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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Leaky Relief Valve

    We had a new electric hot water heater installed recently. Everything was fine untill after a couple days when we noticed water in the catch pan. The plumber came and replaced the relief valve. A couple days later, leaking again. This time the plumber replaced the regulator. Another couple days and, yes, it leaks. This has been an ongoing problem even with the old heater, but we did not know it was leaking as the pipe was ran through the floor and into the crawl space below the house. This is now the third time in 5 years the regulator has been replaced. I have been told that the pressure can build up when other homes on the street are not using much water, thus causing the leaky valve. If this is true, is there something that the local water dept. can or should do at the meter the remedy this?
    Thank you for any help or advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Leaky Relief Valve

    More than likely it needs an expansion tank.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,208

    Default Re: Leaky Relief Valve

    MSSP is giving you good advice, you need a thermal expansion tank.
    If the regulator you are speaking of is a pressure regulator then you need the tank. The regulator also acts as a check valve. When the water in the tank is heated it expands, causing the pressure to build. This is why the relief valve is opening. It is doing it's job to protect the tank from excess pressure. Looks like you have been replacing regulators that there was nothing wrong with.

    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
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    6,376

    Default Re: Leaky Relief Valve

    Other things to consider, beside the above mentioned:
    - My home is in a hilly area where the street pressure is high (according to the water dept, it sometimes reaches 300), and my regulator/reducer kept blowing out, causing leaks.
    replacing it with the same brand reducer did not solve the problem, but replacing it with a different brand helped.
    - You didn't mention what kind of pipes you have and why you had a leak in the crawl space, but maybe your problem lies there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,208

    Default Re: Leaky Relief Valve

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Other things to consider, beside the above mentioned:
    - My home is in a hilly area where the street pressure is high (according to the water dept, it sometimes reaches 300), and my regulator/reducer kept blowing out, causing leaks.
    replacing it with the same brand reducer did not solve the problem, but replacing it with a different brand helped.
    - You didn't mention what kind of pipes you have and why you had a leak in the crawl space, but maybe your problem lies there.
    Three hundred PSI is extremely high, I don't think I have ever seen a city main carry that much pressure to a residential home. Most pressure reducing valves are not rated to handle that much pressure. Some are rated for a maximum of 300 PSI but there is a big difference between maximum and working pressure. I think the reason for his leak in the crawl space is because that is were the relief valve is piped to.

    John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Leaky Relief Valve

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Other things to consider, beside the above mentioned:
    - My home is in a hilly area where the street pressure is high (according to the water dept, it sometimes reaches 300), and my regulator/reducer kept blowing out, causing leaks.
    replacing it with the same brand reducer did not solve the problem, but replacing it with a different brand helped.
    - You didn't mention what kind of pipes you have and why you had a leak in the crawl space, but maybe your problem lies there.
    300PSI is an extreme amount of pressure. I dont think any of your solonoids on washing machine, dishwasher or icemaker could stand up to that Not to mention flush valves in your toilets. I think you need a PRV. just my two cents

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,376

    Default Re: Leaky Relief Valve

    Thanks for responding!
    Yes 300 is very high stret pressure.
    The water dept workers who told me that, said: "sometimes, street pressure can reach 300". When I asked why, he said he didn't know.
    Assumption: it's not always 300.
    But even at lower pressures, plenty of regulators go bad, and are constantly being replaced. Good business for Watts Co.

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