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flymike

Small leak

10 posts in this topic

Hello, 

I have very little knowledge on hot water heaters, but I'm trying to fix a small occasional leak on it. Originally I thought it was a condensation issue creating a small puddle of water under the tank from time to time, but this morning I finally saw where the water was coming from. Off of the T/P line there is a 90* elbow with a screw and cap in the corner of and it is dripping from that cap. Can I just try and tighten up the cap and see if that stops the occasional leak, or is this a sign of a bigger problem? I don't want to try and tighten it and hide the problem(if there is one), but I don't want to call a plumber out to just simply tighten it down and be one his way.

IMG_20160119_105546.jpgIMG_20160119_105555.jpg

IMG_20160119_105613.jpg

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Well for one that is not installed properly, the pipe that is attached to the t&p valve should go straight to the floor ending 6 inches from the floor and second if the t&p valve is leaking it needs to be replaced. Why is it leaking is it defective, hi temps in water heater or hi pressure in the water heater. If you are unable to solve any of these you should higher a licensed plumber to resolve these issues. 

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I've known T&P valves to leak for no reason other than they're old or somebody hit the lever and it didn't re-seat properly. I'd attempt changing the valve before calling a plumber. Check your pressure and check the temp anyways.

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1. 2006 and 2012 plumbing code does not allow a trap in that drain line. I don't know if it's changed since 2012 but it seems like a bad idea to have standing water in the Temperature Pressure relief pipe in an unconditioned space.My guess would be that horizontal run is partially if not completely full of water. I can also count at least 5 elbows in the drain line. One t-p manufacturer is Watts, they state more than 4 elbows will reduce the flow capacity of the drain line. Google,  Watts T&P relief valves. 

2. The T-P valve is leaking water, or the other end of that pipe is getting water in it which is doubtful.  If its functioning properly, you have very high water pressure or very high water temperature. If it's not functioning properly, it's just leaking by. 

3. I'm unsure about the tape on the B-vent. That's the 3" metal pipe over the center of the water heater. It allows the products of combustion to vent out of your house. If the tape falls off because the pipe gets hot and cold,and its not screwed together the vent might come loose. 

4. The white tank to the right above the tank is a water heater expansion tank. It very well may need to be checked. If it is not set for the right pressure, it will allow water hammers to bang your pipes and maybe even cause the t-p to drip a little water out. If the expansion tank is not absorbing the hot water expansion correctly, the T-P will drip a little when it heats the water, leaving mineral deposits on the valve, which causes it to drip.   I didn't see any support for that tank in the picture either. 

A licensed plumber should be able test water pressure, test water temperature, check that expansion tank and suggest options for the drain line. He should also be familiar with B-venting. Don't let him  just tighten the cap and walk away without quizzing him about the other issues and get his response on the receipt. Hopefully you can find one that gives free estimate. 

You should also consider calling you local plumbing inspector. You don't have to get him to come out, just ask about the trap in the drain line and the tape on the b vent. You can tell him some guy on the internet said they didn't look right, and if its on the internet it has to be true. If you want their expert opinion, ask them if they'll come out for a courtesy inspection. It might open a can of worms but they are the experts in making sure plumbing meets minimum safety codes.  

If you get it fixed, i'd be interested in what was done. 

 

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Thank you very much for all that info, this is why this site is so awesome  All the issues look like they may be above my basic handy skills, so a call to a plumber will be happening soon. I have found some odd ways things around the house were installed and I thought this might be another. I will definitely report back the solution and what else might be messed up with it. 

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Reporting back what happened with the issue. I used my home warranty to get a plumber out here to check it out. He was here for about 10 min and was on his way. He tightened down the drip cap, and tested the pressure, which he said was fine but on the high end at 56 PSI. I asked him about the setup/install being different that usual and he said it was fine. I almost feel as if I was scammed out of $75 just for them to come out and tighten the cap, I could have easily done that my self. We'll see if that truly was the fix.

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Sorry but what you have set up on the T&P relief valve would not be legal in the state I live in. That is a missile waiting to blast off.

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Home warranties typically don't cover bad installs, but they should take care of the valve if it's bad. Most have callback warranties, so if you continue to have the issue call again (within 30 days) and they shouldn't charge you.

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1 hour ago, acfixerdude said:

but they should take care of the valve if it's bad. Most have callback warranties, so if you continue to have the issue call again (within 30 days) and they shouldn't charge you.

If there is water in the pipe that means the valve has tripped, should have been replaced.

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Hi there! While searching the forum I came to know about this thread! I think that the heater is not installed properly, which causes leaks, calling a plumber will give the solution otherwise you may also take the help from an internet or read some articles on that to find the solution and to know more about the problem. Well small leak may turn into a bigger problem such as water damage in the house. So to avoid it precaution is much necessary. Same happens at my relative' place which turns small leak into bigger problems causes water damage in the house. So, after that, have claim insurance by taking the help from this site and done the repairing.

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