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Water Heater Drain Pipe Outside

Water Heater Drain Valve Dripping

Water Heater Drain Lines

Your water heaters drain valve may be dripping with water. This typically means the valve is broken or the water heater is failing .

Even though the leak may occasionally be very sluggish, you shouldnt disregard it. The hot water tanks total water capacity will overflow into your basement if the drain valve malfunctions.

Opening the water heater drain valve is a standard maintenance procedure to remove accumulated sediment. This may involve draining the hot water from the tanks. But before thinking the drain valve is the cause of the leak, its always a good idea to find out where the water is coming from. This will ensure that you are dealing with the actual source of the problem.

What Is That Pipe Coming Out Of My House And Why Is It Leaking

In general, when you find water leaking from a pipe anywhere on your home or property, your first instinct is probably to call a plumber. Before you reach for the phone, however, you should understand that in some cases, pipes leak water intentionally! If youve noticed a pipe leading to the outside of your home that drips water, theres a good chance that this is actually just your AC condensate drain, which is supposed to carry water outside your home.

Still, this isnt always the case, and some pipe leaks do need to be investigated. By having a better idea of whats normal versus what may be problematic, you can more confidently decide when its time to call for help .

Water Heater Drain Pipe Installation

Lay out a path for the drain line. Most municipalities require that drain lines empty water into a floor drain or outdoors. Follow local building codes when deciding where to drain any water that drains out of the tank.

If you don’t have a floor drain, drain the water into a sump pit. If the water heater is within 6 inches of the drain, you can use a PVC pipe or a rubber hose for the drain line. If it’s farther than 6 inches, use a rubber hose. A PVC pipe that extends out too far from the water heater can pose a tripping hazard, as well as be at risk from being accidentally damaged.

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Is It Ok To Have A Bucket Under Temperature/pressure Relief Valve Rather Than Drain Outside


I am waiting to get my 30 gallon electric water heater installed. It is placed inside the bathroom , right next to the shower.

I would like to avoid running the valve through my floor or outside the wall, so am wondering if it is safe/common to just place a bucket underneath? According to this lowes tutotorial, it is :

I have a few questions regarding this 1) How often does the t/p valve drain and how much water is expected? In other words, is a 5 gallon bucket more than enough as long as its emptied regularly? Any chance that more than 5 gallons will come out? 2) I will have an expansion tank. Will that help with minimizing the amount of water dripped from the valve? 3) Does water ever drip out of the drain valve or is that simply there just to drain the tank manually? If not, what is the pirpose of the pan? 4) What would cause a the temp valve to constantly run out water ?

Causes Of Excess Pressure In A Water Heater

overflow pipe dripping outside house

Now that you understand some of the possible causes of leaks from your water heater, well discuss one of the most serious: leakage from the temperature and pressure relief valve due to excess pressure or temperature in your water heater. While its easy to understand the important role of the temperature and pressure relief valve, you may be wondering how pressure can build up in your water heater in the first place.

One of the most common causes of excess pressure in a water heater is simply having the temperature set too high. Since water expands as its heated, higher-temperature water occupies more volume, which, in the confines of a water heater, results in increased pressure. If the pressure increases too much, your relief valve will activate, releasing water through the drain pipe. Therefore, its important to keep your temperature set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.

Another possible cause of high pressure in your water heater is variations in the pressure of the water that comes into the water heater. If the source of water experiences an increase in pressure, when it is further expanded due to heating, it will result in excess pressure that must be relieved.

If its your HVAC system youre having trouble with, one of our licensed HVAC technicians can lend a hand with this as well. We offer new system installation, repair, and maintenance plans to keep your HVAC system operating smoothly.

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How To Flush Or Drain A Water Heater Tank

Following are the steps to take when flushing or draining a water heater. This video gives you a great overview:

1 Turn off the water heaters gas supply or electrical power, depending on whether the water heater is gas or electric. On a gas water heater, you can simply turn the gas control to Pilot.

2 Turn off the cold water inlet valve that controls the supply of water to the tank. Be sure this is the incoming cold water valve, not a valve for the outbound hot water . If this valve has a lever like the one shown below, turn it perpendicular to the pipe.

3 Attach a hose to the tank drain valve at the bottom of the water heater, and run the hose to a drain, to the outdoors, or to a large bucket. Make sure the end of the hose is below the level of the drain valve.

4 Open a hot water faucet somewhere in the house and the water heaters pressure-release valve to let in air so the water heater can drain. This prevents a vacuum from forming as the water drains.

Caution: Remember that the water exiting the water heater will be very hot! Be very careful to prevent scalding. If you want to be extra safe, allow the water heater to cool for several hours before doing the next step.

