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drip DRIP D-R-I-P! Water heater pressure valve

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:35 pm
by loveoldtrux
Been hearing a dripping under the home. Finally got the nerve to get under the house in 40 degree weather with a runny nose and waller around in mud. Well... thank goodness no mud, but I did see what the dripping was all about. A white drain pipe ... water dripping into a pool of water collecting under the home.

change of clothes -> Back inside the house to the water heater. Sure 'nuff the pressure valve is what the dripping is coming from. I normally keep the Electric Intertherm water heater off till maybe once a week before Church. Then I rush out and turn it off again; just can't afford the electric bills to keep it warm when I'm not using it. No more propane in tank - can't afford to put 100 gallon minimum in it' so can't switch to propane water heater. So, it's dripping when the heater is off - definitely no pressure as the water is not hot. Is this just a shot pressure valve? The tank is 25 years old this August. If it is just the valve, I imagine drain the tank and make sure the power is off to it (which it is till Saturday night), unscrew it and get a replacement at Home Depot and screw it back in? (Good thing I'm a computer scientist to figure these things out!!...). After replacement is in, fill back with water and turn juice back on to test it? I've never released the pressure once a month but I did a few minutes ago and it lets water out. I guess the sealing mechanism has just gone bad?...

What do you think?....

Re: drip DRIP D-R-I-P! Water heater pressure valve

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:11 pm
by jpingram5
Yes it sounds like the valve is just old and not seating right anymore. Easy and cheap fix. Should have those T & P Valves at you local hardware store maybe like $10 - $20. Hopefully it comes off easy seeing as your tank is 25 years old which is very rare that its still kicking :) ! Drain it out, remove the valve and take it with you so you know for sure you get the right one. Teflon tape it and crank it back in and re-fill.

Re: drip DRIP D-R-I-P! Water heater pressure valve

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:30 pm
by loveoldtrux
Thanks JP. Yes, in ways I've been blessed - the tank is 25 years old and the water pump 260 feet down is the original one!! Let's pray the threads don't give way when I try and wrench it out next weekend. I've still got my 36" socket prybar from my mechanic days in the 60's. That'll either destroy the tank or screw the valve out! Only the Good Lord knows how much sediment there must be in the bottom of that tank! But when I turn it on - it's great for a hot shower; then it's back off again.