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Should You Check Your Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve?

Should You Check Your Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve?

hot water heater

After a long day, there’s nothing quite like taking a nice hot bath or shower. We all depend on our hot water heaters to provide for us, but often, we forget that they also depend on us. Without proper maintenance, your hot water heater could stop functioning or even become dangerous.

One of the most overlooked safety mechanisms on a hot water heater is the pressure relief valve. Do you know where the pressure relief valve is located or how to check it? The Fire Man is here to help. Read on to learn more!

What is a Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve?

A hot water heater’s pressure relief valve is a small safety mechanism built into hot water heaters. The valve prevents pressure from building up inside the water heater. Too much pressure building up inside the tank could lead to your tank bursting or exploding. A burst hot water heater can flood your home, cause structural damage, and cause injuries to anyone nearby.

Why Does Pressure Build Up Inside a Water Heater?

Your hot water heater heats water up using gas or electricity. As the water heats up, it produces steam, which expands the pressure inside the tank. The hotter the water is, the more steam and pressure is produced. While some pressure is normal, too much pressure is dangerous. The pressure relief valve allows you to release some steam and hot water so the pressure regulates.

Where is the Pressure Relief Valve?

The pressure relief valve is a small mechanism with a flat lever attached. It is connected to a pipe that runs to the hot water heater. The exact location of the mechanism depends on the type of water heater you have. Most often, it is located above the tank, or near the top.

Should I Test the Pressure Relief Valve?

It is a good idea to test your hot water heater’s pressure relief valve as part of routine maintenance. Corrosion and a buildup of minerals can cause the relief valve to stick. This could, in turn, cause the valve to not function properly when you need it to. Without that valve functioning properly, you and your home are at risk of a blowout.

How to Check Your Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve

Testing your water heater’s pressure relief valve is pretty simple. You will need a bucket to catch any drips. Then, turn the valve slightly to see if steam and water escape. If you have trouble turning the valve, you should call for professional assistance. You should also call a professional if you see signs of the tank leaking, or if you smell a rotten egg smell, which could be a sign of a gas leak.  

Getting Help With a Hot Water Heater

If you have questions about your water heater, you can call a local plumber for advice. If you suspect a gas leak, or are considering replacing your hot water heater, The Fire Man can help! The Fire Man can check your gas lines and connections to your water heater to make sure your appliance is working properly and safely. We can also provide information about tankless water heaters, which is a great way to save time and make your home more efficient.

To learn more, fill out our online form!

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