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Charles, Engineering Contractor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 2066
Experience:  20+ years in most phases of construction
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I work for an apartment complex. For each of our water heaters,

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I work for an apartment complex. For each of our water heaters, we have a drain line that connects to the T/P valve. This particular drain line is connected to main line.

This drain line for the water heaters is leaking under concrete. We were told that it was very hard to detect where the breakage is located since it's not under pressure. So replacing the broken pipe is not an option for us. Also, it could just break again. We would like to disconnect the T/P valves from each water heater.

I wanted to please ask the following:

-Most homes etc. and some other businesses do not even have this separate drain line for the water heaters. Our only concern is if the T/P valves leaks. If the T/P valve leaks and we can't send someone out right that moment, will turning off the circuit breaker stop the valve from leaking (maybe somewhat)?

-What can be done to stop the leaking from the T/P valve until someone gets there to replace it?

- How do these valves typically leak? I head that it typically only leaks a few drops until then it starts to really flow. Is that true?

-One other issue we had with this drain line for water heaters- if the T/P valve leaks, we don't know about the issue until the tennants electric bill is high. This creates a big issue for us as the tenants want us to pay- but no one knew about the issue. What do you suggest about this concern.

Charles : Hello, and thanks for your question!!
Charles : The t/p valve is a pressure activated device designed to keep the water heater from exploding if the temp got to the point that the tank would fail
Charles : The only thing that would stop the valve from leak inning would be to shut off the water flow to the heater
Charles : turningheater turning off the electricity to the water heater will only stop it from heating the water.
Charles : sorry, my keyboard jammed up, lol
Charles : the best thing you could do would be to make sure you have a shut off valve located at the cold water intake of the heater so it can be shut off without the need to shut off all the water to the unit

Thanks for your reply. What if the tennant is on vacation and the water heater leaks. How are we going to find out other than seeing the water? Is there any devices you'd recommend for finding the leaking water heaters remotely before the tennants do?


Also, do these valves typically leak a little bit before they leak a lot?

Customer: this page lists ones for $120. I can't afford this for every apartment. Are there any less expensive ones you know of? I think that the cut off valve just needs to connect to the shut off if water is detected.

Charles : That is about the best price I have seen on the market. These are an item that you really want o function right so I wouldn't go out and buy the cheapest one you can find. You will just end up throwing good money after bad. If the detector doesn't work then you have spent the money on the detector and still have the detection problem
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