What is a TPR Valve?
On the top or side of every water heater, there is a pressure safety valve called the TPR valve. It is a simple device that releases pressure (very hot water) if the temperature in the water heater reaches 180 degrees. The “TPR” stands for Temperature & Pressure Relief. The TPR valve is one of the many things we look at during our inspections. It’s also one of the things we seem to write up very often.
TPR Valve Issues We Find
The correct way to address this valve when the heater is installed is to install a 3/4″ pipe straight down to within 6″ of the floor, that’s it. So, why do we see some of the most amazing plumbing with pipes bent around the tank and then down with multiple right angle connectors, reduced to 1/2″ pipe, connected to a main drain, going up into attics or even a garden hose? Most of these solutions, which are not safe or legal, cost more than the correct pipe ($5/6). Even plumbers sometimes make a huge job out of a simple installation. Follow the old adage, “keep it simple stupid”. Remember, there must be a pipe on the valve to prevent scalding in case of a malfunction.