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Plumbing Emergency: What To Do During a Flood

Welcome! My name is Sally. This is my blog about plumbing. I decided to start writing about plumbing after a very scary experience. I arrived home from work one day only to discover that a pipe burst in my home. When I opened the front door, I saw a torrent of water pouring down the stairs. I panicked and ran next door to my neighbour. Luckily, he used to work as a construction contractor, so he has a lot of experience in dealing with household problems. He helped me to turn off the mains water and helped me to mop up the mess. After this event, I decided I wanted to learn more about the plumbing in my house, so I went to a night school class.

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Plumbing Emergency: What To Do During a Flood

Hot Water Tank Relief Valve Drip: When Is It Time To Call In A Plumber?

by Melvin Owens

As a first home owner, you are embarking on a journey that combines home ownership pride with home maintenance 101 education. Take, for example, the dripping hot water tank relief valve problem that you have recently noticed. You may think a few drops of water here and there are not going to do any harm, so is it really necessary to call in a plumber? It's time to understand why the relief valve is dripping so you can make a decision about how long you can wait to get it replaced.

What Does The Relief Valve Do?

Think of your hot water tank as a big pressure cooker. The heating element turns the cold water into hot, which you then enjoy on a cold winter's day. The water in your tank is heated under pressure, and the relief valve is a safety mechanism to make sure that if something malfunctions within the tank, and there is too much pressure inside, that it can release via the relief valve rather than exploding the water tank itself.

Why Is It Dripping Water?

There are three common reasons why a hot water tank relief valve drips constantly:

  1. It could be an age issue. While there is no average age for a valve to fail, the older the valve it, the less lifespan it has left.
  2. If the water heater thermostat has malfunctioned and the water has heated well above the set temperature, the water has expanded to a point that the relief valve is letting out the pressure. A relief valve does not have to be showering water like a geyser to indicate there is a problem within the tank. Even small continuous drips can be a sign that this is happening.
  3. The pressure within the tank is set a little higher than the pressure trigger for the relief valve, so it is simply doing its job of relieving that build up.

So in a nutshell, if it has just started to drip water then it may be because of age, but if it has been dripping for a while then it is best to have the whole water tank inspected to find out why. A plumber can do both the tank check and the valve replacement for you. Because this is a safety feature of your hot water heater, it is best to have the problem addressed as soon as your budget allows rather than putting it on the "to-do later" list.

For more information, contact Peninsula Plumbing S.A. or a similar company.