Why Is My Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve Leaking? Buyers Inspection Services January 12, 2023

Why Is My Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve Leaking?

Why Is My Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve Leaking?

Water heaters are known for their high heat and high pressure. The water heater temperature-pressure relief (TPR Valve) protects this high heat and high pressure. What is the TPR Valve? Why does it leak, and what can you do to fix it?

What is the Temperature Pressure Relief Valve? (TPR)

A TPR valve (also known as a pressure relief valve) is a special valve for your water heater. This valve is usually on the side or top of your water heater. This valve releases water from your water heater if it becomes too hot. The expansion of heated water can cause the water heater to become a ticking bomb if it builds pressure. We are fortunate that the water heater has many safety features, including the TPR valve.

The Discharge Tube

A TPR valve must have a discharge tube/pipe, as shown in the featured image. The tube should always be pointed straight at the ground, and the TPR valve will release hot water as it does. To ensure safety, boiling water should be ejected to the ground.
Water will also have to work against gravity to empty a pipe that is going up. The TPR valve could drip slowly and collect water inside the tubing, eventually rusting it. Properly Installed Temperature/Relief Valve & Discharge Tube.

Requirements for Discharge Piping

The discharge piping that serves a temperature relief valve, pressure relief valve, or combination thereof must:
  1. It should not be connected directly to the drainage system.
  2. The water heater can be discharged through an air gap.
  3. The outlet diameter of the valve must not be less than its diameter.
  4. Only one relief device may be used. Pipes serving other relief devices or equipment must not be connected to them.
  5. Drain to the floor, the pan that fits the water heater/storage tank, a waste receptor, or outside.
  6. Do not discharge in a way that causes personal injury or structural damage.
  7. The building occupants can easily observe the termination point.
  8. Do not be caught!
  9. Please install it so that gravity flows through it
  10. Do not terminate the waste receiver more than six inches (152mm) above the floor or the flood-level rim.
  11. Do not attach a threaded connector at the end of such pipes.
  12. Do not use tee fittings or valves.
  13. Constructed from the materials listed in Section 605.4.
  14. One nominal size must be greater than the outlet of the relief valve, where insert fittings are installed. This tubing’s outlet end must be secured.

Leaking Relief Valve

We now know the basics of a TPR valve and can assess what to do in case your pressure relief valve leaks. It is usually easy to fix a leaking pressure relief valve.

Common Fix for a Leaking Temperature Relief Valve

The relief valve will usually malfunctioning, so it is best to replace the valve. This is an easy job. This is a brief guide:
  1. Turn off the water heater switch.
  2. Turn off the water.
  3. Drain the water heater and the water from your home.
  4. Use a wrench to remove the TPR valve & discharge tube.
  5. Replace the TPR valve with a new discharge tube.
  6. When the water is complete, turn off the water heater slowly.
These relief valves can be purchased on Amazon. Make sure the valve is the right size.