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Date Published:

April 25, 2016


Knowing When It’s Time to Replace Your Water Heater’s T&P Relief Valve

If your T&P valve suddenly started leaking and you have not had any plumbing renovations recently, a replacement could be the best and only solution. The pressure valve that is factory-set to release water at pressures exceeding 150 psi is a basic component in Edmonton hot water tanks.

Any malfunction could lead to disastrous consequences. Embracing proper maintenance that focuses on periodic testing of the valve is important, as the valve is the safety device that prevents your water heater from exploding.

Due to thermal expansion, pressure and temperature are tied together. Should the tank begin to overheat, pressure build-up will be triggered. For safety reasons, the extra pressure and heat should be released, and this is the work of the T&P valve. Do not stop the valve from leaking by plugging it.

Contact a local plumbers like Capital Plumbing & Heating Ltd. who will be able to determine the cause of the leakage and fix it. During replacement, a valve that has the right temperature and pressure relief rating is needed--the reason you should leave this work to experts.

Causes of Leaky T&P Valves
The valves may leak and drip for many reasons. The common causes are:

  • Incoming water pressure - It could be that the building water supply pressure is very high or periodically fluctuates and gets too high at other times.
  • Water temperature - The heater’s temperatures could be too high.
  • Thermal expansion - If you notice periodic discharge, the cause could be resulting from thermal expansion in a closed system.
  • Dirt and debris - Prevent proper closure of the valve.
  • Installation of the valve on a sidearm gas heater - This could lead to an overheating condition at the sensor point of the TP valve.
  • Banging pipes - They could be a source of drips and leaks. It causes very high pressure in the piping system enough to open the valve for a brief moment.

A dripping T&P valve is highly dangerous, and the leaks can cause the valve to clog and not open when it should. A leakage may seem like a minor nuisance, but could quickly turn into a major problem. Such leaks can cause wall and floor damage. Extensively, a complete and catastrophic water heater failure could lead to significant floods that may need expensive repairs.

Such leakage can also be a health concern. Dump areas can quickly sprout mildew and mold that can trigger allergic reactions. Understand that there are molds that are toxic and could cause serious health concerns.

Replacing the Valve

When the test lever is pulled and nothing comes out of the valve, or the lever can’t be reset to stop the valve from leaking, it should be replaced. More so, the valve should be replaced when it starts dripping before a test is conducted. It could be that it has become encrusted with minerals keeping it from closing. If the valve is older than the heater’s warranty, consider having it replaced. Once replaced, have it tested every six months?

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Capital Plumbing and Heating was founded in 2001 in Edmonton, Alberta, and our main office is still located there. We proudly serve Edmonton and surrounding areas as emergency plumbing service providers in Edmonton.

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