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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 250 sq ft basement in a small 2 bed 1 bath house. Located in the basement is a gas water heater that has a T&P valve going no where. Yesterday I had an electrical inspection for some other work and when the inspector saw the valve he told me it has to be plumbed to the exterior. This is an unfinished utility basement with a concrete floor and no drain. If the valve ever did blow, it wouldn’t damage anything. Anyway, long story short, he wants it plumbed to the outside but can’t tell me how I’m supposed to do it. The ground level is about 24” above the valve and I know a T&P valve has to be gravity flow. Anyone have any idea how I could plumb this? Thanks
 

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I have never heard of that requirement. I would just plumb it to the outside. Don't worry about the gravity drain.
If you don't like it cut it off after he leaves.
 

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I think the gravity part is for the piece that actually goes out the wall. It wants a down hill slope to the outside so any water will not get left in that pipe to freeze in the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, I know it has to plumb down because if you have a small leak you want to see it. If you plumb it up, you basically end up with a p-trap and water can accumulate without you knowing it. Under a full on blow up, yes the water would discharge fine, but slow leaks would be a problem. Anyway, the inspector is well aware of this too and when I asked him how he proposed I plumb it he responded not my problem, I just enforce the codes. My only thought is put the discharge pipe into a metal bucket with a sump pump in the bucket plumbed to the exterior. I’m not sure how well a sump pump will hold up to scalding water though. Also, this house was built in 1930 and there is no way of installing a drain in the basement, at least not without spending big bucks. I’m just hoping someone has dealt with this before and has an answer. Google can’t seem to help me either.
 

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You have the right idea. Just use a small container and an A/C condensation pump. Water released from T&P valve will cool before being pumped out by A/C condensation pump which is float level controlled.


Inspector is being a****** and on power trip.
 

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504.6 Requirements for discharge piping. The discharge piping serving a pressure relief valve, temperature relief valve or combination thereof shall:
1. Not be directly connected to the drainage system.
2. Discharge through an air gap located in the same room as the water heater.
3. Not be smaller than the diameter of the outlet of the valve served and shall discharge full size to the air gap.
4. Serve a single relief device and shall not connect to piping serving any other relief device or equipment.
5. Discharge to the floor, to the pan serving the water heater or storage tank, to a waste receptor or to the outdoors.
6. Discharge in a manner that does not cause personal injury or structural damage.
7. Discharge to a termination point that is readily observable by the building occupants.
8. Not be trapped.
9. Be installed so as to flow by gravity.
10. Terminate not more than 6 inches (152 mm) above and not less than two times the discharge pipe diameter above the floor or flood level rim of the waste receptor.
11. Not have a threaded connection at the end of such piping.
12. Not have valves or tee fittings.
13. Be constructed of those materials listed in Section 605.4 or materials tested, rated and approved for such use in accordance with ASME A112.4.1.
 

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We use to use to be able to use a pump but the AHJ read the pump specs and learned that the discharge temperature was too hot for pumps. So we can't use that method.....

Have you considered elevating the heater to create gravity flow?
Or called the inspectors boss and see if he would override?

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Unless you need the inspectors signature on some form, the best thing you can do is ignore him. That is probably what his wife does and is probably why he is such an a**hole.


Now, if he is a reasonable person he expects to be ignored.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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All it needs is to be piped to 6"or less above the floor. See the first item in #5 of Ghostmakers post above.
 
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Are you saying that there is nothing else in this room on the entire lower level of this house, e.g., furnace, boiler, clothes washer, dryer, utility sink?
How do the drains for the kitchen, bathroom (and clothes washer?) above empty without going through the basement?

If you must go the condensate pump route, make sure it is rated for high temperatures up to 190-212°F.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Originally there was a furnace in the basement but it was removed and a package HVAC unit installed on the roof. All of the plumbing drain lines for the fixtures on the main floor run through the floor/ceiling joists which are 12” above the top of the water heater. There is nothing else in the basement except for the water heater.
I’m going to go see the chief building inspector tomorrow and see what he has to say.
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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Show him the post from Ghostmaker.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, the electrical inspection was signed off. He will be coming back for an insulation inspection Tuesday and a drywall nail off inspection after that and then a final. He won’t sign off on the final until the water heater is addressed. I am in California so our codes are generally more stringent than other states. I know our chief inspector is pretty reasonable so I’m hopeful he’ll let it go since there is nothing in the basement except a concrete floor. If the basement did flood, there could be some drywall damage, but that’s it. I’ll find out tomorrow what he has to say.
 

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How much would you have to raise the heater so that the t/p valve body opening (if rotated to discharge horizontally) is high enough to bring it above outside grade level enough to drain?

It might be a head knocker but you can remove it when he signs off.
 

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You be more specific. You can't just measure 120 volts on the black wire. It has to be between two points such as black and white or black and ground.

I assume you mean to ground for all your measurements. The problem is an open neutral somewhere on the circuit. It could be the neutral connection in the panel or anywhere along the circuit.
What are you talking about?:wacko:
 
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