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Old 04-09-2010, 03:28 PM
 
470 posts, read 860,032 times
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I've started to notice that the pipe sticking out of my brick house, from the hot water heater in the garage, is constantly putting out water. Is there some reason why it would put out more water at a constant rate? My water bill isn't any higher and water pressure is still the same....any ideas?
Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Lemon Grove, CA USA
1,055 posts, read 2,250,679 times
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Sounds like the relief valve needs replacing. If it is leaking now who is to say it will actually do its job if/when the time comes.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,804 posts, read 22,944,898 times
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Is the water coming out the pipe hot? If this is really coming from the hot water heater it's a leaking relief valve as stated.

I have never seen this happen myself, *usually* pipes discharging water like this are coming from A/C systems - you sure that isn't the case here?
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Rural Central Texas
3,143 posts, read 5,761,224 times
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Ditto on the worn out relief valve. Easy to replace though.
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:48 PM
 
470 posts, read 860,032 times
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Yes, the water coming out of the pipe is hot. And no, it is not the A/C, that is a different pipe. Anyone know DIY for replacing it? Or how I find out what part number it is? Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:15 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
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Yep. Relief valve. No question.

And it's not hard to replace.
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,804 posts, read 22,944,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgmv90 View Post
Yes, the water coming out of the pipe is hot. And no, it is not the A/C, that is a different pipe. Anyone know DIY for replacing it? Or how I find out what part number it is? Thanks.
Firstly, a lot of relief valves have a manual actuator on them, you could try flipping that a couple of times to see if this clears the situation. If so, you are quite lucky. Assuming that does not work - first take a look at the relief, go buy one similar at any hardware or plumbing supply.

You will need to turn the heater elements off (really just for safety of the elements themselves, no need to ruin them, mostly the upper one I am worried about), and turn off the water supply to the heater. I'm assuming electric, if gas you can just turn the thermostat all the way down.

An idea might be to turn the heater off overnight and let natural leakage drain the level down and heat loss cool things off. Depending on how the exhaust pipe is mounted, you may need to cut it to get the valve off - if so you can put it back together with a union, which should have been there in the first place.

Typically the relief just unscrews like a spark plug. As they say, re-assembly is the reverse of dis-assembly.

Get some Kroil or PB Blaster penetrating oil and put that on the valve threads overnight.

You will probably need a fair size wrench to get it loose.
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:33 PM
 
470 posts, read 860,032 times
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Thanks. I will try these things and see if anything works.
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
11,699 posts, read 26,955,280 times
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Although that is the most likely suspect, it may or may not be the relief valve. If the house has an anti-backup valve at the meter, and there is no expansion tank or anti-water hammer risers, or those risers are full of water, the heating of the water can create enough rise in pressure to trip the T&P valve for a short period. The draining of the system prior to replacing the valve can restore the air to the risers, so replacing a perfectly good valve may seem to show that it was defective, while the real problem still exists and might come back in a few weeks. A pressure meter at the hot water tank will show if the pressure has risen too high.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Closer than you think !
442 posts, read 758,537 times
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When you turn the heater elements off - electric water heater - I do that at the panel box.. Good time to check and see that the breaker is properly marked. Do as M3 outlined but DO NOT TURN power back on until you have turned the water back on and run "hot" thru some fixtures in the house to ensure that all the air is out of the water heater and lines. I did not follow those steps once and had to buy a new water heater because the top element burned out...
If you were going to do this tomorrow - I would turn the power off tonight before the last shower (unless you plan to have company and need lots of hot water). This way you can do the other part of draining the lines to get your water hammer back and even drain the sediment out of the water heater.
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