Leak from relief valve of hot water heater

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    • #275572

      I have very slow dripping of water coming from the relief valve on my hot water heater. This has been going on for about 4 or 5 days. After a few days I notice a very small puddle on the floor below the relief valve. Do I have a problem? How do I stop the leaking?



      L. Helmus

    • #292448

      Yes you have a major problem

      A T&P or Safety Or “Relief” valve is not supposed to seep.

      It could be simply thermo expansion which in time will cause premature tank failure.

      It could be a very defective spring inside this valve that is not allowing it to open fully.

      BEST SUGGESTION.

      Call a Licensed Master Plumber NOT a Fraud dabbling in Off the Wall installations and have this professional do a complete pressure vessel service.

      T&P valves should be checked regularly and for a 3/4 T&P costing about $4.00 Watts brand you should consider having it replaced every two years.

      The T&P is a unique valve in regard to how it is designed as it serves two functions.

      1- Pressure vapor (safety)

      2- Temperature (liquid) Relief

      This is the only safety device on a residencial H/W heater.

      A lot of folks install these tanks and forget about them.

      They can be very dangerious if care is not taken to check them often.

      Call a licensed professional and dont take chances.

      NJ has a great training program for UA Mechanics I would contact a LMP in your area and have them find out what exactly going on in your system.

    • #292449

      as a side note…if you live in an area of high water pressure…your pressure regulator may have failed.
      also, you might want to have an inexpensive expansion tank installed on the cold water side of your water heater to help with thermal expansion.
      (after youve replaced the old T&P valve course!)

    • #292450


      In reply to message posted by Bruce T:
      as a side note…if you live in an area of high water pressure…your pressure regulator may have failed.
      also, you might want to have an inexpensive expansion tank installed on the cold water side of your water heater to help with thermal expansion.
      (after youve replaced the old T&P valve course!)


      Ever want a Job in NYC please give me 1st shot.

      I like the way you think VERY,VERY professional

    • #292451

      Sylvan and Bruce.You guys ever used the thermal expansion ball valve made by Watts that takes the place of expansion tanks?I use them when installing water heaters.This also serves as a shut off for the cold water.

    • #292452


      In reply to message posted by racefanone:
      Sylvan and Bruce.You guys ever used the thermal expansion ball valve made by Watts that takes the place of expansion tanks?I use them when installing water heaters.This also serves as a shut off for the cold water.


      Never but I will look into it thank you..

    • #292453

      Yes I have used them and they DO work!
      However, they come with a 3/8ths compression fitting on them for you to run 3/8 copper tube to an approved drain.(and yes you have to keep it at least 1″ above the approved drain or use an air gap)
      I use them in highrise buidings on water heaters under kitchen cabinets were space is too limited for use of an expansion tank, and there is too little space above the t-bar ceilings for an expansion tank..
      They work the same as a Pressure relief valve only they are set to 125psi instead of 150.
      All they really do is bleed off pressure if it is excess of 125 psi, (which is a waste of water).
      I usually install a floor sink under the cabinets to drain my T&P valve,the watts expansion relief valve, the drain from the pan under the water heater, and condensate lines from A/C units.
      They are expensive, but they are approved for use in Los Angelas in place of the expansion tank, so I use them to keep the inspectors happy.

    • #292454

      Just in the last week, I developed the same seeping problem so I replaced the T&P relief valve on my Rheem 20V50-1 50 gallon HWH. I adjusted the water temp to 125F and I am still getting the drip. What the *&^%$#@ is going on?

    • #292455

      do you have a pressure reducing valve or a check valve at the water meter?

    • #292456

      robertgf
      I have an electronic water meter they read from the street. Not sure if I have one of these,but can look if you tell me what they look like/lacated. Do you have a theory?

    • #292457

      i think if you add a expansion tank at the water heater it should fix the problem the t/p valve is just doing its job however i would find out what my incoming water pressure is in case its too high

    • #292458

      Firstly lets explain what is happening with your water heater – as water is heated it expands and has to go somewhere – part of the safety features of mains pressure water heaters are the pressure and temperature relief valves that are fitted to them. When the heater is operating water SHOULD dribble out of the hot water relief valve otherwise the pressure build up inside the system would cause a dangerous condition to eventuate that could in fact cause an explosion.
      One sure way to protect the system is to install a cold water relief value on the inlet water supply pipe close to the cylinder – this valve should be rated at 80% of that of the hot water relief valve. The outlet of the cold water relief valve should be directed to an outside gully trap where it will cause no harm to anything when it allows water flow during heat up periods.
      In an case according to Rheem’s manuals the valves should be “eased” at regular intervals to ensure their safe and effective operation continues.
      Hope this information is of assistance to you.



      Selgas Services Ltd
      Craftsman Gasfitters, Plumbers, Electrical Service Technicians

    • #292459

      if you install some type of pressure relief on the cold supply without knowing what the static pressure is you might as well tell the customer to leave on of their faucets constantly dribbling because thats what is going to happen

    • #292460

      Robert
      I have read your reply and would like to clarify the matter somewhat. We fit pressure limiting device valves on the inlet supply along with a non return valve and a cold water releif valve set at 80% of that to which the hot water relief is set for – both work on temperatures as well 99 degrees C.
      This practice is one that has been laid down by Rheem themselves in order to protect the customer’s installation from a failed and or seized hot water relief valve in areas where “hard” water is present.
      The purpose is to allow the cold water relief to discharge to waste when the water heater is heating up instead of discharging hot water hence an energy saving to the end user.
      The use of expansion tanks is certainly not common practice in these parts to eleviate the situation – but I understand the reasoning on the same.
      I hope this helps or clarifies the matter better for you as it is not my intention to tell anyone how to do their job but more to assist where possible.
      Regards



      Selgas Services Ltd
      Craftsman Gasfitters, Plumbers, Electrical Service Technicians

    • #292461

      my point was that if the incoming pressure was to high the fix would be to start there, however since your fitting a new reducing valve youre fixing that potential problem right there

    • #292462

      Robert

      Cheers Buddy – perhaps the customer who made the initial equiry would like to look at fitting a cold water relief (after a pressure limiting valve of course) to save water and energy.



      Selgas Services Ltd
      Craftsman Gasfitters, Plumbers, Electrical Service Technicians

    • #292463

      Any good service plumber responding to a leaking relief valve on a water heater will always check the incoming pressure first.I have never installed a expansion tank for a water heater and never will.If the incoming pressure is 80 psi or lower you will never have a problem with thermal expansion.Water pressure above 80 psi will cause problems with all parts of your plumbing system,not just your water heater.If the pressure is below 80 psi then you probaly just have a relief valve failure.

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