The temperature pressure release (TPR) valve is one of the most important safety devices on your water heater. You may need Houston water heater repair for your TPR valve if you notice it’s leaking or malfunctioning. Otherwise, you could end up with an exploding water heater.
The TPR Valve Stops Your Water Heater from Turning Into a Bomb
Now, it may sound dramatic to say that a small valve stops your water heater from exploding, but it’s completely true. When pressure builds up in your water heater tank, it can quickly turn into a missile, launching through your roof and blowing out the side of your house. While this is rare, it can happen. If you don’t believe us, there are several pictures and videos online if you look up “exploding water heater.”
That’s why it’s important to make sure you have a functioning TPR valve, or get Houston water heater repair ASAP if yours isn’t working properly.
This valve actually helps relieve pressure when it starts to get too high inside the tank. In most cases, TPR valves open to release pressure and prevent an exploding or burst water heater tank when pressure reaches about 150 psi or 210°F.
Now, this is usually well before you’re ever at risk of your water heater becoming a missile. An episode of MythBusters, “Exploding Water Heater,” did a test and noticed that the water heater exploded at around 350 psi.
However, if your TPR valve isn’t working properly, there’s a chance that the tank could reach these pressures. Instead, make sure to take care of your TPR valve to improve safety for you and your family.
If you need even more reason for making sure your temperature pressure release valve is working, it’s required by building code and you could face serious fines or other legal troubles if you don’t have this important safety feature on your water heater.
Signs you Need Houston Water Heater Repair for the TPR Valve
So, how do you know when you need Houston water heater repair for your TPR valve? There are a few signs to look out for. These valves typically fail because of mineral buildup, rust, or corrosion. We generally recommend replacing them every five years or so.
Houston Water Heater Repair for a Leaking TPR Valve
One of the most common signs that your TPR valve is faulty is there’s water leaking from the valve’s drain pipe. If you notice water coming from this drain pipe, then there’s two explanations. First, your TPR valve is working and your water heater is getting too hot or there’s high pressure. The second is that your TPR valve has failed in the open position.
Either way, if you notice leaking, it’s important to shut the water supply to your water heater off and turn off the power source, whether electric or gas. This can help the water heater cool down. Then, call your Houston plumbing company.
If the tank has too much pressure, then you may need Houston water heater repair. If the TPR valve has failed, then you’ll need a replacement TPR valve. Either way, if the valve is leaking, it’s important to get help from a licensed plumber.
Failed TPR Test
Another sign that your TPR valve needs repair is if it fails a test. You should be testing your TPR valve regularly, at minimum once a year. We generally recommend doing this once a month or or at least every time you flush your water heater. Frequent testing can help you find a malfunctioning TPR valve early.
*Hot water and pressure will drain out of the TPR valve when testing, so wear protective clothing and stand back. If you’re not comfortable doing this, have a professional plumber test the valve for you.*
To test your water heater’s TPR valve, follow these steps:
- Locate the TPR valve, typically near the top of the water heater. It should be attached to an overflow pipe that leads down and away from the tank.
- Lightly touch the overflow pipe. It might be warm, but shouldn’t be hot to the touch. If it is, your TPR valve may be leaking or malfunctioning. Call your Houston plumber. If not, follow the next step.
- Ensure there’s a drain pan under the overflow pipe. If not, place a large bucket underneath the pipe.
- Lift the TPR valve lever until it’s vertical. If you can’t lift the lever with slight pressure or water doesn’t start flowing, call your plumber for TPR valve replacement.
Now, if water keeps dripping out of the overflow pipe after the test, try wiggling the lever around. Some debris may be stuck in there and may not let it seat properly. However, if it keeps leaking after a few wiggles, then you may need Houston water heater repair for the valve.
The TPR Valve or Overflow Pipe is Missing
If you notice your water heater doesn’t have a TPR valve or an overflow pipe, you could be putting your home, yourself, and your family at risk. Remember, this is one of the most important safety features on your water heater and is required by building codes. So, have your Houston plumber install one for you.
If your valve doesn’t have an overflow pipe connected, then when the TPR valve engages, it could leak water all over your floor and lead to water damage. If this is missing, then you’ll need to have your plumber connect a drain pipe. Drain pipes should be rated for hot water, usually copper or CPVC.
How Will My Houston Plumbing Company Fix My TPR Valve?
When your TPR valve isn’t working, you’ll need to replace it. Replacing a TPR valve is generally inexpensive for both parts and labor. When you call your plumber for Houston water heater repair for TPR valve issues, we’ll replace the valve (and the overflow pipe if necessary) with one rated specifically for your water heater. This job doesn’t typically take long and can help keep your home safe from too much pressure building up in your water heater.
Can I do DIY Houston Water Heater Repair for a Faulty TPR Valve?
We generally recommend working with a licensed plumber for Houston water heater repair, as replacing the TPR valve can be potentially dangerous and difficult without proper training. TPR valve threads can become corroded and hard to remove without the right tools. In some cases, you may even need to cut the overflow pipe to remove it if it’s soldered or glued on.
If you’re dead set on replacing the TPR valve yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind. One of the most important is making sure the replacement valve matches the same temperature and pressure rating as the water heater manufacturer recommends. Also, you want to make sure that the valve connection is the same size as the old one, usually ¾”. Also, don’t forget to reattach the overflow pipe and make sure it’s rated for hot water. The pipe should tilt downward for the entire length of the pipe to prevent blockage issues that could prevent pressure from escaping.
No matter how handy you are, many people decide it’s worth working with a Houston plumbing company for peace of mind that TPR valve replacement is right the first time and is safe for your home.
Plumbing Experts for Houston Water Heater Repair and More for Your Home’s Plumbing
When you need affordable, quality plumbing services, call our team at Santhoff Plumbing! We’ve been in business since 1974 and have built a reputation for providing industry-leading services. We’re a family-owned and operated company and guarantee your satisfaction. We’re even available 24/7 when plumbing emergencies strike. Call us today at (713) 360-2185 to set up plumbing services!