Can you have a hot water tank in a bedroom?
Sleep Safety

Is It Safe To Have A Hot Water Tank in The Bedroom?

Last Updated on February 11, 2024 by Louise Carter

While the bedroom will never be ideal for a hot water tank, you may have no choice about where it’s installed. You can keep a hot water tank in a bedroom if you have no other options.

If installing a new hot water tank in a bedroom, an electric water heater will be a better choice than a gas-powered alternative. Electric hot water tanks are quieter during operation and less likely to cause safety concerns as they won’t leak carbon monoxide.

You can still safely sleep in a bedroom with a gas water heater, but familiarize yourself with the safety precautions. Learn what different sounds made by the tank can signify to stay safe.

Water tanks can leak, which is dangerous in a bedroom. Stagnant water that seeps into a bedroom carpet can carry Legionella pneumophila bacteria, which can lead to deadly Legionnaire’s disease if inhaled.

Water tanks can also explode, risking scalding from boiling water or injuries from metal shards.

A pilot light powers gas water heaters, which can be a fire hazard if the appliance isn’t maintained. Even more concerning is the potential for a poorly maintained gas heater to leak deadly carbon monoxide.

Can You Have a Hot Water Tank in a Bedroom?

In an ideal world, water heaters are installed in a room where nobody sleeps or relaxes.

Attics, basements, and utility rooms are popular locations for water heaters in modern homes. The tank can remain out of sight and mind, efficiently performing its duties.

Older properties, or those with limited space, may necessitate keeping a water heater in the bedroom.

To understand the feasibility of keeping a hot water tank here, we should first assess the difference between tanks powered by gas or electricity. Both have pros and cons.

Electric Water HeatersGas Water Heaters
ProsConsProsCons
Works during power failures.Monthly power bills will be higher.There is no chance of leaking gas.It’s more expensive to purchase and install.
It’s smaller than a gas alternative.Water takes longer to replenish and heat.Heats water faster than an electric model.Often larger than electric alternatives.
It’s smaller than a gas alternative.No hot water if the power is out.Smaller than a gas alternative.Requires regular cleaning.
It must be cleaned less often than a gas heater.  Risk of gas leaks or fire caused by pilot lights.

An electric model is recommended if you install a new water heater in a bedroom.

Gas water heaters are okay in a bedroom but require more consideration. If you’re sleeping in a room with a gas hot water tank, maintain the unit and educate yourself about potential warning signs.

Do Hot Water Heaters Make Noise?

Like other major electrical appliances, an electric water heater makes a low hum while running.

This shouldn’t be a permanent sound, and it shouldn’t be loud enough to disturb your sleep, especially if the heater is housed in a cabinet with a closed door,

An electric water heater may occasionally hiss. This suggests the tank should be cleaned because dirt has mixed with the water. Flush the tank, and it’ll operate in near-silence again.

Gas water heaters are likelier to make noise that may become problematic within a bedroom, especially if there’s an issue with the appliance.

Modern water heaters are considerably quieter than older models but may still hum loudly when used. Other sounds gas water heaters make include the following:

Rushing water:This is the tank refilling, but check the appliance isn’t leaking.
Regular popping or rumbling vibrations:The water heater needs to be flushed and cleaned because sediment is building in the tank.
Loud humming:The heating element of the tank has become loose.
High-pitched whistling:The valve isn’t fully opened, so water enters a small opening.
BangingThere’s too much pressure in the tank, risking a burst pipe.

If your water heater keeps you awake at night, get it serviced by a qualified plumber.

Will a Hot Water Tank Increase The Temperature in A Room?

Lowering your body temperature before bed is essential to a restful night’s sleep. A functional hot water tank shouldn’t release additional heat into your bedroom.

To be safe, place your unit inside a sealed cabinet. In addition to masking sound, this will trap any heat the water heater releases and prevent the room from growing stuffy.

Do hot water tanks burst?

Are Hot Water Tanks Dangerous?

If a qualified plumber installed your hot water tank and the appliance is annually serviced, it can be considered a safe addition to your bedroom.

Remain vigilant about the concerns that can arise when sleeping beside a water heater.

Do Hot Water Tanks Leak Water?

Any water heater can leak its contents. In addition to the mess and property damage a leaking tank can cause, stagnant hot water can become a bacterial hazard.

Hot water tank leaks are often caused by sediment build-up in the appliance, so listen carefully for popping or humming vibrations. Banging against the tank may also suggest that water will soon escape.

If you spot water leaking from your tank, switch off the water lines and power attached to the heater.

Then, take photographs of any damage for insurance, and clean up the water using a wet vac. A dehumidifier may also be required to absorb moisture from the air.

Drain any water in the tank, as it’ll continue leaking otherwise. Attach a hose to the water heater’s drain valve and pour the contaminated water into a bathtub.

Legionella pneumophila bacteria are common in water tanks, so don’t leave water to soak into your bedroom carpet. Breathing in stagnant water can lead to Legionnaire’s disease.

Can Hot Water Tanks Leak Carbon Monoxide?

A gas-powered water heater burns carbon dioxide to warm the water.

If your tank isn’t installed correctly, connections become loose, or the tank doesn’t enjoy adequate ventilation, CO2 can leak into a bedroom.

Carbon dioxide is deadly if inhaled in excess, but it’s difficult to detect as it has no discernable odor or color. If you sleep beside a water tank, you must have an operational CO2 alarm in your bedroom.

Warning signs that you may have carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness and foggy thinking.
  • Muscular weakness.
  • Stomach upsets and nausea.

If you suspect your hot water tank is leaking carbon dioxide, evacuate the home and call emergency services for an assessment. Once given the all-clear, have the water tank assessed and refitted.

Have the appliance serviced at least once a year to minimize the risk of a carbon monoxide leak in a water tank. A plumber will replace worn-out parts, flush sediment, and check ventilation.

An electric water heater won’t use carbon dioxide, so this is a safer alternative.

are hot water tanks dangerous?

Can a Leaking Hot Water Tank Cause a Fire?

Unfortunately, water tanks can cause fires in the home. Gas water heaters are the likeliest culprits due to the presence of a pilot light. Electrical tanks can also elevate the risk of electrical fires.

If you have a gas water heater, keep anything flammable away from it. Paper, aerosol cans, and wooden furniture should not be kept near the tank, which should be at least three feet away.

Keep the area surrounding the pilot light clean. If dirt and grime build up, the fire risk increases. Check for imperfections surrounding the tank, as a tiny hole can lead to CO2 escaping, increasing the first risk.

As with CO2 precautions, have the water tank assessed by a plumber at least once a year. This will ensure potential hazards are identified and dealt with before they can cause a fire.

Can Hot Water Tanks Explode?

All hot water tanks have a shelf life and must be replaced eventually. You must understand the warning signs that a water heater is reaching the end of its life and remove it from a bedroom.

Warning signs that a hot water tank is reaching the end of its life and may burst include:

  • Age – A 10-year-old water heater (especially if gas-powered) may need replacement.
  • Constant noise from the tank due to the sediment.
  • Rust on the water tank and its seams or pipe fittings.
  • Leaking water on the outside of the tank, especially if it’s a rusty color.

If you fear your water heater will burst, turn off the water supply to the tank and shut down any gas lines. Take photos of the water heater to share with a plumber, and clean up any escaped water.

While a hot water tank can be housed in a bedroom, explore alternative locations before committing to this position. Sleeping in the same room as a water heater needn’t be a safety hazard, but take the time to learn the risks and act quickly if the need arises.