Temperature and Pressure Relief Valves

Is Your Water Heater a Bomb? Call the Frisco TX Plumber

 

At All Around Plumbing & Leak Detection Frisco TX we want you to be safe. Most people never give there water heater a second look until it stops working or develops a leak. Your water heater could be a 100 to 1200 hundred pound bomb in your home if installed improperly. This bomb could go off at any time fly several hundred feet into the air and land blocks away after it goes through two floors and a roof of your home. After it lands a few blocks away on another home you could find your home on fire after the gas line is ripped out when the water heater explodes. If your water heater has not been inspected call All Around Plumbing & Leak Detection Frisco at 972-313-4659.

This is why the State of Texas requires a water heater to be inspected. On average in the State of Texas 500 water heaters a year explode according to the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE). It is more common than you might have thought. The problem is usually when a water heater is installed by a handyman or unlicensed plumber.

 

T&P Valve T&P valve

Your last line of defense is your T & P valve. This is a mechanical valve located on the top of the tank or on the side within six inches from the top of the tank. The T stands for temperature and the P stands for pressure. This valve performs as a safety if the temperature exceeds 210 degrees it will open and vent the tank. This leads us to the next problem with excessive temperature usually comes excessive pressure. The T & P valve is designed to open at 150 psi allowing pressure not to build up turning your water heater into a time bomb.

 

Water Heater Explosions Water Heater Damage

Water Heater Explosions can happen.

Now lets explain the mechanics of what is going on in your water heater. Water at 150 psi will not boil at 212 degrees. A good example is your cars radiator it uses a radiator cap to hold pressure at under 20 psi, this is how antifreeze or water can reach much higher temperatures and not boil over. The reasons this is important water expands at 1600 times its original volume when turning from water to steam. If your tank fails and the temperature is over 212 degree this is where the bomb part starts. So you see where temperature and pressure could be a problem. Also excessive pressure can and will cause your other fixtures and appliances to fail prematurely.

The first thing to ask was my water heater installed by a licensed Frisco plumber and did the company get an inspection? Most explosions were caused by someone capping the T & P so that it could not function or a malfunctioning T & P valve. The next most popular cause is someone removing the valve and installing a plug because the T & P was dripping.

 

Capped T & P T & P scalding hazard

These problems can be avoided by checking your T & P once a year. It is very simple to check there is a lever on the T & P valve that is spring loaded. When you pull the lever on the it moves a pin located in the middle of the valve. Make sure before you pull the lever you know how to turn the water off to the water heater in case the valve fails. You will also need to now how to shut the gas or electricity off if the valve fails. Before moving the lever on the T & P position yourself in a safe place away from any spray that could come out.

 

T & P valveMake sure your T & P valve is connected so it is not a scalding hazard as shown above. Once you pull the lever it should discharge and the handle should return and seal back up. You have to check for any leaks at the point of discharge for your T & P. This should be into an approved drain or to the exterior of your home. If you are unsure about any of the steps noted above please give us a call and we will be glad to help you. Our Frisco Plumbers are available to help you.

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