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nvguy 11-13-2012 06:54 PM

Gas hot water heater problem I think....
Hi all,

I live in a condo and my hot wate heater is in an outside closet basically. I have noticed the last two days that it is venting hot water from the drain pipe that leads outside to the ground. the hot water heater looks just fine externally. Im getting plenty of hot water in the house. So why would it be venting like this? I cannot be sure how long it has been doing it but it has been going for hours since i first noticed it.

jaydevries 11-13-2012 07:25 PM

is it coming from the relieve valve

nvguy 11-13-2012 07:43 PM

hot water heater

from the diagrams you supplied i believe it is coming from the relief valve. from what i can tell the drain is connected with piping to the top of the tank.

jaydevries 11-13-2012 07:57 PM

is it a trickle or a good flow

nvguy 11-13-2012 07:59 PM

hot water heater
it was pretty heavy this morning. right now its not as heavy but its more than a trickle.

jaydevries 11-13-2012 08:08 PM

i would pull on relieve lever then push back off to see if there is debris in valve not letting it shut off if not might need to be replaced. also i would turn water heater off (gas to pilot or flip off breaker) then run some hot water to releive pressure before trying to reset valve and you might also need to add an expansion tank to relieve pressure so not to pop relieve valve

nvguy 11-13-2012 08:50 PM

hot water heater
Ok so i lifted up on the valve and it made quite a noise and the water flow increased from the drain. i let it back down and the water flow decreased to where it was before.

ddawg16 11-13-2012 09:10 PM

They are there to relieve the pressure in the water tank if it gets too high. A common problem is for someone to install a back flow preventer on the cold side....water heater heats up the expands...pressure increases. The PRV prevents the tank from ruptureing.

If the tank is several years old, the valve could be going bad. I believe you can replace just have to turn off the power and water.

Hopefully one of our experts will chime in with more exact details.

nvguy 11-13-2012 09:18 PM

so the valve going bad means what exactly? its too weak now and is venting when its not supposed to?


ddawg16 11-13-2012 09:28 PM

That is where the expert comes in....jay gave you some good info....but my guess it is going bad.....or your water pressure has jumped up.

I deal with PRV's but of a much bigger 2" and bigger......have never had one go bad...but then again....we remove them and have them 'calibrated' on a yearly basis....

Evstarr 11-13-2012 10:56 PM

Duplicate effort - in other word nm :)

bob22 11-14-2012 06:17 AM

1. How old is the heater?
2. Is the hot water temperature in the house higher than it used to be?
Could be higher water pressure from supply triggering PRV, faulty thermostat causing tank to overheat and PRV is working as designed to prevent tank from exploding, faulty PRV.
They can be replaced but understanding the root cause would be useful before replacing it or the water heater.

rjniles 11-14-2012 08:33 AM

If the PT valve started leaking water immediately after you reset the lever, it is not an high pressure issue( the pressure does not build up instantly). Either there is debris in the valve seat or the valve is bad. I would replace the valve. Turn gas valve to pilot, shut off the water supply to the WH and open a faucet to relieve pressure before you remove the valve.

You will have to disconnect the drain line first, this usually means cutting the pipe.

nvguy 11-14-2012 07:18 PM

the heater is several years old. not sure exactly. at least 5. will try a new valve as suggest first to see if that takes care of it.

tylernt 11-15-2012 11:19 AM


Originally Posted by nvguy (Post 1052277)
the heater is several years old. not sure exactly. at least 5.

Probably about time for a new anode rod while you have the heater offline anyway.

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