Understanding Why Your T&P Relief Valve Is Leaky With A Plumber Near Me | Mesa, AZ
It is bad enough to have a leaky plumbing system. However, having a leaky water heater pressure relief valve is even worse. It is one of the issues that some homeowners experience with their tank-based water heaters. If you’re experiencing this problem, you should have a plumber near me in Mesa, AZ inspect your water heater to determine the underlying problem. Depending on what the professional diagnoses as the reason, they might replace or repair the valve.
The Temperature and Pressure (T&P) Valve’s Purpose
Before delving into what could be why your relief valve is leaking, it only makes sense that you understand its function in a water heater. A T&P relief valve is a component that regulates the pressure and temperatures in a water heater by releasing water and steam. If the temperature or pressure in the water heater is too high, the valve opens, relieving the tank. Though its name suggests that the valve evacuates high pressure or temperature, most modern valves only release high pressure. This is because the water temperature levels would have to increase to significantly high levels for the valve to open.
Without this valve, your water heater could silently become a “bomb” in your home. If pressure were to increase to levels that aren’t sustainable, your water heater might explode. Hence, it is recommended that you have the valve checked regularly when a plumber near me comes for a maintenance visit. Though the settings between various brands and models differ, the T&P relief valve is usually set to open whenever pressure in the tank exceeds 150 PSI and temperatures over 210F.
Reasons Your Water Heater T&P Valve Is Leaking
The Temperature of Water Within the Heater Is Too High
The temperature and pressure relief valve only opens when either temperature or pressure is excessive. However, it’s highly unlikely that this valve will be opened by excessive temperature. This is because, at that point, the water would have to be close to boiling point. Because this is still a possibility, although unlikely, we’ll still cover it. Checking the water temperatures after you turn on the temperatures is simple. Unless the heater has an underlying problem, the water should never be over what you have set on the thermostat. However, you can check the temperatures using a meat thermostat. The temperature shouldn’t exceed 120F. Though anything higher than this could be dangerous, it doesn’t explain the faulty T&P valve. You should have a plumber near me inspect the water heater to determine the underlying problem.
When the Pressure in the Heater Tank Is Too High
Some homeowners automatically assume that it must be broken when the T&P valve leaks. However, this is only sometimes the case. A T & P valve is constantly leaking means it works as expected. It could relieve the excessive pressure from the water heater tank. Determining the amount of pressure in your water heater is a simple thing. You should buy a pressure gauge and have a plumber near me in Mesa, AZ install it in the plumbing system. It doesn’t matter whether the gauge is installed along a hot or cold water pipe because either will be experiencing the same pressure.
The easiest way for a plumber near me to connect the pressure gauge to your plumbing is to use an outside hose faucet and a pressure gauge with threading designed specifically for the garden hose. Your water heater’s pressure should be between 40-80 PSI when all the faucets and outlets are closed. The pressure relief valve is likely leaking to release the excess water pressure if the pressure is above 150 PSI. The leak is not brought on by too much water pressure within your plumbing system.
Closed plumbing systems usually have excessive pressure. As the water is heated in a heater, it expands, increasing pressure. Water cannot escape a closed system. Hence the T&P valve opens to alleviate pressure. An excessive pressure issue in closed plumbing systems can be resolved by having a plumber near me install an expansion tank. These thermal expansion tanks allow the heated water to enter, preventing an excessive accumulation of pressure that must be evacuated through the T&P relief valve.
Installing the Wrong-Type T&P Valve
Although this reason for the relief valve to leak is not common, it still is possible. There are some appliances like boilers that also rely on pressure relief valves. Although these valves have the same working principle as the one you’ll find on a water heater, they have a much lower pressure setting. The pressure relief valves for boilers usually are set at 30PSI. However, it is highly unlikely that a plumber near me can install the wrong valve. This is because it should have started leaking immediately after it was installed.
The Valve Hasn’t Been Used for Several Years
If your T&P valve hasn’t been opened for several years, it might leak slightly when it opens again for the first time. This leak is usually not serious and rarely advances past minor drips. If the problem worsens, you should have a plumber near me replace the entire valve. Years of non-use damage might be difficult to repair. Replacing the valve can fix even minor dripping issues, saving you time and effort.
A Faulty T&P Valve
The other possibility is that the T&P valve may be faulty. In this case, you should have a plumber near me in Mesa, AZ replace it. Though T&P valves are usually made from stiff materials, excessive wear and tear as time passes or even an improper installation can damage it, making it leak. Technically, it is possible to repair the relief valve.
Have you noticed that your water heater T&P relief valve is leaky? Contact us at Schroeder Plumbing. Our technicians will repair or replace it to ensure your water heater is safe.