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A Handyman Helping Hand

Re: water heater leak

Posted By: Tony Snook
Saturday, 16 October 1999, at 7:59 p.m.

In Response To: water heater leak (Kevin King)

The relief valve is a safety device. If for some reason pressure in the water heater tank reaches a dangerous level the valve opens to allow the excess pressure to escape preventing a possible rupture of the tank or fixtures. The valve has a spring that keeps it closed when pressure is within safe levels. It sounds like the spring in yours has become weak or possibly the valve seat has corroded. Replacement is the best option. You should be able to remove the top from your water heater and see the valve. There should be a pipe connected to the valve that drains off water and or steam if the valve opens. Remove that drain pipe and the relief valve should screw out of the tank. Be sure to turn the electricity and the water supply to the heater OFF first. Open a hot water faucet somewhere in the house to release pressure in the tank. Then you should be able to screw the old valve out and a new one in. Reconnect the drain line, turn the water supply back on and leave a hot water faucet on until all air has escaped then turn the electricity back on. Check for leaks and if there are none you should be back in business. Good luck.

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