Mysterious Water Leak

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Tom wrote:

Hi, Yes. You can't test it. It either works or leaks. Replace it if in doubt. It's called P & T relief valve.(Pressure and temperature)
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wrote:

If its a long pipe that stops above the floor, that's it.
Here's a photo of a typical one
http://homerepair.about.com/od/plumbingrepair/ss/hwh_tank_gas_6.htm
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To see if that's the source of the water, you simply place a catch pan under the discharge pipe. Over my life time, I had to replace two of these valves.
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Yes. Turning off the main water valve could cause the water heater's relief valve to open. Here's why: water expands when heated. The extra volume has to have somewhere to go. With your main valve open, this extra volume goes back into the water main feeding your house. With the valve closed, this extra volume has nowhere to go but out the pressure relief valve on your water heater.
Mark M.
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Last night I did a load of wash in the basement I'm going to do annother load today to see if the leak could somehow be caused by the washing machine.
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wrote:

This also points to the water heater relief valve. Turning the main water supply on and off as a solution to a leak is not good practice. It should only be done temporarily to get you through a weekend until a plumber (or yourself) repairs the problem. Sometimes a small leak is a small leak, and sometimes it's a warning. It should not be ignored, or "worked around". Hard to diagnose a system that has other faults that might be contributing. You may even find that if you fix the bathtub leak and stop shutting off the main water supply, the other problems may be cured.
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Will do. As soon as I get the rest of the pipe cleared out in the ceiling the plumber is going to fix it.
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wrote:

Meanwhile, put a bucket under the pressure relief and you'll know for sure if that is where the water is coming from. I really think the shutting off of the main water supply due to the small leak on the bathtub is the root cause of the problem. The pressure relief might be operating properly and doing exactly what it is supposed to do.
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After readfing the posts I agree. The plumber can't come 'til Monday so I think I'll cut the herat setting back to "vacation" setting when I leave then reset it to the normal setting and turn the water main back on when I return to the house or when I wake up in the morning.
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wrote:

Is the bathtub leak accessible? If so, and we are talking about a pinhole leak, you might be able to temporarily seal it by wrapping it several layers thick with tightly wound electrical tape, which is then wrapped tightly with string (each wrap of string directly alongside the preceeding with no gaps) to keep the tape from bursting or leaking sideways. Obviously not a permanent repair, but you might eliminate all the other contortions until the plumber gets there.
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It was about eight - ten gallons of water total. I did a load of wash about ninety miniatures before going to bed. I hope to get a plumber here tomorrow or Monday.
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