Water dripping out of TPR. Time to replace?

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-26-20, 09:11 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Water dripping out of TPR. Time to replace?

I did read the other recent post about the TPR and this is kind of similar but also kind of different so I thought I would post. I have a gas water heater in the basement and the TPR is piped to discharge into a 5 gallon bucket since there is no floor drain in the basement. About 6 months ago or so, I decided to turn the temp up a little bit because when taking a shower, we pretty much turn it all the way hot to have it just right but we kept it that way so the kids didn't get it too hot. Anyways, right after I did that, it started dripping out of the TPR. I turned it back down to where it was but it still dripped. The tank is 16 years old though so I figured I would replace it anyways, but have been putting it off a little because I wanted to replace the flooring in the room and was going to do that at the same time. The drip was pretty slow and seemed to stop and go, but then it was getting more steady before my wife could pick out some flooring so I just decided to temporarily replace the TPR valve in the meantime. That was fine for a a few days, but then it started dripping again. I did notice that it seems to only drip after water has been used for awhile (after we take showers, run the washing machine, etc.). It probably happens when the tank heats up. If we are away for the weekend or longer and come back, the bucket is dry.

Is there some pressure issue going on here? Should I determine that first before I do anything with the tank? I do no have an expansion tank on this heater and I just picked up a pressure gauge the other day but have not used it yet. Does the pressure gauge need to be hooked up to an outdoor faucet, or can I hook it on an indoor faucet (I do have one that is threaded)? Do I test the hot or cold water or does it matter?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-26-20, 09:25 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,612
Received 318 Votes on 292 Posts
Is there some pressure issue going on here?
What is your water pressure? Hook it up wherever you can. As long as nobody is using water in the house the pressure will be the same at every fixture.
 
  #3  
Old 01-26-20, 09:48 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Do I just hook it up to the faucet and open the faucets? Cold or hot or both? How long do I leave it on to get an accurate reading?
 
  #4  
Old 01-26-20, 01:34 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,612
Received 318 Votes on 292 Posts
Just hook it up to anything. Then turn on the faucet. Hot or cold doesn't matter as long as nobody is using water in the house. When the needle stops moving is when you read the pressure. Should take only a second.
 
  #5  
Old 01-28-20, 03:39 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I just hooked it up to a hose bib outside and it read 60 psi. I decided to leave it on for a while and came back a half hour later and it was at 90 and an hour later it was at 120. I do have a water pressure regulator by my shut off so that must be set at 60 but is that extra pressure coming from expansion? Would getting an expansion tank resolve this problem?
 
  #6  
Old 01-28-20, 05:20 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,612
Received 318 Votes on 292 Posts
It all depends on how your house is plumbed and where you hooked-up the gauge but you should never see 120.

There are two possible source of excessively high water pressure. First is from the supply. Is the city supplying water at too high a pressure? A working pressure reducing valve (PRV) should take care of that. But, PRV are mechanical devices and can fail so you need to find out if you are getting excessive pressure from the water main.

The next source is the water heater. With a PRV or check valve in your water system water can only enter and none can leave. Cold water enters your house and heated by the water heater and expands. Normally the pipes swell and can accommodate it but sometimes it can cause high water pressure. A pressure/expansion tank near the water heater would help in this situation.
 
  #7  
Old 01-28-20, 09:31 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I don't know if this explains anything, but I do have a backflow assembly right next to the water meter (I am not sure why it is there, but I think the previous homeowner may have done developing or something here because I used to get mail for his photography business) and I get that tested every year as required. Inside next to the main shutoff is a pressure reducing valve. I hooked this gauge up to an inside faucet briefly and it read 60 with the hot and cold all the way on but it dripped a little so I did not leave it on too long. I then put it on a hose bib outside at which would have been the farthest point from the water shut off and that read 60 at first but then crept up to 120 an hour later when no water was turned on inside. As soon as I turned on a faucet inside briefly, it went to 60 again. I have a 50 gallon gas water heater with no expansion tank.

Because the pressure is at 60 at first, doesn't that mean that the pressure reducing valve is working and set at 60? I think the city main pressure is pretty high because I have a lawn hydrant out in my yard which I believe does not run through the house (I think it is connected somewhere between the street and the shutoff inside) and that hose has a lot of pressure, way more pressure than the hose bibs that are on the house. Does this sound like because it is a closed system, that pressure is building up when the faucets are off? Is there anything else I should try or test to give you more info?
 
