Why Is My Water Heater’s Relief Valve Leaking?

Is your water heater pressure release valve dripping, and you don’t know what to do? Well, it’s crucial to find out why your water heater’s relief valve is leaking. That will help you find the best solution for the problem, whether to repair the valve or replace it.

Leaks from the relief valve are a serious concern regarding your safety. Therefore, you must fix any dripping relief valve before the issue exacerbates. You can hire an expert plumber to do the job or learn how to fix the leaking water heater relief valve here.

This article will review why your water heater pressure relief valve is dripping. You’ll also learn to test water pressure in a water heater relief valve.

That said, let’s dive into water heater pressure relief valve dripping issues!

Page Contents

Why Is Your Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve Dripping?

Source: cloverco.com

Variations in temperature in your heater usually determine the level of pressure. A valve is essential to ensure your heater doesn’t become a bomb. Thermal expansions could cause an explosion and thus the need for a water heater relief valve that is not leaking.

It doesn’t mean that your valve is broken when it leaks. It’s essential to take a more natural look at the functional features of a pressure relief valve and how they contribute to a leak. So, why is your hot water heater dripping from the pressure relief valve?

Let’s look at the causes of dripping in your water heater’s pressure release valve.

High Water Pressure

The most likely assumption is that a dripping valve is broken, which could be the case, but it’s rare. A valve with a slight leak indicates that it works appropriately by regulating internal pressure and temperature. Test the water pressure to check if this is the case.

How to Test Water Pressure in A Water Heater Relief Valve

Testing water pressures in the pressure is easy, especially when you know where to start. You can perform the procedure yourself or involve a technical team. You will need a pressure gauge if you decide to do it yourself. You can install the pressure gauge on the cold or hot water pipe, but it works best when connected to an outdoor hose faucet.

To start testing, turn off all water outlets and faucets in your building and read the pressure. Pressures ranging from 40 to 80 psi would not cause an abnormal relief valve leak. Anything above that, say 150 psi, could cause a leak. Typical leaks occurring within the normal pressure level are constant and steady.

High pressures above the 150psi mark indicate that you have a closed valve. As water is heated as intended and the pressure builds, it lacks an escape, and the valves open to relieve stress. An expansion tank is the ultimate solution to this problem. It serves as a pressure outlet.

High Water Temperature

Source: weathermasterhvac.com

High temperature is another reason your water heater pressure -relief valve is dripping. Only the temperature nearing the boiling point, 212 degrees Fahrenheit, can have that effect. The only way to know if this is the cause is by checking the water temperature.

The process of checking the water temperature is easy. First, get a meat thermometer and turn on your hot water faucet. Next time the hot water runs for a minute before using a thermometer to get its temperature.

Usually, the temperature of the water running from a hot water faucet doesn’t exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you record a temperature higher than that, you should know that you have probably found the reason for your leak.

The Valve Has Not Operated In a While

Leaks often come about if you open the pressure relief valve for the first time in a long time. The leak resulting from this is usually minor. It should arouse your concern if it looks serious, in which case you have to start planning how to replace the valve.

Repair for wear cussed by non-use is almost impossible. Replacing the entire valve when you notice a minor leak is the best solution. A water heater relief valve is not expensive, and it’s easy to choose the open you need for a replacement.

Wrong Pressure Relief Valve Installation

Another reason you might have a problem with the water heater dripping from the pressure relief valve is if the installation value was incorrect. A technician with vast experience in this plumbing should know the correct pressure relief valve.

Heaters and boilers use pressure relief valves. You cannot use a boiler’s valve on a water heater. The PSI in a boiler is much lower and usually releases water and steam at 30 psi. On the other hand, a water heater valve releases pressure at 150 psi.

Pro Tip: Ensure a suitable valve is installed on your water heater to eliminate leaks.

Failing Pressure Valve

Source: accutestsystems.com

You may have a valve that requires replacement in your hands. It’s common for a pressure valve in your heater to fail after some time due to wear or a faulty seal.

Essentially the result is an unsanctioned leak. If you have a failing valve caused by its age or fault, then replacing it is the best option. It is easy and affordable.

Repassing or fixing a water heater relief valve soon is essential for various reasons. For instance, the tank could rupture or explode due to high-pressure build-up. Anyone in the vicinity of that heater tank is at risk of sustaining severe burns from the hot water.

The leaking water could also damage certain parts of the heater. In that case, you might have to start planning for repairs or replacements of your heater, which is more expensive than replacing a valve.

The leakage may settle in your basement and cause flooding. Flooding could weaken the structural integrity of your building and cause its levels to lower. Mold and mildew also thrive in moist environments, so you would have another problem on your hands.

Hot Water Heater Dripping From Pressure Relief Valve — Final Words

One factor could be why you have a water heater pressure relief valve dripping issue. Some of the procedures you must do to confirm if one of them is the reason are straightforward. It’s essential to enlist the service of a qualified technician if you are not comfortable performing either of the tests.