5 Open the water heaters drain valve. If youre just flushing sediment, allow 3 or 4 gallons to exit until the water from the drain valve runs clear. Then close the drain valve and the PT valve. Open and close the cold water supply valve a few times to flush clean water into the tank.

Why Is My Water Heater Leaking Learn 4 Common Causes

Most people know that when their water heater is leaking, it means bad news.

This minor nuisance can turn into a significant problem before you know it, so it is something that should be handled quickly and professionally.

A small trickle of water can be easily cleaned up with minimal damage to your floors. However, this small trickle will soon turn into a flood that will cause damage to your sub-floors and even dry-wall.

Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to quickly and effectively diagnose where the leak is coming from and how great the threat is of causing a more severe problem.

You may be able to determine for yourself if the leak is an easy repair, or if you require a brand new water heater.

Regardless of your findings, we recommend always contacting a licensed plumber to look at the issue and either fix the leak or replace your water heater altogether.

A plumber will look at two main areas to determine once and for all where the leak is coming from and how serious it is.

  • The first spot the plumber will check is the drain valve. This spigot is located at the bottom of the tank and is responsible for draining the sediment from the water heater. If this is the location of the leak, the good news is your plumber will quickly be able to replace the drain valve for a relatively inexpensive cost.
  • Although these are the two most common causes of a leaking hot water heater, they are not always the culprits.

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    Users Who Are Viewing This Thread


    This is a DIY forum, understandably you’d like to fix this ourselfThe ONE THING I will tell you…DON’T..I repeat DON’T attempt to block the outlet. The T & P valve may be defective, the gas valve could be defective and the burner may be overheating, the aquastat could be defective.There are a number of things that could be wrong and that outlet is a life saver.Please use caution, this could be simple, it could be complicated, my humble opinion is have a professional look at it, in person.Feel free to listen to other opinions.

    do not stop the water from exiting the pipe by closing any valves or plugging anythingWith water coming out the T& P / drain you should be safe until a plumber corrects the problems…… the T& P is doing it’s job..

    heaterThat line MUST be redone and installed properly.

    Replaced Pressure valve

    daddyslipdisk said:I figure that if I use the pressure switch each month, that should quell any concerns about pressure build up. Any thoughts?

    everyin the tank

    An Open Or Worn Drain Valve

    How to Replace a Water Heater Drain Valve

    Check that the drain valve is closed if your water heater is leaking.

    Your water heaters drain valve is at the bottom of the tank. If youve ever scheduled a water heater maintenance visit, youve probably seen the plumber use this drain valve to flush out sediment buildup. Sometimes, if it isnt closed tightly or the seal around the valve gets worn down due to age, water can leak from or around it.

    What to do about it: Make sure the drain valve is tightly closed. If it is, and you still see water leaking out, you should contact a plumber. They can repair or replace the valve for you.

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    Inspect The Heater For Leaks

    Look for any leaks around the valves. If theres a leak and the heater is off, release the pressure from the heater by flipping the T& P valve. However, flip it slowly. Most are susceptible to damage if you flip it too quickly. A leak means you may have to re-thread the valve with Teflon/plumber tape.

    Perform A Quick Flush

    Before you shut off the water, connect a garden hose to the drain valve and try and flush the water heater tank a bit while the water pressure is on. To do this, open the drain valve for a few seconds and then close it again. The pressure will blow out any sediment stuck in the valve and help the tank drain faster. If quite a bit of sediment comes out, you can repeat this a couple of times.

    Be sure that youâve run your garden hose to either an exterior location or into your bucket to catch the water and sediment that will be released.

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

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    Where Is The Hot Water Heater Leaking Coming From

    The top main reason behind a Hot Water Heater Leaking is:

    • A Temperature Pressure Relief Valve .
    • Many specialists determine that temperature pressure is the common source of the Hot Water Heater Leaking.
    • The temperature pressure relief valve is basically attached with your hot water heater and controls or maintains pressure of the water.
    • When the excessive pressure is built inside the hot water heater, this temperature pressure relief valve helps in relieving pressure of the water.

    Look For The Source Of The Water Leak

    The old T& P Relief Valve drip

    Now we are really getting down to business. Once your water and power source are turned off, it’s time to find the source of the leak so you can correctly troubleshoot and repair it. Try identifying where the water builds up and clean it up. Then, the next day, if you notice an accumulation of water in the same place, you now know where to start troubleshooting your hot water heater leaking.

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    When A Water Heater Is Above The Ground Floor Or Inside An Attic

    Installation of a drain pan becomes especially important if your water heater is located above your homes ground floor. If a leak happens and you dont have a drain pan in place, you could be looking at a lot of costly structural damage.

