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2 Signs The T&P Relief Valve On Your Home's Water Heater Is Going Bad

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When you look at your home's water heater, on the side is a small valve called the temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve. Since the water heater is a closed system, this valve is vital for its operation, allowing excess steam and pressure to be released so that it does not damage the tank.

If this valve stops working properly, pressure will start to build up within the system, which will eventually cause major damage to the tank and the area surrounding the water heater if it were to rupture or explode. Below are a couple of signs to watch for that indicate that the T&P relief valve is going bad and needs to be fixed by a plumbing professional.

1. Water Heater Is Constantly Making Whistling and Rattling Noises

One sign that the T&P relief valve on your home's water heater is going bad is when you start hearing constant noises coming from the appliance. You may hear a rattling noise accompanied by a high-pitched whistling sound as the valve attempts to release the pressure and steam built up inside the water heater.

When you hear the whistling noise, this typically means that the valve stem is broken or there is an excessive amount of corrosion within the valve, which closes off the opening and causes the steam being pushed through to create the noise like a tea kettle. The rattling sound indicates strain on the tank from the buildup of pressure, which can cause irreparable damage if not fixed by a professional as soon as possible.

2. Water Starts Leaking Around the Base of the T&P Relief Valve

Another sign that the valve is no longer working as it should be is when you start seeing water leaking around its base. While it is normal for some water to drip from the valve as it is releasing the pressurized steam, leaks around the base indicate that there is a blockage keeping the water from going through the valve.

Since steam and water cannot escape through the valve because of damage or rust, it will start to push against the seals and eventually break them, causing the leak. The water leakage will only get worse if the problem is not addressed by a plumbing professional.

If you suspect that the T&P relief valve on your home's water heater is going bad, having it looked at by a professional is not something that can wait. If the valve stops working completely, the built-up pressure inside the appliance could rupture the tank or even cause an explosion. As soon as you feel that the part is malfunctioning, contact a plumber who offers residential water heater repair services to schedule a service call to have them inspect and possibly replace the T&P relief valve if needed.

Contact a company like Mr. Waterheater to learn more.