Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve Need Fixing?

Is your hot water heater pressure relief valve leaking after replacement? So you just replaced your t&p valve, but now it has started to leak again. This problem can stump even the handiest of husbands. In order to understand what is really happening, you first have to ask what is a temperature and pressure relief valve?

What Does Your Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve Do?

Temperature and pressure relief valves are an important safety feature of water heaters. Their job is to relieve the pressure and temperature inside the water heater to protect it from overheating or damage due to high pressure. When pressure or temperature gets too high, the temperature and pressure relief valve discharges water, alleviating the conditions within the tank. Under normal conditions, however, the temperature and pressure relief valve should not leak. This is an important safety feature, and one we routinely inspect while doing on water heater work in our service area, which is plumbing McKinney Tx.

Is Your T & P Valve Leaking?

If the t&p valve starts to leak, this means the water heater is not functioning normally. The most common cause of a temperature and pressure relief valve leaking is simply malfunction due to age. After years of use, the t&p valve can be too old to work properly. In this case, simply replacing the t&p valve should fix the problem. If the temperature and pressure relief valve is faulty, it can also leak. A replacement valve will fix this problem as well. You can call Hackler Plumbing for help replacing a temperature and pressure relief valve.


What if it is Leaking After Replacement?

If the new temperature and pressure relief valve is leaking after it has just been replaced, it is really just doing its job. This means there is a problem within the hot water heater tank itself. By discharging water, the t&p valve is indicating that there is thermal expansion, excess pressure or temperature, or the setting is too high on the water heater. Checking the setting is an easy fix. See this post if you are unsure what your water heater temperature setting should be set at.

Thermal Expansion: What to Know

Excess pressure and temperature can be caused by thermal expansion if the water heater is operating in a closed system. When water is heated, it expands. In an open system, this expansion has somewhere to go and is therefore not an issue. If a check valve or pressure regulator is installed on the water supply for the house, however, the expanded water has nowhere to go. The temperature of the water increases and the pressure builds up inside the tank. This is where the temperature and pressure relief valve comes in. Rather than allowing the water heater to explode from high temperature and pressure, the t&p valve discharges water and thus relieves the dangerous conditions within the tank. If your water heater is past 10 years, and you see signs of corrosion, you should also inspect to see if it is leaking from the bottom. 

How Do You Fix a Closed System?

If your newly replaced temperature and pressure relief valve is leaking, but you are not sure if a check valve or a pressure regulator is installed, one of our plumbers can come help determine the cause of the problem. In the case of a closed system, you will need to have an expansion tank installed. This can be installed anywhere along the system, so long as it can give the water somewhere to go when thermal expansion occurs. Once the expansion tank is installed, the temperature and pressure relief valve will no longer need to discharge water, and will therefore stop leaking. If you think you are in need of an expansion tank installation, call Hackler. We’re your local McKinney plumber, serving the surrounding NDFW area. Also known as who to call to fix water heater related problems. 


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