My gas hot water tank drips water from the overflow pipe everytime it is
heating....every day I need to empty a full bucket of water. It doesn't
drip when I run water(like at the sinks) but it will definitely drip(like a
faucet left on a slow run) after showers/baths, when the tank must be close
to empty(of hot water),
It has a manuf. date of '95...is this a sign the tank is going?
No, the tank is not going.
When the heater is firing, the water inside expands. That expansion
can raise the pressure in the tank to the point where the relief
valve opens. That's why it only drips at times.
This pressure buildup occurs when there is no place else for the
(expanded) water to go. That can happen when the supply piping
has a check valve or pressure reducing valve in place.
The fix is to add a "thermal expansion tank".
For more info, go here:
The safety valve is bad, can't hold the pressure, and needs
to be replaced. A bucket a day is a lot, considering that
most tanks don't drip any water, ever. 95 doesn't mean
anything, except that it is nearly 9 years old. Fix the
drip by buying a new safety valve ($10-15) to replace the
You have been offered three of the four problems I can think of.
The valve could be bad.
It could be too high a temperature.
It could be a water pressure/lack of a pressure relief device problem
caused by a check valve and the natural increase pressure of heating the
water. A functional pressure relief device may help.
It also could be too high water pressure coming into your home. To
check for this (and above) you can get your own pressure gauge check it out.
If this is the problem, you need a pressure reduction device on the incoming
So what to do? My suggestion is to start cheap and work up. Try
reducing the water temperature for a while. If that does not work, and I
would not bet on it, try the new valve, they are cheap and easy to replace.
Next the gauge if that does not work.
No, it's a sign that when the cold water in your tank expands, it doesn't
have any where to go. Water expands as it's heated.
Does your water system have an expansion tank some where? Which needs to be
drained now adn again?
Likely a sign that the water company has a backflow preventer on your
line. When the water heater runs the water expands and can't go back
into the company system so it goes out the valve. I'd consider an
expansion tank. I had the same problem (not to that extent) and with
the tank my bucket stays dry. You could also have a bad pressure
relief valve, I believe Lowes sells a gauge you can put on a hydrant
connection that'll show current and highest pressure. I'd start with
that and bring the readings back here for further help.
You have been offered a lot of info on water pressure
increases, check valves, etc. The facts are simple, check
valves can be a problem, but seldom are. Most houses don't
have expansion tanks. If you have water hammer reducers,
they can serve as expansion tanks. Bottom link, go check a
store that sells the relief valves and look at the
pressures. It would be highly unusual for the pressure in
you house system to exceed that pressure. The problem is a
failed valve, a common problem. Replace the valve, and
don't look for highly unusual or strange problems. If
replacement doesn't solve your problem, then look for exotic
fixes, which will probably include a complete examination of
your system for damage due to very high pressures.
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