Fix a Leaking Water Heater
LESLIE: Michael in Kentucky has a question about his water heater. What can we do for you?
MICHAEL: Yes, couple of months ago I caught my shirt on the release valve; my water heater.
LESLIE: (chuckling) OK.
TOM: (chuckling) OK.
MICHAEL: And prior to that it hadn’t leaked at all …
TOM: But now it leaks all the time, right? (Leslie chuckles)
MICHAEL: Yeah. Well, when the water was released, it had some residue in it.
MICHAEL: You know, like the sediment?
TOM: Yeah, and sometimes that kind of gets stuck in that valve and it never closes fully anymore and now it’s a constant drip-drip-drip.
MICHAEL: Yeah. Anyhow, I replaced it and then it continued to leak. I had the city come out and they measured my water pressure at one of my spigots outside at 130 pounds.
MICHAEL: Now, I don’t know? Is that too high or is that …?
TOM: That sounds awfully high because the temperature pressure relief valve on a water heater is set at 150 pounds and that did occur to me; that maybe the fact that it’s dripping is it’s actually doing its job and the water pressure, as it heats, is getting too high. You may need to have a piece of plumbing equipment installed that actually reduces that. A hundred and thirty pounds is a huge pressure; normally it’s like around 70 or 80.
MICHAEL: Yeah, my understanding is that – I live in a pretty rural area and they don’t increase the size of the water mains.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Of the pipes.
MICHAEL: They just keep increasing the pressure at the main station there and I think that …
TOM: That’s got to cause a lot of maintenance issues. You can’t be alone on this.
MICHAEL: Yeah, I’m going to have to look at my neighbor’s residence here. But I guess – I think I might have answered my own question.
TOM: Yeah, I think you did. Yeah, because that TPR valve – that temperature pressure relief valve – is set at 150 pounds and if it’s dripping, it may just be exceeding that.
MICHAEL: OK. Well, thank you so much for the information then.
TOM: No problem, Michael. Good luck with that project.
The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. If you’ve got a mystery like that, pick up the phone and give us a call right now and we will help you answer your own question. (Leslie chuckles) 888-666-3974.