Possible Water Heater Discharge??

Old 10-24-13, 09:21 AM
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Possible Water Heater Discharge??

I have a pipe on the side of my house that recently has been discharging a water on often (see picture). I am assuming the pipe connects to our 13 year old water heater. Also, I can hear the water flowing from that brass pipe and valve, I am thinking that is where the water is coming form and going to that outlet on the side of the house, you can hear the water flowing in the pipe but we don't have any water on in the house.

What causes this? I was thinking maybe the T&P Valve is bad or possibly it needs a new the expansion tank.

Any ideas?

P.S - sorry about spelling, as I am posing via smartphone.
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Last edited by CWEH2008; 10-24-13 at 10:10 AM.
Old 10-24-13, 05:06 PM
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AFAIK, the pressure release pipe on a hot water heater, should be straight pipe with no turns in it. I don't see why it would go outside. Secondly, if the tank is 13 years old, it maybe telling you something.
Old 10-24-13, 06:03 PM
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It also should be a clear pipe so you can see it leaking and never ever should have a valve on it!!!
Shut the incoming cold water valve off on the water heater and see what happens.
No shut off, then there's another issue to deal with.
Old 10-24-13, 07:42 PM
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No problems in having turns in the discharge piping from a T&P valve PROVIDED that the additional pipe friction does not cause a "back pressure" in the piping. In my area the discharge line is REQUIRED to go outside for discharge.

If it is not the T&P valve then it could be a pressure only safety valve on the main water supply. Some water heater installations use such a valve set only slightly higher than nominal city water pressure for the area instead of an expansion tank. These safety valves will periodically release pressure due to thermal expansion and as a result will eventually erode the seat/disc to the point of allowing a constant leak. Also, a malfunctioning pressure regulating valve (PRV) could be allowing the water pressure to climb above the setting of this valve (if fitted) or even the water heater's T&P valve.

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