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Thread: How often should you test t/p valve on water heater

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member reed50's Avatar
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    Default How often should you test t/p valve on water heater

    How often should the t/p valve on a water heater be tested? I've read everything from once a month to once a year. I read in one of the other threads that a valve that was only a year old was frozen shut. What do you guys (the experts) think?

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The trade associations recommend that we test EVERY T&P valve when we are in a house, but then, if it is defective, the customer may say, "But, it was NOT broken before you messed with it, so you have to fix it for me."

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    DIY Junior Member reed50's Avatar
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    How often should the average homeowner check it if they rarely have a need to call a plumber? I have read on some sites that some plumbers tell homeowners NOT to test them.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Well.............like hj mentions, sometimes checking them allows for crud to get under the seal and they start leaking. So when someone plays with them, they tend to need replacing.
    They should be tested when you have the replacement in hand I guess.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It's not a bad idea to test it once a year. But, as noted, if you have hard water, or really aggressive water, the shaft could freeze or stick, and crud could get under the seal, and then it won't fully close. Then, it's time to replace it.
    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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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    On my old water heater, I only pulled the TPR lever once in 10 years. After the tank failed, I pulled it to try to break the vacuum and found it was all crudded up and didn't work. I'm afraid to pull it on the replacement tank in case it won't shut off.

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    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    When I remember, I test the ones in my house about once a month.
    Those valves are extremely important safety features.

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Agreed that once opened the T/P may not close, but what if the valve is corroded and will not open when needed? You'll end up with a hell of a hole in the roof is what. Best to test it and have a spare on hand just in case. You may never need it, but it's a $15 insurance policy if you do.

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    Expert Plumber plumber2011's Avatar
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    deleted...
    Last edited by plumber2011; 06-07-2011 at 04:35 AM.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    If the valve is tested and it will not shut off, then that is an indication that it was TIME to replace it. It is like not going to the dentist because you are afraid of what he will find. NOT knowing about a problem does NOT make it go away.

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    DIY Junior Member reed50's Avatar
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    Thanks for everyone's responses. I actually tested the t/p valve yesterday; hope I did it correctly. I pulled up on the lever and could hear water running out. But apparently I pulled too much and the lever went all the way up and the water stopped running. When I pulled the lever back down, the water ran again and then stopped when I put the lever back in its original place. Hopefully this was what I was supposed to do (am counting on you guys to let me know if I screwed up). Once again, I appreciate everyone's patience. I'm just a female trying to learn to take care of some things by herself!

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    You did fine reed50!
    There isn't much you can do wrong there...

    As long as the water stops afterwards the valve has tested good!

  13. #13
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    My service guys test it every time they do a call.

  14. #14
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Cool You are inviteing trouble

    I have never touched them and it is best not to because ..
    YOU ARE BASICALLY PULLING THE PIN ON A GRENADE


    because they will almost ALWAYS leak over the course of the next week........and wether they only weep a littel puttle or piss an ocean out all over the home it is YOUR GAMBLE which could end up costing your insurance company to clean up the mess...

    or its gonna cost you at least a free service call to come out and repair the valve that was working fine before you messed with it........

    If you FIRST clearly state to the customer BEFORE you touch the t+p valve that it might start leaking right NOW, or later today or tomorrow or next week , and its gonna cost you $$ to change it out...
    My guess is odds are that they will tell you to leave it alone.....


    for that matter why not just change them out every time you go into a customers home.???
    ... It would be safer, probably cheaper and you wont have any call backs 2 weeks from now.

    I think that is what a truely "safety conscious"
    plumber would do to protect the health of
    out great nation......god bless the USA.


    TERRY... HOW MUCH IS IT WORTH IN SEATTLE???
    .... $75 ---$150 bucks??

  15. #15
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    You would be lucky in Seattle to get one replaced for $150.00

    We went to a home today in Seattle where a plumber had quoted $1,100.00 to change a lead bend, and a new toilet would be $880.00

    We replaced the lead bend for $500 and installed a new Toto Drake at $220 with the $45 softclose seat. The customer was very happy.

    So yes, you would be lucky at $150.00

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