  #8  
Old 01-29-20, 05:42 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,612
Received 318 Votes on 292 Posts
Replace the PRV. It sounds like it's leaking and letting the pressure climb higher than it should.
 
CasualJoe voted this post useful.
  #9  
Old 01-30-20, 10:31 AM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,301
Received 43 Votes on 35 Posts
I agree with replacing the PRV as a start. Then, check the water pressure again when no one is using water. Check it again right after the water heater goes through a normal heating cycle. Some PRVs and some water meters have check valves which would cause the pressure to rise substantially during a normal water heating cycle. If this is the case, you need a thermal expansion tank to be installed.
 
  #10  
Old 02-03-20, 04:40 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I shut off the water to the hot water tank to isolate the cold and hooked the pressure gauge back up and it still rose so it sounds like it is a problem with the PRV. The unregulated water pressure is 120 and that is what the faucet rose to. Will trying to adjust it do any good or do these things just go totally bad when they do?
 

Last edited by vpn33; 02-03-20 at 05:00 PM.
  #11  
Old 02-03-20, 04:58 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
How do I replace this PRV?

If your read or responded to my other post, it sounds like I need a new PRV. To recap, I hooked up a gauge to a couple of different faucets and it read 60 right away but eventually crept up to 120 (which is the unregulated pressure) after about 15-60 minutes so according to my responses on here, it sounds like it must be leaking and letting more pressure in.

I looked up some videos on how to replace these and of course, mine looks like it is going to be a pain. It is behind the drywall where it comes into the basement but they did not leave much room. It looks like if you loosened that bottom nut, it would drop down and you could pull the bottom of the PRV out, but it looks like the PRV screws directly into the upper pipe. If that is the case, I don't know how they did it because there is not enough room to rotate the PRV to screw it in. Can you guys tell what is going on from the picture? Does it look like they screwed the PRV into the upper pipe before they soldered the pipe together somewhere higher up the line?


 
  #12  
Old 02-03-20, 05:20 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,648
Received 517 Votes on 487 Posts
Threads combined.........

It looks like the bottom nut may be taken apart and the entire valve may spin.
You won't know until you try it.
 
  #13  
Old 02-03-20, 05:20 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,301
Received 43 Votes on 35 Posts
Will trying to adjust it do any good or do these things just go totally bad when they do?
Replace it. .....................................
 
  #14  
Old 02-03-20, 05:52 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
That is what it looks like, especially since there is teflon tape on the upper nut, but it does not appear there is clearance for the entire valve to spin. If that is the case, the pipe would have to be cut, right? And if that is the case, I can't do this myself. What do you think this should cost for a plumber to come and do this?
 
  #15  
Old 02-04-20, 12:34 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Or maybe I can do it myself? I have never soldered pipe before but after looking at some videos, it does not seem too difficult. I have a propane torch laying around here too somewhere. Or use a sharkbite (if it's OK to use them inside the wall)? I just can't really take it apart to see what it is like because once it is apart, I will have to finish it since the water will be done.
 
  #16  
Old 02-04-20, 02:28 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Canada
Posts: 796
Received 72 Votes on 67 Posts
Looks like to the right of the picture there may be another nut/fitting so that the 90 degree angle fitting can be removed as an assembly.

Where does the upper pipe go and what fitting is at the other end of it.
To unscrew the valve even if you have room you will probably have to hold that upper pipe and you do not have room to do that.

I do not know why you mention soldering because I do not see anything that you need to cut and solder,
 
  #17  
Old 02-04-20, 08:27 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Here is another picture showing the whole thing. On the right side, it comes through the concrete wall from outside, makes the turn into the shutoff, then makes another turn going up to the PRV. The bottom of the PRV has a slip nut which could be removed, but it appears the top of the PRV would thread into a nut on the outlet pipe, doesn't it? If that is the case, the PRV looks like it would just be able to be unscrewed from it, however there is not enough clearance behind it for it to make a complete turn to unscrew because it would hit the wall. In that case, I would have to cut a hole in the wall a few feet up (the pipe continues to go straight up behind the wall) and cut the pipe in order to remove the PRV. That is what I am talking about cutting and soldering, unless you guys see something I am missing.

