You never give much thought to how your hot water heater lasts or works until it fails on you. There are many parts and components that all work together to ensure the efficient and safe delivery of heated water throughout your property.
One main part that is crucial for your water system is the TPR valve or better known as Temperature Pressure Relief Valve.
TPR Valves are used to safely keep the water within its temperature and pressure limits. It is generally located on the top or side of any water heaters and has a lever and a discharge pipe running to the bottom of the water unit.
What do TPR valves do?
The main function of the valve is to automatically open up and release excess pressure through the discharge pipe.
When your hot water heater overloads or when moisture and steam are produced at a greater than normal rate, the pressure will start to build up and your water heater is at risk of blowing up.
It is very important that this valve is working perfectly at all times. Normally a temperature relief valve needs to be tested at least every 6 months to ensure it is working effectively.
Below are some steps you can take to test and inspect your pressure relief valve yourself before you need to replace it.
- Make sure your valve is seating correctly. Open the valve up a couple of times to wash away leftover sediment. You will need to let the water cool down before you do this. Simply turn off your electric or gas hot water tank. To catch the water. you can use a bucket to catch the water released from the valve. Open the valve by lifting it up for a few seconds and then closing it again. Do this a couple of times.
- You can now turn on your water tank and let the water heat up. If it seems to be working, then you won't have to replace it. Check the valve to see if it holds.
- To replace your TPR, you will have to purchase a new one. You can get these at any hardware store. Take your old one with you so you know you are getting the correct one for your tank. Read the plate on the valve to ensure the ratings and degrees are correct.
- The next step is to partially drain your unit. You will need to run your hot water tap until the water has cooled down. Using a household hose to hook up to your valve to drain the water. Have a bathtub or drain handy nearby to run the water into. You need to have the water level in the unit below the valve.
- To remove the old TPR valve, you will need a pipe wrench and a lot of patience and manpower. It may take some time to loosen the valve. Check if you have any PVC tubing attached to the outlet, remove it and put it aside. When the valve comes off, dispose of it and clean around the opening of any residue and dirt.
- It is time to attach your new Temperature Pressure Relief Valve. With Teflon tape, apply it to the threads of your new valve. Carefully thread the valve to the opening and tighten it with your wrench. Make sure your PVC tube is completely dry before reattaching it again.
- Remove your hose from the drain valve and turn the water back on to your unit to let it fill up again. Check the valve for leaks and if it is seated properly.
- Once you know your tank is full, you can switch on your water heater and recheck the valve for leaks.
You can always contact your trusted local plumbing team to inspect and replace the valve on your hot water system.
A licenced plumber will have the tools and experience to carry out and repairs and valve installations correctly and according to safety standards.
Fixed Today is the hot water system experts in Sydney so call them for any issues or concerns you have with your current gas, electric or solar hot water tank.