Water Heater leaks at very specific time of night

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Reach4

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Why do you think the code doesn't apply?
I did not mean to imply that an expansion tank was not required. What I mean to say is that I don't know of a section of IPC 2012 that would require one. It is hard to prove a negative. But the logic that says a bypass PRV might be sufficient makes sense, as long as we ensure nobody will be taking 2:50am showers.

It's moot for nesappa because he actually has an expansion tank.
 

wwhitney

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California? Sure. In Chattanooga or nearby? I suspect there is not such a requirement, but I don't have a cite.
In the 2012 IPC it's 607.3. That only calls for a "device for controlling pressure," so it need not necessarily be an expansion tank.


Cheers, Wayne
 

jadnashua

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A bypass in the PRV is just one more part to fail...if your incoming pressure got to 150psi, the system pressure would have to be HIGHER than that to push back out...the T&P valve would have opened probably before that. Will it work, yes, but it may never actually open and do anything, and likely costs a bit more for that feature you probably can't actually use.

If you're plumbing in a new PRV, you might consider putting in some test Ts and maybe install pressure gauges before and after the PRV.
 

Jeff H Young

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I did not mean to imply that an expansion tank was not required. What I mean to say is that I don't know of a section of IPC 2012 that would require one. It is hard to prove a negative. But the logic that says a bypass PRV might be sufficient makes sense, as long as we ensure nobody will be taking 2:50am showers.

It's moot for nesappa because he actually has an expansion tank.
Good points Reach 4 , I recommend the tank but I don't think its safety its more for damage possibly having 150 psi in the system, shortening the life of water heater as well. so omitting it (x tank) not the worst thing you could do and they too can fail but even adding a few more joints to the system and a tank with a limited life span.
 

nesappa

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*Update 01/29/2022:

New PRV is installed. Feel good about the install itself as orientation is correct and I have checked for leaks and nothing appears at the unions around the PRV.

But, PSI is reading at 91 PSI at the outdoor faucet right after the PRV.
A bit disconcerting for a PRV that has a range of 25-75, and is supposed to be factory set at 50 PSI.

I suppose I will wait and see what happens at 3:00 AM unless you guys have any suggestions for an action I should take prior.

If i get discharge tonight, I suppose I could adjust the PRV down then check again tomorrow.

A bit nervous to say the least as everything is new at this point and if I happened upon a lemon PRV, thats gonna be a difficult theory to test, awaiting and wresting another PRV in with my fingers crossed
 

nesappa

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A bypass in the PRV is just one more part to fail...if your incoming pressure got to 150psi, the system pressure would have to be HIGHER than that to push back out...the T&P valve would have opened probably before that. Will it work, yes, but it may never actually open and do anything, and likely costs a bit more for that feature you probably can't actually use.

If you're plumbing in a new PRV, you might consider putting in some test Ts and maybe install pressure gauges before and after the PRV.
I may end up pluming in another PRV, who knows at this point, and if I do I suppose I would add T's and gauges before and after. Thats how the "this old house" video showed during repair and I liked the idea, but was hoping to remedy the problem and make future plans rather than go all out on this trip
 

Reach4

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But, PSI is reading at 91 PSI at the outdoor faucet right after the PRV.
A bit disconcerting for a PRV that has a range of 25-75, and is supposed to be factory set at 50 PSI.
You are sure the outdoor faucet is after the PRV?

Dribble water and try to adjust the pressure down.

A garden hose is a good way to move the pressure gauge to a place that is easier to read while you adjust.
 

nesappa

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You are sure the outdoor faucet is after the PRV?

Dribble water and try to adjust the pressure down.

A garden hose is a good way to move the pressure gauge to a place that is easier to read while you adjust.
Yes it is definitely after the PRV.

I will dribble and adjust as necessary.
Will likely be tomorrow at this point as I am out of time today but I wont worry too much until I can adjust it down.
Got it on the water hose makes sense.


Thanks,
 

Reach4

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I will dribble and adjust as necessary.
Will likely be tomorrow at this point as I am out of time today but I wont worry too much until I can adjust it down.
Got it on the water hose makes sense.
Note that replacing washers in hoses periodically can reduce the leaking that hoses often do at the connections.
 

nesappa

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*Update 01/30/2022:

No discharge this morning post new PRV installation.
Per Reach4 post above I will dribble and adjust the PSI, maybe down to 75 at the facet.

