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Rick
Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 19483
Experience:  Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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Last night my 50 gallon hot water heater made a loud boom noise.

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Last night my 50 gallon hot water heater made a loud boom noise. The water coming out the tub faucet looked dirty and when it drained out of the tub there was a gray soot looking residue in the tub. I went in the attic and did not smell gas and the heater sounded as if it was working. Since I am a widow and 66 y.o., I called my neighbor after the second boom sound and he came over and turned it off. He told me I needed to call a plumber Monday morning. I know that can be expensive. I do have another hot water heater on the other side of the house and the water coming from it was not dirty. Any advice. Is there any danger and what made that loud boom. It even made my dog start barking. Thank you.

Rick the plumber :

Welcome to Just Answer, I will do my best to help you solve your problem

Rick the plumber :

The boom was probably from delayed ignition.

Rick the plumber :

If the water heater has been turned off you should be OK

Rick the plumber :

The boom is an indication of a problem that needs to be addressed

Rick the plumber :

it could be an indication that the tank has failed

Rick the plumber :

but it is not an immediate safety issue if it has been turned off

Customer :

What other signs should I look for to determine if the tank has failed.

Rick the plumber :

There would be water showing under the tank or inside the combustion chamber
the water to the tank should be turned off too

Rick the plumber :

dirty water is a sign of a tank that will fail soon if not already

Customer :

There is no water in the pan and the unit looks new; however it is 11 years old.What is delayed ignition? Is that a gas problem or electric problem with tank?

Customer :

Will I probably need to replace the entire tank and any idea how much that costs. I live in Louisiana.

Rick the plumber :

gas water heaters (unless it's power vented) don't use electricity

Rick the plumber :

an 11 year old tank is due to be replaced

Rick the plumber :

delayed ignition is just what it sounds like, the gas igniting is delayed

Customer :

Hah. You see how much I know. My husband died less than two years ago and he could fix anything. I am at a loss. So I will call a plumber Monday. thank you.

Customer :

I am scared of gas so I am really worried but now that I know I am safe since it is off I can stop worrying.

Customer :

Thank you and enjoy the game later today.

Rick the plumber :

Can't enjoy the game too much since the Patriots aren't playing

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Thanks for using Just Answer

Customer :

You are welcome. I am an LSU Tiger fan since I live in Baton Rouge. Love those Tigers and those N.O. Saints.

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