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rosejuli 04-23-2009 09:55 PM

water pressure / water heater
I had a new water heater installed less than two years ago and the installer left a copper wire wrapped around the pressure relief valve and nom the heater is broken and leaking internally. Should the installer have taken that wire off so if it needed to release pressure it could have - and could this be why my valve to the water softener also exploded? I know I am a plumbing dummie but I really need to know if it's their fault?:wink:

Just Bill 04-24-2009 06:00 AM

Not sure I understand, water heaters do not leak internally. What is leaking???? And there should be nothing wrapped around the T&P valve, but it will not cause problems in other devices. Its' purpose is to relieve pressure in the event of a malfunction of the heating equipment that causes overheating and/or excessive pressure in the tank. It is a violation to do anything that will interfere with the proper operation of that valve.

Water softeners are connected to the cold side of the water line and not likly affected by anything that the water heater does. There is supposed to be a check valve in the cold side of the water heater to prevent pressure or hot water from getting into the cold side. But it is possible that it was not installed.

Grampa Bud 04-24-2009 07:23 AM

It actually sounds like several different problems. 1. The T&P valve will pop if there is too high a pressure. For residential that is about 150P.S.I. It will pop for too high a temperature. Usually it goes between 210-212 degrees F. The wire wrapped around the T&P would prevent anyone from deliberately opening the T&P for maintenance or any other reason. The valve will pop whether the wire is there or not. 2. The heater could be defective internally right from the manufacturer. I have seen this many times. It can happen right out of the box or anywhere on down the line. Does the heater have dieelectrics between the tank and your plumbing?? If it does check to see if there is any water on or under them. There is one on the COLD and one on the HOT. If they are leaking, the water may be running down under the jacket and appear to be an internal leak. 3. Water softeners and their parts are made largely of fiberglass and plastics. The tanks are robust like a torpedo, but the pipes and jam nuts and fittings are much less so. If you are on city water with high pressure mains the pressure regulator in your house could be hanging up and letting too much pressure into the softener and that caused the plastic parts to break. You didn't mention the T&P actually popping off and you said the heater was only 2 years old so I don't think the heater could have overheated, turned some water to steam, over pressurized the water lines and blew the softener.

I forgot one other thing; most residential water heaters, whether they are gas or electric, have internal HOT and COLD checkvalves in them already, put there by the manufacturer.

faucetman886 04-24-2009 07:33 AM

I agree with "JustBill" there shouold be no correlation between your hot water heater and the water softener and your PRV should not have caused any internal leaking. I would suspect a incoming pressure problem from your water source. Your incoming water pressure should be around 60 psi and anything drastically above that can cause damage to appliances, fixtures and the WH. I have a blog about the danger of too much water pressure appearing currently here in the DIY Blogs. Click on "DIY Blogs" on the task bar at the top of the threads and read it, maybe it will help you understand.

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