A leaking water heater can be a big issue for any home or business. From cleaning the dishes to washing your hands, to enjoying a nice hot shower, there are innumerable reasons why water heaters are one of the most indispensable of home appliances. Unfortunately, these beloved workhorses also have a tendency to develop certain plumbing problems as time goes on. Learn more about water heater troubleshooting and repair as we discuss the issue of a leaky temperature and pressure relief valve, as well as how to fix it.
The Temperature And Pressure Relief Valve
This valve often referred to simply as the T&P valve–is an important part of your water heater’s safety system. Located near the top of your tank, the valve’s purpose is simple: should either the pressure or the temperature inside of your heater rise to dangerous levels, it will open up. This drains off a proportion of the water, thus lowering the pressure and preventing the risk of an explosion.
Over time, the T&P valve has a tendency to develop annoying leaks. These not only put your basement at risk of water damage, but they also reduce the overall efficiency of the heater. A T&P valve that has opened up in the past is more likely to develop leaks since it does not always close up again properly. Alternately, leaks may occur as the result of components inside the valve degrading with time and exposure to heat.
The first thing you should do when faced with a leaky T&P valve is check the temperature of the water in your tank. If it is set above 120 degrees Fahrenheit, then excessive water temperature may be the cause of the leak. If on the other hand, your temperature is below this threshold, the problem may be the result of either high water pressure or mineral build-up within the valve.
For more information about fixing or replacing a leaking water heater, or diagnosing and correcting a leaky temperature and pressure relief valve, contact the experts at Kew Forest Plumbing & Heating.