The Role Of A T&P Valve In A Water Heater

T&P Valve

The water heater is one of the most vital household fixtures, and it’s virtually impossible to imagine a home without it. As it’s used for bathing, cleaning dishes, and dirty clothes, it is one of the busiest units in any house. Thus, identifying any water heater-related issues is essential, and that’s where the T&P valve comes in.

All homeowners should become acquainted with the role of the T&P valve as it will help them detect a problem with the water heater.

T&P valve explained

The purpose of the Temperature and Pressure (T&P) relief valve is to release the pressure from the tank as a safety precaution. When the temperature and pressure inside the tank get too high, the T&P valve will open automatically. Therefore, the valve remains idle and shouldn’t be tampered with if the water heater is working correctly. If the T&P valve malfunctions, that can create immense damage. 

The T&P valve sits at the top of the water heater unit, but it’s sometimes mounted on the side. All plumbing codes mandate installing the T&P valve because the water heater is a closed system, and thermal expansion is expected.

How to correctly install a T&P valve?

Fortunately, most new water heaters come with a pre-installed T&P valve. You can’t remove or replace it. If, by any chance, the valve is not pre-installed or has come off, it’s essential to contact a professional plumbing service to finish the installation.

On the other hand, the discharge tube along the side of the water tank requires installation. Homeowners must ensure that the line is as short as possible and that discharging is efficient throughout the entire length of the tube.

How to prevent T&P valve problems?

The best way to keep the T&P valve issues at bay is to schedule regular professional maintenance. However, there are a few preventative measures you can take. 

  • Make sure that the discharge tube is always safely attached. 

  • Pull back the metal lever of the valve occasionally to release a few ounces of water. 

  • Test the level from time to time to see whether it snaps back into place.

How to fix a broken T&P valve?

A leaky T&P valve is one of the most common problems homeowners face. Typically, this happens because the valve wasn’t correctly seated in the first place when an old valve is replaced with a new one. Often, all you have to do is shut off the water heater entirely and let it cool down. Then, a licensed technician should remove and rethread the valve back into the tank.

Maintaining the water heater properly

The role of the T&P valve is crucial, and that’s why regular maintenance is of paramount importance. Once the valve starts opening up, the pressure and the temperature are already too high.

Keep in mind that the valve releases hot steam and air and can be dangerous. If there is a problem, contact a reliable plumbing company to fix the T&P valve.

Edwards Plumbing LLC is a licensed and bonded family-owned plumbing team out of Gilbert Arizona, specializing in plumbing emergencies, repairs and renovations. We install and repair plumbing pipes, water heaters, water softeners, sump pumps, sewers, and more. Our competitive rates, honesty, experience serve residential and commercial customers. Call us at (480) 712-2081.