Your hot water heater pressure relief valve is an important component of both electric and gas hot water heaters. This valve is designed to allow water and steam to escape from the tank if the temperature gets too hot or if pressure gets too high, releasing some of the pressure before a dangerous explosion can occur.
While it is a critical safety feature, a leaking hot water heater pressure relief valve can be cause for concern. If you have noticed a leak from your water heater’s pressure relief valve, you can troubleshoot the issue yourself in a few ways:
- Check the Temperature
The temperature of your hot water heater could be causing the temperature and pressure relief valve to do its job, resulting in a small discharge of steam or water. Check the thermostat to determine the temperature setting of your water heater and verify this temperature by running hot water at a fixture until it gets hot. Use a meat thermometer to read the actual temperature of this water, ensuring that it is set at a safe 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
- Test the Valve
Ensure that the valve is functioning properly by lifting the arm on the top of the valve and seeing if water comes out. When you release the valve, it should shut immediately and stop the flow of water. If the arm does not lift and does not snap back down immediately, it should be replaced. There may be debris or rust preventing the pressure relief valve from functioning correctly.
- Replace the Valve
Sometimes your leaking hot water pressure relief valve can be fixed simply by replacing the valve. This easy task requires you to drain the tank to a level below the valve, then opening it to release any residual pressure. The valve can then be removed slowly using a wrench to turn it counter-clockwise. Replace the valve with one of the same pressure rating by screwing it in clockwise and tightening it with a wrench.
- It’s Still Leaking
If you replace the valve and it still continues to leak, this signals a greater problem. A frequently triggered valve means that your hot water heater is consistently overheating your water or building up too much pressure within the tank. It’s best to call in a professional to determine why your water heater is getting too hot or pressure is getting too high so it can be repaired or replaced if necessary.
Not sure how to fix your hot water heater pressure relief valve on your own? We’re here to help! The experienced water heater specialists at Evam Canada are on-call to repair any leaks 24/7. Don’t hesitate to call us for your emergency water heater repairs at 1-905-624-5544.