What is a T&P Valve?

T and P ValveA T&P Valve is a very important safety device used on water heaters. The T&P is the last safety device before a water heater explodes so it is very important that the T&P Valve is operating correctly, tested often, and never defeated by plugging it even when it is leaking.

A Properly functioning T&P Valve should not leak while the water heater is operating at normal temperatures and pressures, but it is designed to open when either the temperature exceeds the safe operating temperature or, the pressure exceeds the safe operating pressure for your water heater. The most commonly used T&P Valve has an opening pressure of 150 psi and an opening temperature of 210 degrees F, but valves with other ratings may also be used.

To test a T&P Valve you simply lift the lever on the T&P Valve and water should discharge, then stop when the lever is released. Sometimes the valve may not shut off completely and need to be cycled again before it shuts off completely. If the valve sticks open and does not shut off the T&P Valve should be replaced as long as the temperature and pressure rating of the T&P Valve is not being exceeded. Never put a plug to outlet of a T&P Valve to stop it from leaking. When a T&P Valve discharges you should measure both the temperature and the pressure to determine if the valve has a legitimate reason for leaking.

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