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Repairing A Water Heater With A Leaking T/P Valve

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The vast majority of homes in the United States have water heaters that are used to heat water for indoor use. These heaters have a number of different features and accessories that ensure proper function and keep leaks at bay. However, you may see a leak issue that pops up, and if so, you will need to investigate it. Water will often leak from the temperature and pressure relief valve. Keep reading to learn why this happens and how you can fix the issue.

Why Does The Temperature And Pressure Relief Valve Leak?

The temperature and pressure relief valve (T/P) is a safety feature on the appliance that is meant to release water. It does this when the temperature and pressure build in the heater's tank. Since the constant pressure can cause the tank to burst, the valve helps to prevent catastrophic failure. 

If the T/P valve is leaking, then there is a chance that the temperature and pressure are too high. If your water seems hotter than usual, then there is a chance that the thermostat has stopped working and the heating coil or coils have been working continuously. This is an overheating issue that is concerning since the heating element is likely to burn out relatively quickly. Also, if the water is too hot, then it can and will scald you. If you think this is the issue, then speak with a plumber about a water heater replacement.

Sometimes the T/P valve will get weak and allow water to flow through the release pipe even if pressure is low or appropriate for the tank. In this case, replacing the valve will stop the leak issue.

How Is A Repair Made?

If you think that the T/P valve is malfunctioning, then you can simply replace the valve. The valve will attach to a long pipe that sits on the top of the side of the water heater. Look for the valve and purchase a new one that matches. 

Turn the water heater off and drain the tank. Otherwise, water will release from the valve as you work. Afterward, use your wrench to remove the valve. Tighten the new one on when you are done and refill the tank. Once the tank is completely filled, lift the lever on the  T/P valve. It should release water when open and stop the flow when closed. If so, then the valve is working correctly.

If you have questions on how to replace the T/P valve or if you need more assistance, speak with a plumbing professional.