I had to replace hot water tank yesterday. The previous evening, while shower was being used, the water was turned off to our neighborhood. The water was turned on sometime during the night. When I awoke I found the tank was leaking (flowing) from the top of the tank, flooding laundry room.

Can the pressure when water was turned back on be strong enough to cause this damage to the tank?

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    How old was the tank? It was likely just at the end of life anyway, and yes the event provided the tipping point. – Tyson Aug 18 '16 at 22:44

The shower was being used when the water was turned off. Was the power or gas turned off to the water heater? Low water level on many tanks left running can cause failure of the tank. This is the reason many recommend to turn the water heater off if on a long vacation.

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