 
  #18  
Old 02-04-20, 10:27 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,612
Received 318 Votes on 292 Posts
Interesting, it looks like they threaded a nipple or pipe directly into the PRV on the top but used a union on the bottom. You'll probably have to open up the wall to gain access to remove the PRV. Just remove the board forming the left side of your access and cut the sheetrock flush with the adjoining stud. Then cut the sheetrock across the top. When you're done replacing the PRV you can make a new, larger access cover and either screw it in place or use the same cabinet latches like this cover has.
 
  #19  
Old 02-04-20, 11:31 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Actually, the board forming the left side of the access hole is the stud that runs from the floor to the ceiling. It is weird. But the top board has a hole in it so it must have been in place before the pipe and not just put in place after. It doesn't show in the picture but about 2 inches above the top of the access hole is the bottom of a cabinet hung on the wall that goes to the ceiling. I will just remove the cabinet and can cut a big hole behind it and see what's back there.
 
  #20  
Old 02-04-20, 11:44 AM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,301
Received 43 Votes on 35 Posts
I would advise against ever hiring the plumber again that installed this PRV such that it cannot be changed without cutting the wall open.
 
  #21  
Old 02-04-20, 01:48 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Canada
Posts: 796
Received 72 Votes on 67 Posts
OK others will have to jump in here as I have never worked on a valve like this so the following is just a thought.

Looks like the left hand piece of wood with the latch could be cut at the top and removed.
This then lets you get at the 4 cover screws.

Now here is the iffy part perhaps the valve can be repaired/rebuilt.
 
  #22  
Old 02-04-20, 05:00 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: San Diego Ca. USA
Posts: 1,043
Received 8 Votes on 6 Posts
Hi, You probably can buy a rebuild kit for that valve. All the info you need is on that blue tag in the picture. It is a pretty easy job and you don't have to remove the valve. The Kit cost about $ 50.00 and come with directions. I bought the one for my house on line.
Good Luck Woodbutcher
 
  #23  
Old 02-05-20, 06:47 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Do you remember where you got it online?
 
  #24  
Old 02-05-20, 05:28 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: San Diego Ca. USA
Posts: 1,043
Received 8 Votes on 6 Posts
Hi, I purchased the rebuild kit from A company named ZORO.
Good Luck Woodbutcher
 
  #25  
Old 02-05-20, 06:11 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,301
Received 43 Votes on 35 Posts
If you are thinking of maybe rebuilding the PRV, compare the rebuild kit price to the price of a new PRV. I am sure there won't be much difference in price.
 
  #26  
Old 02-05-20, 06:30 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 18,023
Received 41 Votes on 36 Posts
Can just cut the copper and sweat new. Or get the kit..I would get the kit..Probably just needs an o ring..


https://www.watts.com/products/plumb...D%7D%5D&Page=0
 
  #27  
Old 02-06-20, 09:53 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I was looking around and it looks like the model I have is discontinued and I don't know about finding the right parts. It is probably easier to just replace it because I can just remove the cabinet that is hanging above that valve and cut a hole in the wall behind it. That is not a big deal since I won't have to repaint it or fix it nice or anything. I might cut it open this weekend and see what is going on back there, but just out of curiosity, if I were to have it very accessible where a plumber could just come out and replace it, what do you think a fair price would be?
 
  #28  
Old 02-06-20, 05:38 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 18,023
Received 41 Votes on 36 Posts
Whats the model # .
 
  #29  
Old 02-06-20, 05:42 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 18,023
Received 41 Votes on 36 Posts
All prices are different for geographic locations... 500 or so I would say to replace on average..

 
  #30  
Old 02-07-20, 09:56 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The model number is a Watts N35B-Z3.

One thing I noticed is when I put he gauge on initially, it read 60 and then slowly crept up to 120 which, according to the responses here, it must be leaking that pressure in. When I opened another faucet while the gauge was hooked up, it went down to 40. When I get a working PRV, will it maintain 60 all the time (when everything is off or , even if another faucet is running)? Since there is 120 at the meter, it seems like there would be enough pressure to maintain 60 all the time, even when something is running. Is that how it will work?
 
