In my first post I wrote about the safety issue of having a standing flame in the garage and how the water heater should be installed to prevent unwanted fires. Water heaters are heated water under pressure and there are a few very important safety devices that need to be just so, and anyone who watches MythBusters knows that water heaters, gone wrong, can be devastating……
The next thing I look at when I am inspecting homes in Salem, Oregon and the water heaters therein is:
The Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve (TPR)
This is probably the single most important safety device on water heaters. This is a simple valve that allows gas/steam/liquid to leak if the pressure or temperature gets too high.
In recent years TPR’s have become very standardized, mounted on the tank, but older models still may have the valves on the hot water line. This condition will cause a home inspector to gripe and is not as safe as the valve on the tank but if you do notice this condition it is most likely time to replace your whole water heater.
With the TPR in a standardized location it is now time to add the extension piping. Yes, extension piping is important! Remember that TPR valve is a release valve just waiting for the temperature or pressure to get to high. When it releases it may do so with a significant amount of steam and super heated water. The extension piping ensures the steam exhausts near the ground and not in anyone’s face.
The pictures are perfect examples of how NOT to pipe the TPR!
I will discuss the other important items in the next posts…….
Jim Allhiser President/Inspector