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Old 04-02-2013, 07:26 PM   #1
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New water heater relief valve leaking...help!


Just had a brand new water heater installed, Bradford White 40 gal LP....the relief valve is venting water throughout the day. I just replaced the valve and it is still doing it! I have well water and the pressure from the pump is around 50 lbs. Any suggestions?? Also my temp on the heater is set pretty low....still not helping...

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Old 04-02-2013, 07:36 PM   #2
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New water heater relief valve leaking...help!


Could be building pressure during the day. Do you have an expansion tank?

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Old 04-02-2013, 07:55 PM   #3
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New water heater relief valve leaking...help!


Possibility: Without knowing what type of dwelling we are working with here and the incoming water supply system--- Fact: When the water within the water heater tank is heated up to the pre-set point of the thermostat the water will expand and probably create more pressure within the tank than the incoming water pressure from the supply. Now--the heated water has to go somewhere. Without a faucet open it will want to "back up" into the incoming water system. We're not talking about a sudden rush of water, just a small amount of expanded water wanting to go somewhere. Now IF your incoming water supply line has a "Back-Flow Prevention Device (BPD) then the water cannot push back into the source of the water supply. IF you are on a well this will be even more of a problem as they do have a built-in BPD within the service line to prevent contamination of the well water. This pressure from expansion with a BPD has to go somewhere--the Pressure Relief Valve (PRV) is the only source for this pressure to relieve itself. I have actually mounted a 2# increment pressure gauge at the tank and had the tenants monitor the pressure readings every hour and proved this to be true. When the water is heated, the pressure goes up and the PRV vents.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:56 PM   #4
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New water heater relief valve leaking...help!


Sorry, first time home owner. Could you explain an expansion tank? I do have a tank that has a place to hook air up to it and says don't fill over 130 psi...this is a well water system in the country
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:00 PM   #5
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New water heater relief valve leaking...help!


The little tank you might add air to and which is typically about 12 inches long by 12 inches in diameter and which is often mounted above the watr heater is the expansion tank.

Start by turning off the main water and opening a cold water faucet. Leave the valves above the water heater open. Wait for the water to stop running. Then pressurize the little tank to slightly less than the normal system pressure (typically30 to 40 PSI). Then turn the water back on.

Almost all water pump systems have a pressure tank,typically 2 feettall. When this is properly ressurized and there ar no closed valves between it an the watr heater this will serve the functon of the expansion tank.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 04-02-2013 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:06 PM   #6
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New water heater relief valve leaking...help!


May look something like this.
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=...lectedIndex=15
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:41 PM   #7
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New water heater relief valve leaking...help!


If you are on a well you already have an expansion tank, so I don't know why you would need another. Water heaters have been installed for a gazillion years without expansion tanks so why all of a sudden are they needed?

You probably have a cheap, crappy, off shore made defective pressure relief valve. We have been hearing about a lot of bad relief valves lately on this forum. People replace them and the problem disappears.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:44 PM   #8
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New water heater relief valve leaking...help!


Ok I just looked and I do not have an expansion tank. The tank I was referring to is much larger and says "hydro-pneumatic pump tank"...do I need an expansion tank?
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:59 PM   #9
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New water heater relief valve leaking...help!


jagans is close on this point....your holding tank for your well acts as your expanison tank only if you don't have a check valve in your system on the house side of holding tank...if it does you need another small st5 expanison tank for water heater....ben sr
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:03 PM   #10
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New water heater relief valve leaking...help!


My suggestion...

Go to your local home improvement store and buy a water pressure gauge w/ female hose thread fitting. (should be around $10-15) It should have a black dial to show the current pressure and a red dial to record your highest pressure. Once you have that, screw it on to the drain fitting near the bottom of your water heater tank. Once it's on tightly, open the valve w/ a flathead screwdriver. BE CAREFUL, if the gauge isn't tight water could leak (spray) and it's going to be hot. Leave it there for a day and then check to see how high your red dial got. TP valves are supposed to kick open @ 150psi.

The liklihood of the TP valve that came on the tank AND the replacement valve both being bad is slim to none - but the gauge should tell you what your real problem is.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:07 PM   #11
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can you get us a picture of the holding tank and plumbing lines around it...ben sr

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