  #31  
Old 02-07-20, 04:33 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 18,023
Received 41 Votes on 36 Posts
No more repair kits. Heres a replacement.

https://www.watts.com/products/plumb...lves/lfn55b-m1
 
  #32  
Old 02-15-20, 02:21 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Today I cut open the wall so I thought I would report back. Of course it couldn't be simple behind there! There are some pipes coming out right above the PRV so it looks like I am going to have to get a plumber out here. I don't even know how they would go about this. It looks like they would have to do a lot of cutting and re soldering or redo the whole thing. Is there a simpler solution? Can you put one right by the water meter and leave this one in place? If so, I had an idea. There is a backflow assembly right next to the water meter that I have to get tested every year. I don't even think I need it because I don't have a sprinkler system or anything but I seem to recall it may be there because the previous owner did something with photography here. If one can go there, would it be an easier solution to replace the backflow assembly with a PRV? Just looking for another option I can mention to the plumber if this happens to cost a ton and is a lot of work.




 
  #33  
Old 02-16-20, 09:53 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 377
Received 10 Votes on 9 Posts
Late to the game but....

Looking at the amount of demo you've already done, I'd go ahead and continue to remove enough to expose the piping above the prv. Remove (cut out) the horizontal 2x6 (?) above the prv and below the two horizontal 1/2". You would then be able to cut back the copper pipes 3/4" & 1/2" and remove the prv. I'd probably go all the way back to the gate valve and remove it also and replace with 1/4 turn ball valve. Then just rebuild everything. It doesn't appear anything is structural there. At the very least if you expose everything for plumber, it'll be cheaper and quicker when they get there.
 
  #34  
Old 02-16-20, 02:20 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 18,023
Received 41 Votes on 36 Posts
I dont know what the issue is... Replacing that PRV is an easy task. There is a union and male adapters there already.

And if you turn the water off at the street and replace gate valve its somewhat easier..

Backflow at the meter is a requirement in most municipalitys today..
 
  #35  
Old 02-16-20, 06:19 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 377
Received 10 Votes on 9 Posts
I think he mentioned in an earlier post there is no issue with the union, however there is not enough room around the prv to rotate it in order to unscrew it from the male copper pipe connection, so he believes cutting the pipe above is his only solution.
 
  #36  
Old 02-16-20, 08:48 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 18,023
Received 41 Votes on 36 Posts
Cut the top part off to retain the male adapter. Turn out whats remaining of the PRV.'

then install this. Its ordered with two unions.

Install both unions threaded on male adapters... done.


Looks like you need about 4-5" between male adapters to fit.

https://www.watts.com/products/plumb...lves/lfn55b-m1

https://www.watts.com/dfsmedia/0533d.../ES-LFN55B.pdf
 
  #37  
Old 02-18-20, 09:33 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
That is a good idea. The only thing structural is the 2x4 to the left of the purple cutout hole as it goes from floor to ceiling. I don't want to cut that because a cabinet and a shelf are supported by it. It should be easy to cut through that brass, or maybe we could even take the screws out and that cover to make it smaller so it can rotate in there. Hopefully a new PRV with unions on both ends will fit in that space. I am having a plumber come out tomorrow.
 
  #38  
Old 02-20-20, 10:01 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well I got one bid for $1100 to rework all that. He would cut off at the gate valve, run a pipe through the stud to the left and put the PRV there so it is accessible in the future, then route the pipe back and tie into below the 1/2 inch lines (if there is enough room). If there isn't he would just tap those 1/2 inch lines up higher. It was $1300 to include replacing that valve with a ball valve. I have someone else coming out today so I'll see what they say.
 
  #39  
Old 02-20-20, 11:14 AM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 377
Received 10 Votes on 9 Posts
Extra $200 to replace a $10 ball valve and 10 minutes of work, while he's already there doing the other work....Yikes!
 
  #40  
Old 02-22-20, 06:11 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I found someone else to do it all for $900. I just wanted to get it done. It may have solved the hot water tank issue as well because we ran laundry all day, showers, and the dishwasher and all of that hot water would have had the TPR dripping all day. Today while I was down there working, I heard the TPR pop open once and just let one shot of water out but other than that, nothing. Looks like most of that had to do with the pressure rather than the expansion. I will still get a new tank soon and put an expansion tank on it. The washing machine runs better too with out the water hammer when it first starts up.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: