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Thread: New Water Heater Overflowing, Old One Didn't

  1. #1

    Default New Water Heater Overflowing, Old One Didn't

    My newly installed (Lowe's) gas, 50 gal water heater (whirlpool) is leaking water out the over flow pipe. I guess leaking isn't the correct term, it seems to be working, but why is it over flowing. My previous water heater (same house) never did this, also a 50gal, gas. Lowe's has sent 2 people over and each has come up with a different reason, but I am still not buying it. One said the house pressure regulator value needs to be replaced. (Then why did it not do this on the original water heater). The second guy Lowe's sent said we needed an expansion tank installed. (Again, why didn't I need one with the original water heater?). I am wonder if the new water heater is faulty and if I am getting the run around from Lowe's.


  2. #2
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    SW Florida


    Overflow pipe?? What pipe is leaking, the T&P?
    Lowes employees are hit and miss, usually miss in the information they dispense.

    Can you post a picture?
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    The old heater may have had a T&P that wasn't working...the new one is working...You may have a bad PRV...this can be checked with a pressuer gauge...if you have a PRV you need an expansion tank...

    PRV = Pressure Reducing Valve

    I am sorry to hear you bought a Whirlpool...if you chech here http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...rlpool+heaters

    You will find 100s or 1000s of posts as to why is was not a good choice...

    It is also possible that you have a bad new T&P valve...

    T&P Valve looking at two sides.
    Last edited by Terry; 04-24-2009 at 10:18 AM.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    If it is the valve on top that has a lever on it, it is a safety valve Temperature and Pressure (T&P) relief valve. There are three reasons they can leak: defective/sticking, the temperature is too high, or the pressure is too high.

    You'd probably notice if the temp was too high, but pressure is another issue.

    When you use a lot of the hot water in the tank, it gets replaced by the incoming cold water. When heated, that water expands. If you plumbing isn't set up to accommodate for that expansion, it will leak out the weakest link, which may be the T&P valve...it could just be doing its job.

    The easiest way to verify that is to buy a gauge (about $10) with a tattle-tale peak reading hand and attach it to the plumbing (you could use the drain valve from the WH as most come with a hose type connector on them). Leave it 24-hours and see what pressure peaks at. You might be surprised - the highs often occur in the middle of the night when nobody in the system is using water, but it can also peak after a large use of hot water because of the expansion.

    T&P Valve looking at two sides.
    Last edited by Terry; 04-24-2009 at 10:18 AM.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014


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