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How to Open a Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve

How to Open a Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve

If you have a traditional tank-style water heater, then you should be aware of the temperature and pressure relief valve, also known as the TPR valve. The TPR valve is commonly found on the top of the water heater tank and has a lever and a discharge pipe that work together to release water, lowering the pressure inside of your water heater. This is a crucial component to your water heater because it prevents your water tank from high pressure and temperatures which would otherwise run the risk of the water heater tank exploding.
Considering the massive role that the TPR valve plays in maintaining an operable water heater, it is important to know how to make sure it is working properly.

Opening the Water Heater Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve

First, let’s find the TPR valve. The valve is generally located at the top of the water heater tank. You can look for a lever and discharge pipe leading from the lever down to the bottom of your tank. If you need help locating it, refer to your water heater’s user manual for assistance.
Simply lifting the lever will open the floodgates and release excess water through the discharge pipe. Once you raise the lever, you should hear water flowing through the discharge drain line. You should then close the lever by pushing it back down. If you do not hear the water discharge, then you should call your neighborly plumber at Mr. Rooter Plumbing as soon as possible because you likely need a TPR valve replacement.

Annual Testing

Considering the importance of the TPR valve, it is crucial that you maintain it and ensure that it is in working condition. This can reduce the likelihood of leaks caused by mineral and corrosion buildup. Also, remember, the TPR valve is a safety device designed to prevent your water heater from exploding! Once a year, lift the TPR valve’s lever to make sure that water comes out of the discharge pipe. Be mindful of where the discharge pipe is and make sure there is nothing in the area as the water leaving the system will be scalding hot!
If you discover that the TPR valve is not working correctly or that it is leaking, then you should call your local plumber at Mr. Rooter Plumbing as soon as possible to prevent a disaster such as an explosion. Mr. Rooter Plumbing has plumbers available at every minute of the day – and night.

Some Notes

Your TPR valve on the water heater is not an extra; it is required to be installed on your water heater lest you risk an explosion – literally! While you do your inspection of the TPR valve, be sure to check the discharge pipe as well. This pipe should be made of material that is durable against heat and water pressure. Further, the pipe should go straight down without curving up at any time. This is because water can get stuck and freeze or debris can fill in the valleys, causing pressure within the pipe.

If you would like to have a certified plumber inspect your TPR valve to ensure it is working properly, then feel free to call Mr. Rooter Plumbing any time. We are happy to help!