New Water Heater Overflowing, Old One Didn't

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by jim_stasz, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. jim_stasz

    jim_stasz New Member

    Apr 8, 2009
    My newly installed (Lowe's) gas, 50 gal water heater (whirlpool) is leaking water out the over flow pipe. I guess leaking isn't the correct term, it seems to be working, but why is it over flowing. My previous water heater (same house) never did this, also a 50gal, gas. Lowe's has sent 2 people over and each has come up with a different reason, but I am still not buying it. One said the house pressure regulator value needs to be replaced. (Then why did it not do this on the original water heater). The second guy Lowe's sent said we needed an expansion tank installed. (Again, why didn't I need one with the original water heater?). I am wonder if the new water heater is faulty and if I am getting the run around from Lowe's.

  2. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

    Dec 2, 2005
    Plumbing Designer
    SW Florida
    Overflow pipe?? What pipe is leaking, the T&P?
    Lowes employees are hit and miss, usually miss in the information they dispense.

    Can you post a picture?
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  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    The old heater may have had a T&P that wasn't working...the new one is working...You may have a bad PRV...this can be checked with a pressuer gauge...if you have a PRV you need an expansion tank...

    PRV = Pressure Reducing Valve

    I am sorry to hear you bought a Whirlpool...if you chech here

    You will find 100s or 1000s of posts as to why is was not a good choice...

    It is also possible that you have a bad new T&P valve...

    T&P Valve looking at two sides.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2009
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    If it is the valve on top that has a lever on it, it is a safety valve Temperature and Pressure (T&P) relief valve. There are three reasons they can leak: defective/sticking, the temperature is too high, or the pressure is too high.

    You'd probably notice if the temp was too high, but pressure is another issue.

    When you use a lot of the hot water in the tank, it gets replaced by the incoming cold water. When heated, that water expands. If you plumbing isn't set up to accommodate for that expansion, it will leak out the weakest link, which may be the T&P could just be doing its job.

    The easiest way to verify that is to buy a gauge (about $10) with a tattle-tale peak reading hand and attach it to the plumbing (you could use the drain valve from the WH as most come with a hose type connector on them). Leave it 24-hours and see what pressure peaks at. You might be surprised - the highs often occur in the middle of the night when nobody in the system is using water, but it can also peak after a large use of hot water because of the expansion.

    T&P Valve looking at two sides.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2009
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