Water heater T&P relief valve - after testing - water doesn't stop

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Anon5656

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Hi, I've a Bradford white gas water heater in my house. The heater is about 9 years old. I've not done any maintenance on the heater till now. I live in Washington state.

Sequence of events
1. Before leaving for a short vacation, I turned the water heater to pilot mode.
2. Within a day since vacation, the water pressure shot up from 55psi to 105psi.
3. We are back from vacation, and the pressure is back to normal, after I opened one of the water taps, thereby relieving the water pressure. Now, I've started investigating the reason for the jump in water pressure.
4. I tested the Thermal expansion tank, and it seems good, since it is releasing air (no water coming out) from its valve.
5. Next, I'm testing the T&P valve in water heater as per here:

6. I pulled the T&P valve, and water started coming out of drain pipes. But also, water squirted on the T&P valve itself, which I was not expecting. Is that normal?
7. Now, the hot water draining from T&P valve's drain pipes doesn't stop. The water is coming out of drain pipes for the last 2 hours and still draining. I was expecting this to stop.

Can you please suggest, on how to troubleshoot and fix this issue, where the drain pipes from T&P valve doesn't stop flushing water?


Model M45036FBN Bradford white corporation
Manual: https://s3.amazonaws.com/bradfordwh...prior_naeca_archived_servicemanual_44943d.pdf
 

Terry

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The T&P will need to be replaced. They are not a forever thing, especially when you've opened the valve to check.

tp_2.jpg
 

Anon5656

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Hi Terry, thank you so much for your response. Couple of follow-up questions, and would love to get your help.
1. Do you think the jump in water pressure in my home (while out on vacation), is related to a failed T&P relieve valve in the water heater?
2. I was of the impression that I'm supposed to test the T&P relief value, on a regular basis. Do you agree? and do you think that my testing of the T&P relief valve broke it?
3. Is this a simple DIY to replace the T&P valve? Anything to be careful about, other then testing it for normal operation afterwards? I see it is available in HD https://www.homedepot.com/p/Cash-Ac...k-MNPT-Inlet-FNPT-Outlet-23577-0150/203164748
 

Terry

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Often regular testing is advised, but always have a replacement on hand if you do. I have a tendency to ignore them, knowing if I touch it, I might have to replace it.

Going to 95 could be fairly standard in Kirkland. And you have 9 year old parts. Springs can get old.
I finally added a PRV, as many of the homes on my street have been replacing water lines to the homes.

pressure-gauge-ashcroft.jpg
 

Reach4

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1,2,3: Normal IMO. I base that on literature from thermal expansion tank makers. I am not a pro, and some others will disagree with me. I have presented my case.

4. That test would only be meaningful if the Schrader valve was down.

5, was unclear to me.
6. I definitely agree that you need a new T&P valve. When you lift the lever, water should comp out of the drain pipe, and water should stop when you release the lever. While you are at the store, see if the water stops if you push the center down, and if not, turn off the water to the WH. Doing that test at least annually is important. Do use PTFE and/or pipe compound on the thread. Do expect to need your big wrench or locking pliers to undo the old T&P, and if you don't have the big tool. shop for that too. I think the https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbil...or-Tank-Type-Water-Heaters-EB11956B/204834466 is junk..... because it leaked for me. I ended up using the old galvanized. The T&P discharge is one of the only good things to use galvanized pipe for plumbing-wise. The other is as a temporary nipple while you measure and get the right brass one.
 
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Cliffyk

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It is not unusual in that sort of plunger operated valve, when not cycled for extended periods, for accumulated corrosion and other "crud" to encrust the plunger stem and valve seat--then when it does get cycled the crud binds up the stem and fouls the seat preventing the valve from closing solidly.

Also it is not unusual for such domestic (I.e. "happy home-owner") TPR valves to have minimal or even no upper stem seal, as they generally only open during testing or when the "it" has hit the fan; so, when they do open water sprays everywhere.

Sometimes manual, deliberate and rapid cycling of the valve will break up the fouling and re-seat the valve--pull it open and let it snap hut a few times...
 
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Anon5656

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9771E5EA-FC1D-4634-A85E-5E8E6D59E76F.jpeg


Hi, I’m unable to turn the pvc drain pipe (white pipe) so that I can detach the drain connection. Is it supposed to turn, so that I can detach and reattach it in place? I wonder if it has been sealed in place. Any suggestions on how to approach it?
There is a suggestion to cut the pvc valve and use sharkbite to connect it up, but I’m worried that I’m going to mess it up.

Thanks
 

Jeff H Young

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cut it. you'll have to piece it together after with a coupling glue or sharkbite
 
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Reach4

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It looks like the thermal expansion tank would interfere with the operation of the T&P valve. If so, remove the tank, and when you put it back, use piping that lifts the tank higher. Also, it is best to not use galvanized, but instead brass or bronze or stainless.

Once the tank is off, you will have better access. If you cannot get that drain tube out, saw it off, and put a new one onto the new T&P valve.
 

Anon5656

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Thank you, Terry, Reach4, Jeff, Cliffy, for your inputs.

I was able to successfully change the T&P valve! :) I’m so happy that the job is done, given it is so hard to find an available plumber.

I ended up cutting the CPVC drain pipe using a pipe cutter tool, and used sharkbite to connect the drain pipe again. Below are my instructions if helpful to anyone.




31576673-A051-45E7-88B8-646B6449C2DF.jpeg
 

Reach4

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Good. I would have turned the WH to vacation, and left the pilot burning.

Was the thermal expansion tank not in the way?
 
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