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Old 05-17-2008, 09:28 PM   #1
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Leaking T&P blowoff valve


The T&P blowoff valve on my 6 year old Whirlpool 50 gallon water heater is giving me fits.

I was running a lot of new water lines in the basement of my house today and decided to test the T&P while I was down there, just for good measure. Well, now the danged thing won't stop dripping. Probably three drips per second. Before I touched it, it has never dripped one bit.

I've tried everything I can think of with the little lever to get it to stop and it won't. It is a Watts brand T&P, and it came with the water heater.

Should I replace it, or is there a trick to this? I'm a pretty decent plumber, but haven't ever removed or replaced a T&P. Can you just crank them off?..There's nothing to grab ahold of besides the valve itself, and I'd hate to mess up something internal.

For the record, it did blow off when I checked it like it is supposed to.

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Old 05-17-2008, 09:33 PM   #2
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Leaking T&P blowoff valve


Sometimes when you monkey with them, they just won't close back up. I'm not sure if it's sediment or what that gets snagged inside, but we've seen this before, and try to avoid playing with them when the W/H isn't new.

You could try flushing a little more water through it to see if that might blow something through, but if all else fails, just grab a new one, 5 wraps of teflon, and thread that puppy in there. The tank has female threads on it, and a large crescent wrench, or a small to medium pipe wrench will pull it off.

The only thing you have to be careful of is not to crush the new one when you put it in. Sometimes the opening will crush if you put too much pressure on it. Other than that, this is a simple operation
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:36 PM   #3
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Leaking T&P blowoff valve


I flushed about 4 gallons through it and that took care of it for the most part. Still an occasional drip, but I think there was a chunk of something in there the first time around. I'll probably pick up a new one just to take care of it for sure.
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Old 05-18-2008, 08:56 AM   #4
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Leaking T&P blowoff valve


was having my furnace cleaned one time, tech said by code he needed to check the pressure relief valve and that there was a chance it would leak after testing and I would need a new one installed. Yes I ended up with a new one. Must be lots of grit that passes through there. As for the T&P valve, I found this story interesting
http://www.cornerhardware.com/howto/ht065.html
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:01 AM   #5
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Leaking T&P blowoff valve


Make sure you relieve the pressure on the water heater before you twist that puppy off!

T&P valves are safety devices, and should be checked on a regular basis, along with draining a few gallons of water from the bottom of the tank every few months. If they become clogged with rust and debris, they wont perform when needed. Ever seen a water heater explode? You didnt get ripped off, replacement is cheap insurance.

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Old 05-18-2008, 11:09 AM   #6
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Leaking T&P blowoff valve


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Originally Posted by 8 Ball View Post
Make sure you relieve the pressure on the water heater before you twist that puppy off!

T&P valves are safety devices, and should be checked on a regular basis, along with draining a few gallons of water from the bottom of the tank every few months. If they become clogged with rust and debris, they wont perform when needed. Ever seen a water heater explode? You didnt get ripped off, replacement is cheap insurance.
I'm confused on how a TPR valve can get clogged with rust and debris when it's at the top of the tank and water doesn't flow through it regularly...

Obviously checking it can cause this, but if you don't check it, how will it get clogged?

I've never checked mine, and i'm not sure what checking them actually does. By opening it, you're simply proving that it will open, not that it's functioning correctly. You're not adding excess pressure or temperature to the system that would normally cause it to blow off.

I thought that they were a spring loaded valve that opens out, so shouldn't they always open anyway?
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Old 05-18-2008, 02:21 PM   #7
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Leaking T&P blowoff valve


The reason for checking the T&P periodically is just to make sure the thing will open. The reasons it might not, such as a rusted or damaged stem, are admittedly very unusual and the odds are you have a better chance of making a good one start leaking than of finding a bad one. But the potential danger from a failed T&P outweighs the possibility of having to replace a good one. This little $6 part is one of the most important safety devices in your home.

Also, one secret to avoiding crushing the open discharge side of the new valve while screwing it into the heater is to go ahead and hand tighten a male adapter into the female threads to help support them just in case.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:21 AM   #8
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Also, one secret to avoiding crushing the open discharge side of the new valve while screwing it into the heater is to go ahead and hand tighten a male adapter into the female threads to help support them just in case.

Good idea!
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