    Leaking water in a multi-level home will drip through your walls and ceiling, which can cause an outbreak of mold or even harm the structural integrity of your house.

    If you do sustain a major leak from a water heater on the upper level of your house, youll need to make sure the water damage isnt affecting any of the load-bearing walls in your home.

    Failure to do this could damage these walls, which can result in a partial or total collapse of your house. As such, I highly recommend placing your water heater in the basement, as leaks down there wont run the risk of major structural damage.

    Water Heater Overflow Outside Drain Pipe

    My water heater’s overflow outside drain pipe has been running hot water out of it non-stop. I turned the inflow water valve to the water heater off and the water stopped running. But what is causing this water to flow out like that?

    Since your question says hot water, not steam escaping from overflow, my first thought would be to check for a faulty high pressure relief valve. This is the cylinder with the little lift switch usually mounted atop the tank with the drain line attached.

    How old is the water tank?

    It could be rusted through the internal piping and water is finding a way out.

    In our experience it doesn’t matter the water quality. I live in the city where the water is softer and my parents are in the suburbs where its harder. If its going to rust, the water will find a way through.

    Check the temperature also if its to hot, expansion could be causing the water to get through somewhere which would probably tell me its time to replace it anyways.

    In the last days of ours, water was trickling out of the top where it feeds the house at the connection between the heater and the copper pipe.

    In our case the tank was in excess of 10+ years and in my experience, they don’t last much longer than 7

    It might be time to replace it.

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    One: Disconnect The Power

    Everybody knows that electricity and water dont mix. Its no different when your hot water heater is leaking. Having a gas water heater doesnt necessarily protect you from this risk, either. Many gas heaters use electricity to keep the pilot light ignited. You cant always tell this is the case by simply looking for a plug leading from the heater to an outlet, either some gas heaters that use electricity dont rely directly on the mainline.

    Besides, disconnecting your water heater fromelectricity requires a simple process that is more than worth it consideringthe safety and peace of mind youll enjoy. Simply switch off the breaker thatcontrols your water heaters electrical supply if its an electrical unit. Ifyou have a gas heater, turn the switch that usually lies near the tanks bottomto the OFF position.

    You dont necessarily need to activate the gasshutoff valve. In fact, its recommended that you dont as these valves areeasy to damage.

    Hot Water Tank Overflow Pipe Dripping

    Water Heater – Drain Valve | Repair and Replace

    Generally, water heaters that are installed in our houses have inbuilt valves that come along with them. This valve is also present in the latest water heaters that are installed in most modern apartments as well. This built-in TPR valve is identified as the temperature pressure relief valve. The main purpose of this is to act as a preventive measure, whenever theres excess pressure.

    This temperature pressure relief valve is attached to the discharge pipe. Its designed to release the pressure when there is too much of a load built up inside the water heater. So, this release of its pressure causes your hot water tank overflow pipe dripping towards the floor where the hot water heater is placed.

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    Release The Pressure From The Entire System

    Open a hot water faucet to remove the pressure from the heater. Since the cold water inlet is closed, it should be a momentary flow.

    Now, open the overflow at the bottom of the heater. Attach a garden hose that directs water out of the house or to your homes drainage. Leave the overflow open for one minute.

    Last Word Of Precaution: Consultyour Heaters Manual And Warranty

    The tips that weve mentioned above are greatfor general reference. Most modern water heaters operate in such a fashion thatwould allow you to use these tips with no issues. Still, we recommend that youcheck your water heaters manual to confirm that everything is where we say itis based on our instructions.

    While our technicians can certainly identifyand work with any abnormal configurations, for the sake of brevity this postsimply touches on the most common cases.

    Lastly, be sure that anything you are doingdoes not void your warranty. Replacing the drain valve, pressure valve, or thelike usually does not affect your warranty but, again, there may be somespecific instances. Better safe than sorry!

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    Two: Avoid Coming Intocontact With The Water

    This is less of a step and more of a precaution to keep in mind as you handle your hot water heater thats leaking. Unlike water softeners , the water in your heater is, well, heated. Most water heaters in Phoenix ship with a default setting of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If youve ever had the system adjusted by a professional, they likely only turned it down to 120 degrees, which is the recommended temperature.

    Thats still enough to cause first-degreeburns upon immediate contact. If the heater is set at its maximum for somereason , serious injury can result fromeven indirect contact.

    In other words, avoid coming into contact withthe water, even briefly.

    If your hot water heater tank is leakingseverely and theres no way to proceed without coming into contact with thewater, call a professional. If youre in the Phoenix, Arizona area, our staffat American Home Water and Air will be more than happy to help you fix yourleaking water heater safely.

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