The unit is at least 12 years old. The water is coming out the pressure relief
valve pipe. When I turn the heat off and the water cools, it stops to a drip.
But when I turn the heat back on and the water is heated back up, it flows out
pretty fast. Is this a bad pressure relief valve?
I've already tried flushing it out by opening the valve manually many times.
This does nothing.
I should also mention there is a small leak under the unit somewhere. Nothing
major and it's been there awhile, so I think this is a seperate issue.
If it leaks with the heat turned off, then it is a bad valve. The odds of
fixing it by opening it repeatedly is very small.
You can replace the valve cheaply enough, but then you still have a 12 year
old heater with a leak. Get rid of it now while it is a small leak rather
then in 2 months when it is a major leak, and save the $10 the valve will
That it leaks more with the heater on is probably not a problem; my pressure
can temporarily go from 50psi to 80psi when the heater cycles (some day I
will get around to installing an expansion tank), but it could be a problem
if it is going too high. For $5 get a pressure gauge and check it.
You state that the problem is water comes out of the
pressure relief pipe. Thus, the tank isn't leaking the
valve is leaking. What is the logical solution getting a
new tank or getting a new valve? Right. Buy a new valve
for $5.00. Failure of these valves is not uncommon, and
they may fail after only 3 or 4 years. BTW, many hot water
tanks last much longer than 12 years. The first tank in my
house lasted 21 years and the valve started leaking and
needed replacement after about 6 years.
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