The average household has numerous appliances. When one of them is not functioning correctly, you rarely have to worry about an explosion, especially without some type of advance warning. This is not necessarily the case for a water heater. In fact, when you are having a home inspected before a potential purchase, this particular appliance must have a relief valve for water heater safety or it will be noted on the inspection report.

What is a temperature & pressure relief valve?

Because water is being heated in a closed system, the expansion of the heated water increases pressure. This increased pressure can pose danger. When the pressure is too high, the T&P relief valve opens and releases pressure. You will notice water dripping from the PVC pipe leading out of the valve. Once the pressure returns to normal, the valve will close and the dripping will slowly stop. Additionally the T&P relief valve will respond to overheating. The built-in thermostat will automatically open the valve in the event of overheating until the temperature returns to a safe level.

Safety tip

Water heater safety is one of the more critical items that you as a homeowner should be concerned with. Have your water heater tank inspected and the relief valve checked periodically. Our service professionals not only will check your T&P relief valve, but they also will inspect your tank for leaks. For gas water heaters, we can give you additional protection with an automatic gas shut-off valve.

Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal has been serving northwest Arkansas for more than 40 years, and we service and repair all makes and models of heating, air conditioning, geothermal, radiant and boiler systems. Contact us today to inspect for water heater safety or for any of your heating and cooling needs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about Water Heater Safety and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock