[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The water heater is one of the most critical parts of your plumbing setup. If you notice that the floor around the water heater is damp, you’ve likely got a heater problem. When that happens, call one of our technicians to come help. Our technicians all have full training and years of experience when it comes to water heaters and other plumbing and heating problems. Count on our home inspector near me services to quickly and efficiently solve your heating problems.

How is Your Water Heater Doing?

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Is the old water heater ready to go? | Home Inspector Near Me

Freezing cold showers aren’t for everyone. Some of us like to stay warm in the morning. If you don’t want to deal with the cold, then you should think about the current state of your water heater. A home inspector near me can give you the full details as to the general health of your water heater.

Water heaters are generally very reliable pieces of equipment. Your heater will mostly sit in the closet, or wherever you keep it, quietly working away in the background. Most people don’t worry about inspecting water heaters or how their heater is doing until it’s too late. We can forget we even have one until someone turns on the shower or tries to run a bath, and there’s no hot water at all. The fall and winter periods are when water heaters are most likely to fail, as the water coming to the house is colder, so the heater needs to work harder to heat it up. Unfortunately, the fall and winter are also when you need heating the most.

 

There are plenty of things you can do to keep the water heating going, but your heater is destined to fail at some point. It will inevitably break down and need to be repaired or replaced. Contacting a home inspector near me and having them conduct a simple inspection helps, but there are some simple visual checks you can do at home too. Is your heater relatively new but has already stopped producing hot water? Can you see any leaks around the tank or water standing issues? Does the tank rumble or whine? Is there a rotten egg smell to the water? Does the water have an orange tint?

 

If you recently bought the tank and didn’t have any hot water, then the first step is to check the breakers and pilot light for errors. Your heating unit won’t get any power if the breaker is tripped. The same happens with the pilot light. If the pilot light doesn’t light up, it could be an issue with the pilot control valve, or you could have a broken thermocouple. Either way, the unit doesn’t get the energy it needs to heat the water. Call a home inspector near me to take care of the issue.

 

Rumbling in a water tank comes from the boiling water. Sediment builds up at the bottom of the tank. The sediment causes water to overheat, which drives up the cost of heating in your home. The whining is caused by scale building up on the heating elements of an electric heater. Flushing the hot water tank on a regular basis, at least once per year, is often the only maintenance task you’ll need to do for it. Flushing the water tank should eliminate that rumbling sound and feel. It takes a bit more work to clean the elements and remove scale. You have to turn the tank off, drain it, and then remove the elements for cleaning. Ensure that the tank fills with water thoroughly before turning the power back on after cleaning the elements. A home inspector near me will be able to check for any sediment build up.

If the water in the tank is an odd color or seems stained, then the issue is caused by the tank deteriorating, and it’s a sign that you need to replace your heater. If you don’t feel comfortable replacing your heater by yourself, then a home inspector near me would be more than happy to help. You will be able to find a home inspector near me that can do a fantastic job.

 

The technology used to heat water and run heating systems has advanced quite a bit in recent years. There are now many energy-efficient models to choose from. There are gas and electric heaters and even tankless water heaters. Tankless heaters don’t hold water; instead, they heat water as it passes through. These heaters offer an unlimited supply of hot water that produces hot water as necessary to suit you. Tankless options also mean that there are no tanks to leak or rust, making them more efficient and longer-lasting. A home inspector near me can provide you with the best heater options to suit your requirements and budget.

home inspector near meTankless or On Demand System | Home Inspector Near Me

They say a stitch in time saves nine, and this is definitely the case with water tanks and other plumbing problems. Taking a few minutes out of your year to flush the tank, check for leaks, and replacing broken and missing parts for tanks over ten years old can help prevent tank ruptures. A ruptured tank will do a lot of damage to your home and create a mess you don’t want to have to deal with. That’s to say nothing of the endless cold showers that come with a broken heater. Ideally, you want to take good care of your heater so that you only need to call a home inspector near me for emergencies.

home inspector near meCompact Unit | Home Inspector Near Me

The TPR Valve is the Most Important Part Of Your Heater

As you check your heater, be sure to pay attention to the TPR valve. This valve sits at the side of the water heater tank. The valve is connected to a discharge tube that points downwards. This TPR valve, also known as a T&P valve, is the “temperature and pressure relief” valve. In the best-case scenario, this valve is only ever used during testing. However, the valve is critically important if something goes wrong with the heater. A reliable home inspector near me will be able to tell you just how vital the valve is.

The TPR valve may help prevent the water heater from exploding in an emergency. Understanding how this valve works and knowing when to call a home inspector near me helps keep your water heater running properly and reduces the risk of significant damage to your home.


How Does the TPR Valve Work?

All plumbing codes mandate TPR valves. The valve works by relieving excess pressure and temperature if one of these elements reaches critical levels. Water heaters are closed systems. It is impossible to entirely eliminate thermal expansion with a heater because of how a water heater functions.

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He’s just a small guy hiding in there | Home Inspector Near Me

For a regular water heater, the water is heated via electric elements or a gas burner. The temperature of the water causes the water and the metal tank it is housed in to expand. Water tanks are built to accommodate a “normal” amount of expansion, but too much expansion is possible – and dangerous. If the temperature or pressure reaches critical levels, then the TPR valve kicks in. The valve opens up and eliminates the hot water and steam through the discharge tube to prevent disaster.

The pressure at which your TPR valve should activate is printed on a data plate. The data plate is just under the test lever. The pressure indicated on the plate shouldn’t be more than the working pressure limit of the water heater it is attached to. If you need help with locating the data plate or understanding it, then a home inspector near me will be happy to help.

While your TPR valve might never be activated once during the lifetime of your heater, it is nonetheless an essential piece of safety equipment. The guidelines for TPR valves and discharge pipes represent real hazards that homeowners and home inspectors alike should take seriously. We understand the risks of exploding water heaters and other problems; that’s why we take our inspections seriously. A home inspector near me will be able to ensure the full safety of your TRP valve.

 


How to Install a TPR Valve

The TPR valve is usually pre-installed on your water heater. The tank has a threaded inlet welded to its side, with the TPR valve screwed clockwise into the inlet. While the valve itself is installed before purchase, the discharge tube may not be.

You can install the discharge tube by running a strip of Teflon tape clockwise around the PVC tube. Screw the discharge tube onto the TPR valve. The tube should be screwed in by hand at first and then switch to a wrench to secure it properly. Be careful to avoid tightening the pipe too much, as this can break the valve or tube and make them ineffective.

The discharge tube should be pointed straight downward, ending a few inches above the floor. We recommend that you put a water heater pan under the water heater to collect any slow drips from the water or catch an emergency discharge. There’s no need for your floor to get wet, after all. Alternatively, you can let a home inspector near me handle this installation.

 

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Discharge pipe is not there | Home Inspector Near Me

A Warning About the TPR Valve

As mentioned before, the best-case scenario means that you rarely use the TPR valve. Be warned that this can cause minerals to build upon the valve and cause it to stiffen over time. A stiff valve represents a significant safety hazard as it means that the valve can’t open fully in the event of an emergency. The valve is there to prevent the water heater explosion, meaning that your water heater could still explode if the valve doesn’t move properly.

How to Test a Valve for Problems


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Pressure relief valve | Home Inspector Near Me

We recommend that you check your TPR valve regularly to ensure smooth operation. Here’s how;

1. Ensure that the discharge tube is securely fitted to the tank. Wear closed-toe shoes during inspection to keep your feet safe.

2. Place a bucket under the discharge tube.

3. Pull back on the TPR valve’s metal lever to cause a small amount of water to empty into the bucket. A quarter-cup of water should be more than enough.

4. Release the valve and let it snap back to where it was. The valve is faulty and will need replacing if it doesn’t snap back by itself.

Common TPR Valve Problems to Watch For

Your TPR valve shouldn’t require too much time and attention from you. The two main issues found with these valves are when the valve doesn’t open or close properly and when the valve drips and leaks. A home inspector near me can remedy these problems before they worsen.

What to do with a Leaky TPR Valve

If you notice your TPR valve is leaking, then this could be caused by the valve not being placed in the tank properly. The valve being misplaced is more likely if the leaking occurs as soon as a valve is replaced. The easy way to solve this issue is to turn off the water heater, allowing it to fully cool down, before removing and rethreading the valve in place.

Warning

home inspector near meThis TPR valve was guarded | Home Inspector Near Me

If your water heater regularly discharges hot water and steam through the TPR valve, then it could be a sign your water temperature is too high. Ensure that the water temperature setting is in the recommended range to ensure this isn’t a problem.

home inspector near meGuardian of the water heater | Home Inspector Near Me

How to Fix a Sticky TPR Valve

Another potential problem with TPR valves is that they can get stuck in a closed or open position. Either way, being stuck open or closed is a severe issue. When a valve is stuck downwards, it can’t offer the needed relief if the system reaches maximum pressure capacity. This could cause the water tank to rupture due to the pressure. When the valve is stuck in the open position, it continues to leak water through the discharge tube and can flood your home and cause water damage.

One way to resolve a sticky TPR valve is by opening and closing the lever a few times. Jiggle the valve gently by pulling the lever towards you. Much like jiggling an unruly toilet handle, this could be enough to unstick the valve. You should replace the TPR valve if it doesn’t become unstuck.

Safety Considerations with TPR Valves

TPR valves are built to last and should last as long as the water heater itself. Fixing a valve isn’t difficult as long as you regularly check for problems to fix them before they become an issue. However, there are safety precautions to keep in mind whenever you work with a water heater. You could accidentally damage your TPR valve if the water heater exceeds the set temperature and pressure levels. It would be best to call in the plumbing experts if you believe your heater tank could have a pressure problem. They can fully assess the tank and work out what, if anything, has gone wrong. You should always call in a reliable home inspector near me for a full check.

If you’re progressing through your home buying adventure and thinking it’s time to find a Home Inspector Near Me. Give That One Inspector a call. We’re that home inspector near me and we’d be happy to give you a Home Inspection worth remembering!

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Here is a cool video Mythbusters made regarding TPR valves. I tell people it can turn into a small bomb. You can decide for yourself. 🙂

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