TPR valve leak?

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Old 01-06-20, 04:33 PM
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TPR valve leak?

Long story short - doing water heater maintenance for the first time. Checked pressure, TPR valve, and drained some water a bit to flush it out. Now I have an ever so slight leak from my TPR valve. Does it just need time to stop, or is this a problem? I have a bucket under it right now but itís been doing this for maybe 10-15 minutes now. Here is a video.

https://youtu.be/nA0EiGuNiAQ
 
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Old 01-06-20, 05:42 PM
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You said you checked the pressure, what was it? Is this the normal pressure or was it checked after a heat cycle of the water heater. Usually a leaking TPR valve indicates high pressure after a heat cycle when there is no thermal expansion tank in the system, do you have one? Do you have a pressure reducing valve? If so, who is manufacturer and what is model number? Has your water meter been changed recently?

Some pressure reducing valves and many new water meters have check valves that make your home piping a closed system so it is normal to see water pressures rise significantly after a heating cycle. The higher pressure often results in the TPR valve passing water through it, that is it's job. The cure is to install a thermal expansion tank.

Another possibility is that when you checked the TPR valve some sediment is now keeping it from sealing properly. The first thing to do is to check your water pressure both before and after a water heating cycle.
 
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Old 01-06-20, 06:41 PM
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Hi CasualJoe, thanks for the in depth response. I'll do my best to answer (I'm still a beginner in terms of home maintenance so I apologize in advance).

Water pressure was about 45 PSI, which seems normal as we haven't noticed any changes lately. I don't believe this was after a heat cycle. I don't have any of that other stuff from what I see. Basically I tested the TPV valve by flipping up the handle and it took me about 20-30 seconds to get the water off because I didn't realize how to flip it back off. The water was a nice orange-brown during that time but it's clear now that it's dripping. It's a very slow drip as you can tell from the video but it's still going. I tried flipping it off and on a few times just before posting here to see if there was any sediment blocking it as you suggested. It still looks like it's doing the same thing as in the video though.
 
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Old 01-07-20, 03:34 AM
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I also have had this, usually the dripping stops after a couple hours.
I no longer use the TPR for a flush.
I use the drain.

You could try the following.

1. Drain out some water using the drain.

2.. Shut off the cold supply. Then run some water out of a faucet (if possible lower than the top of the tank).
Then turn on the cold supply and slowly shut off the faucet.

As A prcaution I always flip the breaker off when doing anything to a hot water tank.
 
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Old 01-07-20, 07:15 AM
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I NEVER touch the T&P valve. Once you open it it is likely to leak... requiring replacement.

When flushing a heater I leave everything on, power, gas and water. Then I just open the drain valve. The water pressure helps with the flushing and since the heater stays full of water there is not need to turn it off. The only "gotcha" is if the drain valve clogs.
 
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Old 01-07-20, 07:24 AM
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I tend to agree with PD. But I'll go one step further. I never use the cheap plastic drain valve. Once opened they always leak. If and when you use the T&P valve don't just slowly flip it on. Flip with a quick snap and close it the same way.

My tanks last on the average 15 to 20 years and I seldom or never flush it out.
 
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Old 01-07-20, 09:51 AM
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Thanks everyone. I checked it again this morning - not a lot of water, but enough to make me drain it again. I cut off the water, turned off the pilot, threw on a hose, and opened the T&P with the drain. I then reversed it all and no issues now. I must have had something get stuck in there that was holding it open slightly. I'll stick to the drain valve, the book I'm using is a bit outdated so that could be part of the problem. Trying to get more handy so I appreciate all the help.
 
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Old 01-09-20, 04:33 PM
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When I drain a water heater I never touch the TPR valve, but will open a hot faucet somewhere in the house to allow air into the system so the tank will drain.
 
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Old 01-13-20, 07:59 AM
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Thanks all. So I've kept a bucket underneath it for the past few days just to monitor it and there is still a slight amount of water coming out of it (maybe 2" in a 5 gallon bucket over the week). Guess I need to check it out again.
 
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Old 01-14-20, 06:53 PM
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(maybe 2" in a 5 gallon bucket over the week)
How do you get a 5 gallon bucket under it? It's supposed to be piped to within 6" of the floor.
 
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Old 01-15-20, 05:07 AM
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supposed to be piped to within 6" of the floor.
Is that code? I have a 5 gal bucket on mine. How do you not make a mess if you need to check the valve?
 
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Old 01-15-20, 05:26 AM
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You can try popping the T&P valve open and shut. If you're having a good day it might stop leaking. Otherwise replace it with a new one. When older they very often leak if they've been opened.

Yes, code states that the tube must be less than 6" from the floor. This is to help prevent scalding if someone is nearby when the valve opens.
 
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Old 01-15-20, 05:55 AM
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Makes sense as to why, but seems like overkill on the side of safety and a big inconvenience.
 
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Old 01-15-20, 05:10 PM
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I had a plastic painter's pail under mine for a couple years till I finally got around to installing my new water heater with a thermal expansion tank. I just had to remember to empty it twice a week.
 
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