The Temperature/Pressure Relief (TPR) valve is designed to help prevent boiler explosions. It does so by relieving a water heater system of any excess pressure that may buildup due to thermal expansion or any other water heater malfunctions.
When a TPR valve is doing its job, you will see it dripping with hot water or steam. However, if the dripping is continuous, it should worry you. Why? Because it is a sign that there is an underlying water heater problem that needs immediate fixing. There is also the fact that the TPR valve is not designed to handle continued dripping.
TPR valve malfunctioning
The TPR valve is a safety feature that should only intervene when there is an abnormal increase in pressure. Therefore, manufacturers usually design it with the intention of it being a used-once-in-a-while feature. Continued use is therefore likely to damage the TPR valve, something that may leave your heater vulnerable to explosions.
In addition to accelerated wear and tear from overuse, there is also the fact that the continued use can cause TPR valve clogging. This is so mainly because the TPR valve usually handles hot water. When this hot water evaporates, it usually leaves behind mineral deposits. And if this is something that happens regularly, the deposits can accumulate to such an extent that they block the TPR valve's opening.
Clogging of the TPR valve will render it useless. And if there is ever a need to relieve your water heater of pressure, it won't be able to do so since it can't provide a way out for the building pressure.
Detecting TPR valve malfunctions
To ensure that you are safe, it is advisable that you test your TPR valve. Doing so on a regular basis will give you the opportunity to replace a malfunctioning TPR valve way before it is needed to prevent an explosion.
The easiest way to determine whether your TPR valve is working or not, is to use the TPR valve "test" lever. This is a lever that is attached to the TPR valve and which usually makes manual intervention possible in cases where the TPR valve fails. It can also be used to test whether the valve is clogged or not. To do so, simply lift the valve. Lifting it should be enough to send water gushing through it. If it doesn't, your TPR valve is blocked. You therefore need to have it replaced as soon as possible. Contact a business, such as Brother's Plumbing, for more information on water heaters.Share
11 February 2016
I absolutely love the beauty, charm, and character of an older home. When my husband retires from his job, I would like to purchase an older house in the mountains and transform it into a quaint inn. While older homes are beautiful, they do sometimes contain hidden issues. One of these problems is faulty plumbing. Rusty pipes and poor water pressure are common in an older abode. If you just purchased a charming older place, consider immediately replacing the plumbing system in the home. In doing so, you might be able to save yourself from major issues in the future. On this blog, you will discover the many benefits of replacing an older plumbing system.