My home was the victim of record low temperatures (-20 degrees F) recently, and one of the pipes in the hot water heater closet literally blew its gasket, blew through the wall into the main part of my home and emptied 6 inches of water onto my first floor before I was able to find it and turn off the water source. Unfortunately I was out of town when it blew, so I came home to find a huge flood.
We are mitigating the damage, but I have a question about preventing this from happening in the future.
My hot water heater is in an exterior closet with two vents/grates, so it gets extremely cold in there. I have been told to put a space heater in there with an automatic thermostat to prevent this.
Is this the right thing to do? Is it safe? Any recommendations on a specific type/brand of heater to go with? It is a gas hot water heater, by the way.