I ll be checking the PRV again sometime this week to ensure no leaks at any of my unions and I will snap a pic and upload here to finish this one out. Maybe good reference material for the next guy in Chattanooga scratching his head.

Per a previous suggestion I will also likely replace the T&P on the WH since this one has got a significant work out.
Expansion tank is secure with wood underneath to support weight. I might redesign this at some point. I will probably solder a fitting onto this one so I can thread it directly. I can solder okay, I just like the convenience of the sharkbites.

We'll see how long this PRV lasts. Hope to get 5 years out of it.

Thanks again guys!
 

nesappa

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*Update 02/24/2022:

I have updated the connection at my expansion tank per a previous suggestion . Now we have threads so this should be secure.

I am having leaking again at night as of a couple of nights ago (not sure of specific time yet, but this time is was earlier around 12:30 AM rather than the previous 3:00 AM, weird). Surely my new PRV is not failing already, but im not sure what else it could be. I will collect some more data and if there is anyone left willing to help here I would appreciate it.

I did turn the water off at the main last night, and no leak. So this suggests pressure is getting through the PRV but maybe more data is needed idk.

I need to call the water company and see if there are any known issues before I proceed too far.

Someone mentioned before stepping down the pressure with two PRVs. This might be something to consider, but I might go ahead and call a pro because I have replaced a lot of things and they might have a better product or something.

thumbnail_IMG_1900.jpg
thumbnail_IMG_1901.jpg
 

Jeff H Young

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You might still have a lot of unknowns and wont re read 5 pages but, incoming pressure to house on an hourly basis . you say you set prv at 75 psi thats a bit high . T and p valves areent perfect Ive had bad ones brandnew. anyway cant really re hash everything you are loaded with info. keep us updated we all have simple stuff like this that catch us off guard in solving easily
 

John Gayewski

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*Update 02/24/2022:

I have updated the connection at my expansion tank per a previous suggestion . Now we have threads so this should be secure.

I am having leaking again at night as of a couple of nights ago (not sure of specific time yet, but this time is was earlier around 12:30 AM rather than the previous 3:00 AM, weird). Surely my new PRV is not failing already, but im not sure what else it could be. I will collect some more data and if there is anyone left willing to help here I would appreciate it.

I did turn the water off at the main last night, and no leak. So this suggests pressure is getting through the PRV but maybe more data is needed idk.

I need to call the water company and see if there are any known issues before I proceed too far.

Someone mentioned before stepping down the pressure with two PRVs. This might be something to consider, but I might go ahead and call a pro because I have replaced a lot of things and they might have a better product or something.

View attachment 81379View attachment 81380
Turn your prv down to 50. No reason for more. Pretty much ever. A sprinkler system should be separate from the prv.
 

Jeff H Young

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I see no need for 75 psi. for house pressure. as for reducing for irrigation not normally is it reduced . but I have seen separate PRV on irrigation many times though its not the norm .
 

Reach4

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Turn your PRV down to 50, and lower the air precharge on the thermal expansion tank to the same pressure.

If you don't want 50 psi, consider setting both to 70 psi. You can experiment on what works best for you. But when you adjust the PRV, also adjust the air precharge. Precharge is set when the water pressure is zero (or at least well be low the precharge pressure).

While adjusting a PRV lower, dribble some water from a faucet.
 

Master Plumber Mark

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I mentioned this before in another post

you really need to put some kind of support under that thermal expansion tank...
anything will do, like a 2x4 block wedged between the top of the heater and the bottom
of the threm tank... maybe a brick... it dont matter what...... just something to take the
weight stress off those shark bite fittings holding the weight...

If all else fails to stop the weeping,
you might also want to consider a 5 gallon therm tank instead of a 2.5 tank...
 

nesappa

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Here is a final pic of the new PRV below.
I went ahead and replaced the T&P and it stopped the new intermittent leaking.
About 3 weeks of no leaks so I feel like we got it complete.

I will add a block under the expansion tank to support thee weight.

Thanks
Nick
Chattanooga
thumbnail_IMG_1931.jpg
 
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