Need help with sound of water flowing in water heater pipe

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Old 08-09-19, 05:42 PM
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Exclamation Need help with sound of water flowing in water heater pipe

Hi
I'm new here and clueless of water heaters. All of a sudden I started hearing what sounds like water flowing from the wall in the water heater. I shut off electricity to the water heater. That did nothing. I shut off both cold valve and main valve at the same time and that did not stop the sound either. I put my ear to all three pipes and the one circled in the image with the pressure valve is the one that sounds like water is flowing through it. I had a plumber come out and he said it might be a leak in the slab but since I live in a condo I would need maintenance to look at it. Maintenance came out and said they don't hear or see anything. I have no clue what to do next. I just want reassurance that my water heater will not put me and my family in danger or my apt won't get flooded. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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Last edited by PJmax; 08-09-19 at 07:37 PM. Reason: resized/labeled picture
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Old 08-09-19, 06:19 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

The valve in the center of the tank is the T&P (temperature and pressure) valve.

As far as I know ..... it can't be piped away into a wall like like that. The pipe should come to the side of the unit and straight down where it's visible. I know it must always be pitched down and with that type of valve the end of the discharge line is supposed to be visible so you know when it's discharging.

I'd imagine if you had a plumper there..... he'd know if that was plumbed incorrectly and if it was blowing off.
Sounds more like a slab leak.
 
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Old 08-09-19, 06:40 PM
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thanks for your reply. this condo is pretty old and built in the 70's so back then they probably didn't care much about what the plumbing looked like or building codes as long as it worked. It's in Florida by the way
 
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Old 08-09-19, 07:40 PM
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I needed to resize your picture so while I was doing that I added some labeling.

If you turned the house main off...... the leak would have to be before the main valve. That would eliminate the water heater or the hot water line as a source of trouble.

If the house main was off...... the problem would be between that main valve and the water meter.
 
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Old 08-10-19, 02:51 AM
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You're awesome! Thank you for that. To make sure I turned it off correctly. Which way do I turn it? To the left or the right to shut if off? I want to try again to see if I did it right. I think when I "shut it off" I turned it to the right. Also, when "shutting it off" I didn't turn on any faucets because I didn't want to damage anything. What are the correct steps for that? Do I shut off both main and cold and turn on faucets or only main and turn on faucet? I googled and googled but there are no clear answers. I searched here also and there are a few steps given but I'm still not sure especially with how it's setup. Your help is appreciated! Thank you again!
 
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Old 08-10-19, 03:12 AM
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When looking at the top of the knob you close it by turning clockwise. To open the valve turn it counter clockwise.

When turning off the water to the house/condo or to just the water heater you don't have to open any other faucets. Which valve you close depends on what you are trying to do. Turning off the purple house main it should turn off all water to your condo and you should hear no water flowing. If you leave the house main open and close the green cold water shutoff then your condo will still have cold water at all the faucets but no hot water. Closing the cold water shutoff is good for finding the source of the leak because if you close that valve and the sound of running water stops then you've narrowed down the source of the problem to something in the hot water system.
 
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Old 08-10-19, 03:35 AM
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great! Thank you. Looks like when closing the main valve the sound is still there. Then when I reopened the main and closed the cold, the running water sound is still there too. Is there a specific amount of time I should leave the cold closed? Or should the sound go away as soon as it would be closed?
 
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Old 08-10-19, 03:45 PM
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Hi, The House main in your picture should shut off all the water to only your unit that includes your water heater. Turn off that house main in your picture then go in your unit and open some faucets to make sure the house main is closed . you may get a little water that is draining the pipes. Now with the water off and drained can you still hear the Water ? If no then it problem is probably yours. If yes then the problem is in another unit. The sound of running water can travel a long way.
Good Luck Woodbutcher
 
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Old 08-13-19, 10:30 AM
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I have seen T&P valves piped to the outside like that before. I don't know if it's code-compliant, but the idea is that if the T&P valve leaks or releases, all that water gets shot outside and not onto your floor... which is probably a good thing.

I like the troubleshooting advice you've received thus far. If you confirm that it is the T&P valve, it's not surprising as they can tend to leak after some time... or if the pressure in the system is abnormally high. Most of the time it is a pretty simple process to replace the valve if needed.

What's on the other side of that wall? That T&P valve should be going straight outside - probably a small piece of copper pipe sticking out of the wall with maybe an elbow on it. You should be able to see water dripping out of it if the T&P valve is actually causing some water to escape.
 
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Old 08-14-19, 09:21 AM
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If you turn the house main valve off...... wait for five minutes or open any faucet to relieve the system pressure. The sound of running water..... if it's in your plumbing.... should stop almost immediately. Once there is no system pressure.... there is no running water.
 
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