Finding water on the floor around the water heater is never a good sign. Before you start to panic, take stock of the situation and find where it is coming from. Check the top or the side of the water heater to locate the source of the leak. One of the common reasons for it might be that the pipe on the side of the water heater may be leaking. If you find water running down from the side of the water heater, the source might be the temperature pressure relief valve.
WHAT DOES RELIEF VALVE ON THE SIDE OF WATER HEATER DO?
The pipe on the side of the water heater is attached to the relief valve, and it is a critical safety feature that prevents the water from leaking out. When the water temperature inside the heater rises, or there is a lot of pressure build-up inside, the water heater can get damaged and even explode.
The relief valve on the side of the water heater helps keep the temperature and the pressure in check. Suppose the temperature or the pressure reaches unsafe levels. In that case, it will trigger the relief valve to open and drain some water out into the pipe it is attached to until the pressure or temperature reaches the optimal level by adding cold water into the tank.
WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR WATER DISCHARGING FROM RELIEF VALVE?
There can be two reasons why the pipe attached to the relief valve starts to leak –
- The relief valve is triggered to open because of excess temperature or pressure.
- The relief valve is faulty, not of the right size, or the valve is not properly sealed. The valve can often get stuck and will remain open, allowing water to drain out continuously.
Both the above scenarios should be taken seriously. If you find that the relief valve is being used too frequently, that might cause the leak; there must be some problem with the water heater as it is causing unsafe pressure or temperature inside it.
If the problem is the relief valve, it needs to be repaired or replaced right away to ensure it is doing its job efficiently.
HOW TO FIX THE WATER HEATER’S RELIEF VALVE?
Irrespective of the reason for water leaking from the relief valve, you need to get it inspected by a professional. Delaying may lead to further damage to your water heater and can turn into a fire hazard. The professionals can confirm the source of the leak and assess if the relief valve can be fixed or be replaced. They can have the relief valve cleaned and adjusted to ensure it is working efficiently and does not cause any more leaks.
Water heaters need regular maintenance and testing to ensure they are working properly. By checking the water heater yourself or hiring a professional to help you stay in front of any concern, you can extend the life of your water heater and prevent leaks that can cause more damage than you can imagine.
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