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Both gas and electric water heaters have a safety device called a pressure relief valve. In the event the tank over-pressurizes, the relief valve opens and releases the pressure. If the valve does not operate correctly, the tank can over pressurize and explode.
Originally posted by ben91069
I just thought of something regarding this. Wouldn't the pressure (of steam) never be greater than around what your water pressure is, because if it exceeded that, it would start to push the water back through the supply line?