study the instructions of the purchased device, which indicates under what conditions the device can work, how to operate it correctly. Connection should be trusted only to masters from the gas service with which contract signed.

Knots and details need to be regularly cleaned of soot and litter. If during ignition there are problems or problems are found (column pops), call the wizard. Any technique, even potentially dangerous, with proper use and constant monitoring of functionality will not cause trouble and will not lead to sad consequences.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Explosion of a gas boiler as a result of a factory defect:

A gas water heater is a potentially dangerous household appliance. Improper use and neglect of safety instructions may result in explosion.A catastrophe can occur due to improper installation, untimely replacement of obsolete equipment, arbitrary replacement of parts and interference with its operation.

So that the gas water heater gives only comfort, and its use does not lead to disaster, you should purchase equipment only in specialized stores, and also once a year invite a master to inspect the device.

We invite you to participate in the discussion of this topic. If you know how to make the use of a gas column as safe as possible, share your experience in the comments. You can also ask a question to specialists who as soon as possible will give the most detailed answer.

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