Broken Water Heater, Reliance 501

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    • #273155
      Carl H

      I have a Reliance 501 water heater. A couple of days ago, water began spraying out of the top.

      I disconnected the hot water outlet pipe and found that the interior of the pipe was coated with hard water deposits. I speculate that maybe the deposits completely blocked the pipe and increased the pressure in the tank. I’m not a plumber, though, so I have a couple of questions:

      1) The water heater has a relief valve. Why would water start spraying out of the top instead of safely flowing through the relief valve?

      2) Is this a common problem that can be easily repaired, or should I start shopping for a new water heater?

    • #286997

      1- Did who ever install this heater bother to instruct you in the proper maintenance and testing of this Relief valve? Or did they just install it and run like hell never looking back?

      2- Did they pipe it full size to a safe discharge place

      3-After 1 year after installation did the installer notify you to either test or replace this $4.00 valve?

      You see a lot of mutts install hot water heaters BUT forget that water conditions vary and this T&P is the ONLY safety device on the heater. THE other stuff is just an operating controller and NOT a safety. So these mutts install them and never think about how the probe can be encrusted OR the T&P inlet port can and does become completely blocked from sediment.

      So they install and forget them.

      Once a H/W tank does start to leak REPLACE IT. Most of the residential tanks are NOT ASME certified as cost becomes a factor NOT health and safety as life has a price tag.

      Why not ask WHERE (what country) your actual water heater is being manufactured? Then consider the quality control that country is known for OR not known for what ever the case maybe.

      When selecting a T&P look at the AGA rating as opposed to the ASME rating and see which one is more stringent.

      Then consider that a lot of the “techs” dabbling in plumbing rely on a stock room clerk to “give me a relief valve from behind the counter DUH”

      When you hire the licensed master plumber to install your new heater have him/her show you how to test this device safely. Have the professional show you how to check for proper updraft (spillage is a bad thing) Make sure your heater is properly elevated (read the NFPA latest reports) Look at the GAMA recommendations.

      Check the piping for a proper heat sink to prevent stratification of the hot water mixing with the C/W.

      Have a return circulation installed and properly connected to TEMPER the incoming water supply as to not thermo shock your tank.
      Make sure the professional double checks for expansion and contraction by having a four fitting swing and allows provisions for thermo expansion.

      Did your old installer show you how to use the drain valve on the bottom of this tank?

      Did your installer remove the plastic CRAP some low life manufacturers use in lieu of a good quality ball or gate valve for “blow down”

      This is why a licensed plumber is known as protecting the health of the nation. We have lots and lots of on going training that the fly by nights have no idea. Hey guy have a great 4th

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