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Water Heaters: Temperature/Pressure Relief Valve And Safety

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Temperature/Pressure Relief (TPR) valves are usually installed in water heaters to help prevent explosions. They do this by providing a way out for hot water and steam. Doing so usually decreases pressure in the heating system and as a result reduces the chances of heater explosions.

Given the importance of the role that these valves play, it is important for every homeowner to ensure that they are in good shape at all times. The fact that they handle hot water makes them a potential safety hazard. The following are TPR valve tips that will help make your home safer.

Testing the TPR valve

Most TPR valve heaters are fitted with a lever system. This lever usually comes in handy in cases where the TPR valve malfunctions and manual intervention is necessary. And while the lever is primarily an emergency intervention feature, it can also be used to test whether the TPR valve is functioning properly. Taking advantage of this feature can help you prevent a water heater disaster by allowing you enough time to replace a malfunctioning valve.

Using the "test" lever is also a good chance to ensure no physical objects get in the way of the TPR valve's operation. Things that limit the movement of the "test" lever, such as walls, are usually of particular concern. This is because the lever is connected to the valve. Therefore, anything that makes it impossible to move it can potentially affect the operation of the valve.

Adding a discharge tube

In order to ensure that you and your family are shielded from the risks of scalding, it is important to ensure that the TPR valve is fitted with a discharge tube. The function of this tube will be to ensure that the hot water emitted by the TPR valve is safely guided to a drain.

This will go a long way towards reducing the risks of accidental scalding. And since the emitted water will be discharged away from your furniture and other valuables, a properly installed discharge tube will come with the added advantage of reducing the risks of water damage.

When installing the discharge tube, it is important to remember that the discharge tube should never be "piped up". What this means is that it should be installed in a way that ensures the smooth flow of water- it should be consistently dropping – gradient wise. This is important because a "piped up" discharge pipe is usually inefficient when it comes to draining TPR valve water leaks. This not only increases the risks of blockage, but also makes it impossible to detect these leaks – something that may hide the signs of a heater malfunction. If you do see a leak, then contact a heating services professional right away.