How to Fix a Water Heater’s Leaking Pressure-Relief Valve

Pressure relief valve on hot water heater.
The pressure relief valve on a hot water heater can leak over time.

I just flushed my hot water heater as you mentioned and now the pressure relief valve is leaking. Is this something I can replace on my own, or should I call a plumber? —Leighton

Hi Leighton,

Pressure relief valves sometime develop a drip when opened for the first time in years. Try opening and closing it a few times to see if it will seat itself. If you have a large leak or the drip doesn’t stop on its own in a day or two, the valve will need to be replaced. Whether you can replace it yourself will depend on your skill level, but as far as plumbing repairs go, it’s not that difficult. If you do try to fix it, here are the basic steps involved:

  1. First, turn off the gas to the water heater, or flip the breaker if it’s electric.
  2. Close the cold water cut-off valve going into the water heater.
  3. Open the valve at the bottom and the pressure relief valve for a minute to drain a little water out of the tank and relieve the pressure.
  4. Remove the overflow pipe from the pressure relief valve. If it’s been glued or soldered in place, it may have to be cut off.
  5. Use a pipe wrench to unscrew the old pressure relief valve.
  6. Wrap Teflon tape around the threads of the new valve, and screw it in until tight, orienting the overflow pipe opening away from the tank.
  7. Reattach the relief valve drain pipe using Teflon tape on the threads. If you have to replace the drain pipe, use pipe (and glue) that is rated for hot water (such as CPVC rather than PVC).
  8. Open the cold water cut-off and check for leaks around the relief valve.

Good luck with your project,


Further Information:


  1. Hello Danny,

    I have did everythings you said but my valve still run water when I cut it back on. Even if the valve is cold it still run and have a lot of pressure. What should I do.


  2. Maybe from now recommend turning the main supply line off. Today we changed a relief valve on a heater in an attic. The plumbing had been crossed. The shutoff was on the cold inlet side of the heater but the cold water was coming in to the hot side. Dip tube changed and c and h crossed. Not good is a understatement. Just an idea but thats how I will approach it from now on. Turn off main. Real fun going behind a sorry plumber

  3. I had a leak from pressure valve which finally just blew across room. I replaced valve but when I turned the main water valve back on only upstairs water runs. I didnt turn anything else off but the gas and delmarva told me how to do that. for three days I have no water on 1st floor, but have water in basement and second floor. Help!

  4. I have attempted to change the TPR valve b/c it has a slow leak, I have followed all the steps, however I am unable to remove(unscrew) the TPR valve. I had a 250lb man use his weight and a pipe wrench to try and remove the valve in order to replace it with a new one. A cheater won’t work b/c that 250lb man bent the relief valve drain pipe threads. Can I try to use WD-40 or some other trick of the trade to get the TPR valve off w/o damaging anything?

    • Hi Eduardo,
      Unless it’s leaking substantially, replacing your temperature pressure relief valve shouldn’t have an effect on water pressure.

  5. I replaced my old hot water tank about 2 years ago because no one I called could not get the overflow pipe to stop leaking, even after replacing the valve twice! Within 2 weeks of installing the new one…it started leaking too. As I forestated, that was 2 years ago…and it is still leaking. I am really frustrated about how to stop this leaking. The valve has been replaced on this once, and as of today, a plumber, who is a friend of ours lowered the pressure…?? and within an hour after he left, the leaking started again! What else can I do?? Thank you.

  6. Michelle:
    I had the same problem. Mine was cured when I installed an expansion tank on the cold water line running into the water heater.

  7. Am going to replace the valve, there are two to choose from, both have the same pressure specs, but one has a longer plastic rod or shaft protruding out the back of the valve, apparently into the tank. What does this rod do and what difference would it make between the longer and shorter versions (besides about $4.00) ?

  8. Bought a brand new n gas heater. When all installed noticed water leaking from outside overflow pipe. Replaced pressure valve but cannot screw new pipe all the way. Threads are not grasping all the way. Have changed PV twice. PV seems to not fit properly are PV universal?

  9. Hi I have a problem with pressure relieve valve for water heating system , the valve next and connected to tank above the furness ,leeks only when heating system is working , is that because of a lodging …? in the tank above the furness.

    • Hi Ray,
      When water is coming out of the pressure relief valve on your water heater, it could signal that too much pressure is building up inside the water heater (which is what the valve is designed for) due to the burner or element not cutting off, in which case the water heater needs to be repaired or replaced. Or it could be a sign that the pressure relief valve itself is not closing properly, in which case all you need to do is replace the pressure relief valve on the water heater.

  10. Out of dire necessity, I bought a new Hot Water Tank three weeks ago, the drip tube has leaked since installation. Replaced pressure relief valve twice with no change. Replaced Hot Water Tank (what a chore!) and the relief valve still leaks. We are on public water and never had any issue with pressure. I had a plumber do the last replacement of the valve and he says its impossible to keep leaking. And burner is working fine. But, it does leak! What can I do?? Is there a “wrong” way to install a drip tube? Should I try another tank?

    • Hi Jami,
      That depends on whether the pressure relief valve is leaking around the threads where it attaches to the hot water tank or if it is leaking out of the inside of the valve itself. In either case, start by replacing the pressure relief valve, using a different brand in case the valve itself is defective. Make sure the threads on the valve seal to the tank without leaking using plumber’s thread compound. If the valve is leaking around the threads into the tank, the threads on the tank might be the problem. Good luck with your project!

  11. Hello. I have a new hot water heater AND expansion tank (both less than two years old). There has always been water leaking from out of the side discharge tube but less than a gallon per week. Four months ago I had to replace the pressure guage, expansion tank, and both pressure values in my furnace. The hot water tank continued to leak at a slow rate. It was easy to keep up with. Today the water is pouring out of the discharge tube. About a gallon per hour. I turned off the heater and flipped the valve to release about four gallons of water. The leaking has stopped but I haven’t turned the hot water heater back on. I researched on line and discovered the main water line pressure may be too high. I can live with a slow leak but how do I fix the current problem? Do I need to completely drain the hot water heater? Thank you.

  12. Hi danny,

    We noticed some time ago the hot water system overflow pipe was leaking water. It is under the house. I put a hose on the end of it to catch the water as I live in the country and am on water tanks water is vital. to my horror it driping at a fast rate. Loosing about a bucket in an hour or two. I also noticed the pressure relief value is hissing and a very small amount of water is coming from it. I have now turned off the (I think) input value but water is still coming out of the overflow pipe. I would pressume once the level of water in the tank goes down it will stop leaking. this tank is 18 years but most of its life it was turned off as its installed in a weekender. We now live in permanently. Are we wasting time getting a plumber or should we buy a new one???

    • Hi Debbie,
      It’s hard to say without actually examining your hot water tank whether the problem lies with the tank itself or the pressure relief valve. If the hot water worked okay and wasn’t excessively hot or steam didn’t come out when you turned on a faucet, the problem is probably with your pressure relief valve. Replacing the valve is a simple job for a plumber and doable for a DIYer that has some experience with plumbing. If you have turned off the cold water valve going into the tank, water should not continue to come out when you open a hot water faucet other than possibly a small drip.

  13. My leak is specifically coming out the threads of the screw on the top of the bell. What can I do to stop this leak? Will plumbers tape work?

    • Hi Michele,
      Pressure relief valves have tapered pipe threads which require either Teflon tape or pipe joint compound (pipe dope) to seal properly. When using Teflon tape, be sure to use the recommended type for your application, and wrap it around the pressure relief valve in a clockwise direction (when looking at the inner end of the valve). If removing the valve and resealing it doesn’t stop the leak, there may be damage to the threads on either the valve or tank. Try replacing the relief valve to see if that stops it. If the valve still leaks, the threads in the hot water heater are probably damaged. I don’t know an easy fix for that, but you may want to have a plumber look at it to see if it can be fixed. Good luck with your project!

  14. i turned off the water to water heater,opened the relief vavle on the side or the water heater. then i drained the water heater, now it leaks outside from the brass overflow,i need help its only two years old. can someone give me a tip on how to stop this type of leak?

  15. The relief valve on my water heater is dripping, but stops when I shut off the main water line. It drips agian once the water line is turned on. The hot water that comes out of all the faucets in the house also seem hotter than normal. Could this be why the valve is leaking?

    • Hi Tonia,
      It’s possible that the water pressure in your house is too high due to a faulty thermostat on your water heater that’s causing it to superheat the water (try turning down the water heater to see if it lowers the hot water temperature), but the problem is probably a bad seal in the pressure relief valve. If so, the valve will probably need to be replaced. Good luck with your project!

  16. My hot water heater is leaking from the overflow valve located on the side of my gas heater, my tub is half full but the water is cold, it probably has been weeping for months. My water seems to be very hot but my showers do not last long with hot water. Last night I actually had steam visible coming out of my faucets. The heater was manufactured in 2002, it is a State Select Product. The heater kicks on mainly once Hot water is used and the flame seems to be working fine in this reguard. Is this a hjeater going bad or is there a fix for the issues mentioned.

    • Hi Marc,
      If you have steam coming out of the faucet, it sounds like the thermostat on the heater is not working right and allowing the water to get too hot, which could cause the pressure to build up in the lines to a dangerous level and may even rupture the pipes or cause the glue in plastic pipes to come loose. Since the hot water runs out quick, my guess is that your tank is also full of sediment. You could try draining the tank to remove the sediment and replacing the pressure relief valve, but it sounds like you’re due for a new water heater to me. Good luck with your project!

  17. Thanks Ben Erickson, I actually went ahead and replaced the Pressure relief valve. Bad news, The valve is leaking again within the first use of the hot water. I did drain the tank and it yielded White particles, almost looked like chlorine or even pvc like cuttings. I will try the Thermostat next. I do have a expansion tank in the crawl space pretty far away from the heater, could the tank be bad thus forcing the Pressure valve to weep?

    • Hi Marc,
      The only reasons I know of that would cause the pressure relief valve to leak are if the valve itself is defective (such as the gasket seal being bad) or if the pressure in your system is too high. You might want to have the utilitiy company or a home inspection service check your water pressure (both hot at the tank and cold at a faucet outside).

  18. Thanks again Ben, the leaking has no signs at the threaded connection it is coming only out of the overflow stem pipe. no hint at the face of the tank. When I purchased the valve the service agent mentioned the cold water expansion tank could be bad. So you do not think the temp control mechanism is the problem here?

  19. Ben, I should note, the valve starts leaking in the mid to end portion during the re-heating process. The cold water in-bound pipe gets very hot, once the water is used in the house the pipe then becomes very cold. Then after the flame process stops the drip from the overflow stops, this is not a consistent drip it only occurs during the heating up cycle.

  20. Ben, I replaced both the water heater and the cold water Expansion tank, the exp-tank was shot, the heater was full of sedimant and leaking inside the unti as well. Thank You for responding to my problems, I will be back with future dilemmas, this is a great link, Enjoy The Presidents Day Holiday.

  21. Hi Marc,
    I have pooling from the inlet fittings on top of my (gas) hot water tank. I tried to tighten the fittings and they still leak. Do I need to replace the fittings.

  22. We have a water leak. The plumber has narrowed it down to the hot water heater. With all water valves shut off (toilets, sinks, ice maker, washer and hot water heater), the meter stops running. When the cold water valve for the hot water heater is turned back on by itself, the meter runs. No visible water in or around the water heater. Currently using around 1 gallon of water per hour.

    • Hi Brad,
      Turning off the cold intake valve to the water heater not only turns off the water to the hot water heater, but also to all the hot water pipes in the house. If the water heater itself isn’t leaking, the leak must be either in the hot water pipes or the hot water side of a faucet. If the pipes run in an attic, basement, or crawlspace, follow each of the hot water pipes and look for leaks. If they’re buried under the house, look for damp or wet soil in the crawlspace, if they’re embedded in a concrete slab, it will be hard to find the leak and impossible to fix it if you do without rerouting the pipe. Good luck with your project!

  23. and yes i replced the overflow vale twice now and still leaks is it possilbe draining the tank …will help not needed a bladder pressor tank

  24. i was told there too mush pressure in the tank i told them there not hot water yet and still leaks out of the values i guess 2 things but not sure please help…will draining a tank reduce pressure an why is there pressure come from if no hot water yet…..and will a baldder tank help….thanks garth

  25. we have replaced the pressure valve on our water heater 4 times now and as soon as we do it keeps hissing and releasing water. We have an expansion tank and back flow preventer. We have been in this house for 5 years and this problem just started a year ago. The water heater was manufactured in 2004 – does this mean we should get a new water heater? Uggghhh!

  26. The pressure valve on our water heater is flowing freely. Our house used to be on well water and on the cold water inlet line to the water heater there is a reverse-flow valve, but we are now on rural water. I suspect that this valve is causing, or increasing the leak from the water heater, is this possible? Do I need a reverse-flow valve or can I remove it? Would it be better to add an expansion tank?

  27. Our hot water heater started leaking from the temp/pressure release valve pipe. A slow steady leak. We lowered the hot water temperature setting significantly and after about 1-1.5 hrs it stopped leaking. We slowly increased temperature over 2 days to see if it would leak again and then it did once we got close to previous temp. Since then (2-3 weeks)we have had it lowered to a lukewarm temp. and no further leaks. Is this likely a problem with the valve? the thermostat? the hot water heater is 10 years old.

    • Hi Pat,
      If the water coming out of the tank isn’t excessively hot and the water pressure in your house isn’t overly high, the problem is probably a defective pressure relief valve. Depending on the type and model of pressure relief valve, they are generally set to open at pressures over 125 to 150 p.s.i., or temperatures over 210 degrees F, pretty extreme conditions. Since a pressure relief isn’t very expensive (usually under $15) I would start by replacing it to see if that solves your problem. Good luck with your project!

  28. I have Bradford White gas water heater. The relief valve is on the side. I removed the plastic cover around it and leak is right from under the valve where insulation of the heater is. I can clearly see relief valve connecton to the heater and it’s not leaking. Does that mean I have tank corrosion on the side or there are some other pipes installed under the cover that might leak ?

  29. have Bradford White gas water heater. It is leaking right at the connection into the water tank? Possible corrosion. Will we need to replace the T&P valve also or just remove and seal the connection better??

  30. I have a slow leak from my relief valve…about 1 cup worth in a weeks time. i have replaced the valve twice and continue to get the slow leak. i have no other issues with the water heater pressure or heat wise…the water heater is about ten years old. is it time to call a plumber?

    • Hi Chris,
      If the leak is coming from inside the pressure relief valve, replacing it with one rated for the PSI of the water pressure in your house should fix it. If the leak is coming from the threads around the pressure relief valve, then you need to use the proper thread sealant or tape when installing the valve. If the threads around the valve are still leaking after sealing them, there may be a problem with the threads on the relief valve opening in the water heater, and you would probably need a plumber to fix it. Good luck with your project!

  31. hi, i have a hot water that is leaking from the drain in the side of the hot water heater, how do i get it to stop.If you can tell me step by step what to do. It has been leaking for about a week. It is hot water coming out of the drain.

  32. I have electric hot water heater and cut it down very low and in the vacation mode since I was going to be gone about 2 weeks. I came home and cut it to about 125 or 130 probably and now it is hissing and just a couple drops of water I could feel around the pressure valve. Should I panic and call a plumber right away or did it do this because it had been set so low for 2 weeks? I cut it down to about 100 when the hissing started.

  33. Over the past month, my water heater has been leaking through the relief valve, but it is not a steady drip. It only seems to happen late at night (midnight – 7am), and is not a constant release, but more bursty. It was only slight at first, but it is now much more noticable. the relief valve sees to be opening and closing fine, so would this point more to a input pressure issue, or could this still be a relief valve issue?

  34. Hi,

    I have read the entire column as posted here but cannot find what exactly sounds like my issue. The hot water heater was off completely for several months. When it was first turned back on and relit (gas with pilot), had issues with, hopefully, thermocouple, which am getting ready to change now. Upon relighting, which it kept lit until used for first time, noted a leak of water from around the threads to the relief valve to the pipe that runs down the side. There does not seem to be any leak at the pipe itself on the bottom (inside wipe with finger, finger comes out dry). Also noted that, even tho heater has been off since the relight and thermocouple issues, the leak continues tho not as heavy as when it was relit. Again, it is not leaking down the pipe, just at the junction/threads where the pipe enters the relief valve. There does not seem to be any other leaks inside or outside the tank. Just this one at the outside threads to pipe. Is this just a threads issue, as in should I remove pipe and use the plumbers tape stuff and put back on, or is it something where I will have to replace the relief valve itself?

  35. Quick question. My husband noticed that he was able to hear water running from the sink in his bathroom. In my bathroom you can’t hear water running. There is no water pouring out and there are no places outside where the water is standing. He suspects that it could be leaking within the concrete floors, although you can’t even tell by the floors that there in a leak, you only hear water running. What do you think it could be. Also, the hot water use to come out cold, you had to run it awhile to get hot water, now you can turn it on and get hot water. