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Old 10-10-2009, 08:21 PM   #1
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Seal for a leaking hot water heater safety valve


Hi, my hot water heater safety valve is leaking at the connection. Can't really be sure of the source of the leak since there is corrosion around the base of the valve. I have some questions; 1) Can the valve be replaced if its just the valve threads 2) If it isn't the valve, is there a sealant I can use to tempoparily seal the leak and 3) what can I use to safety remove the corrosion; there is some around the hot and cold pipe nipples entering the tank. Tank is a Richland 40 Gallon Short tank, probably is year 12 of operation. Thanks Ken

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Old 10-10-2009, 09:47 PM   #2
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Seal for a leaking hot water heater safety valve


The safety valve unscrews for replacement,The blue metal tag will tell you the specs.

That being said---Your heater is probably done,dying or dead.

The valve opened because the unit overheated-most likely full of lime-it didn't close because it to is all limed up.

Best to replace it if you have the money.--MIKE

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Old 10-10-2009, 09:52 PM   #3
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Excessive corrosion is often caused by improper installation. If you have copper pipes, a Dielectric union must be used at the top of the heater where the copper pipes enter the steel water heater.
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:25 PM   #4
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Seal for a leaking hot water heater safety valve


Mikes right,

12 years old, its done. Time to pony up, and replace it.

Even if you repair it, it will be short lived. Then you will have money in repairs, and replacement.
IMO most cost effective to just replace with a more effecient model.
He's right about the overheating, even if the valve is fixed you still have other problems going on.

Its trying to tell you, in its own way! James


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Old 10-13-2009, 02:48 PM   #5
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Seal for a leaking hot water heater safety valve


Thanks Mike, CCCo, Still need a way to stop leak while I'm shopping for heater. The seat of the blowoff valve didn't lift, I think the leak is on the
nipple that you thread the blowoff valve onto. Is there a safe way to stop that leak? Thanks
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:27 PM   #6
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Seal for a leaking hot water heater safety valve


shut the tank off and close the water valves and let the tank cool for a couple hours. Then un-thread the relief, clean threads, apply teflon or pipe dope to threads, tighten it back on there. sound reasonable mike?
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:38 PM   #7
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Seal for a leaking hot water heater safety valve


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Originally Posted by Viper16 View Post
shut the tank off and close the water valves and let the tank cool for a couple hours. Then un-thread the relief, clean threads, apply teflon or pipe dope to threads, tighten it back on there. sound reasonable mike?

Sounds reasonable, but with that kind of age, its not that easy. Corrosion is the enemy.

Turn the heater off, and close the valve(s) if you have any near by, then purchase and install new water heater.


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Old 10-14-2009, 09:58 AM   #8
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Seal for a leaking hot water heater safety valve


[quote=CCCo.;340223]Sounds reasonable, but with that kind of age, its not that easy. Corrosion is the enemy.

Turn the heater off, and close the valve(s) if you have any near by, then purchase and install new water heater.


I agree, the anode is probably toasted...giving corrosion the upper hand at this. It is time to put the water heater at rest and start looking for a new one.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:41 AM   #9
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Seal for a leaking hot water heater safety valve


The threads where the pressure relief valve or any intermediate nipple fits into the tank may be rusted beyond repair. You might get a temporary fix by unscrewing the leaky part, cleaning off enough of the rust to make a reasonably smooth surface, and using pipe dope.

But you might be unlucky and the threaded collar on the tank disintegrates as you unscrew the leaky part, leaving a gaping hole.
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:51 PM   #10
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Seal for a leaking hot water heater safety valve


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The threads where the pressure relief valve or any intermediate nipple fits into the tank may be rusted beyond repair. You might get a temporary fix by unscrewing the leaky part, cleaning off enough of the rust to make a reasonably smooth surface, and using pipe dope.

But you might be unlucky and the threaded collar on the tank disintegrates as you unscrew the leaky part, leaving a gaping hole.

The later, is more than likely what will happen.

12 years is about the normal life span, maybe more. The major variable factor is the water quality.
Almost every water supply I have ever seen has had either lime, rust, iron, calcuim, etc... All these things hurt your heater in different ways.
Some quicker than others, from what I've seen lime build up in the tank seems to be one of the quickest deaths.

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