TPR oddly piped - code?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by stephenson, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. stephenson

    stephenson Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Hi All,

    Just replaced a gas water heater with electric - short story of why convert to electric:
    1. Gas in this area (Pensacola, FL) is very expensive compared to most areas
    2. About $18 a month of overhead fees to maintain the access
    3. Gas Water Heater is the only gas appliance (other than useless fireplace)
    4. Electricity is more fairly priced here
    5. Electric company paid for the new electric water heater

    I knew the gas heater had an oddly piped TPR pipe, but didn't "test" it until I installed the new heater - test in this case was simply leaving the vent open a bit too long during the initial water fill.

    The photo shows the story - the pipe runs into the wall just under the wood floor of the air handler so ya can't see were is goes from there. I believe it simply dumps into the area as the damp concrete shows just outside the wall ...

    Given this is an accurate assessment, would it pass code? (I could find no other examples of this)

    Thanks!

    HWH Photo to Post.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2017
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    I would think that there is a drain for the evaporator on the HVAC unit which the pipe is or was plumbed to.
     
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  4. stephenson

    stephenson Member

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    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Cacher,

    Yeah - thought that originally, as well, but the HVAC condensate drain is completely independent ... note how the water has seeped through/under the veritcal concrete area ... was larger immediate following the "venting" of lots of water behind it ... has gotten smaller with time.
     
  5. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Where I am it is an accepted practice to allow the discharge to go to the floor if there is a drain for it (common in a basement). In warmer climates, discharging out aa sidewall to the outdoors is pretty common.
    My preference is to have is discharge to the location where is will be noticed because any discharge from it IS a sign of a problem that needs to be addressed in short order.
     
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    To be code compliant, the end of the pipe MUST be visible so any leakage is visible and to verify that no one has tampered with the outlet by capping or plugging it.
     
  7. stephenson

    stephenson Member

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    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Yep, think so, too ...here's a quick summary article, but net is that mine needs to be cut where it turns to go into the wall, then extended to not more than 6" above the floor ...water heater is in ground level concrete floored garage, so don't need a drain.

    https://www.nachi.org/tpr-valves-discharge-piping.htm

    Concur?
     
  8. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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  9. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida USCG escorting cruise ship leaving Port Everglades

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    That drain line may go under the garage floor, maybe in the same trench with the A/C drain pipe to somewhere outside but it should never come to the surface or drip out of the wall. I would cut the pipe and bring it to about 8 inches off the garage floor. Both of my homes in Palm Beach and Orange counties the water heaters are in the garage with the this pipe right at the base of the water heater. Like it was mentioned above, you would want to see any discharge from the TPR valve should a problem arise.

    You're right about switching to electric. Florida has fairly low prices for electric power. Electric water heaters are quite reliable and last longer than gas units. I estimate that even when my kids were living at home that the water heater may added no more than $80 a month to the electric bill. Right now with just my wife my electric bill for my Palm Beach County home average $150 a month and that was with the AC running most of the year and a pool pump running average 5 hours a day, 8-10 hours in the summer. I sold that home and now I live in Orange County and the electric usage is less, mainly because this newer home is better insulated and no pool.
     
  10. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

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    you should have installed the heater on bricks in a pan and simply piped the t+p down into the pan
    that would have given you more options like a hose adaptor on the pan if ever necessary....
     

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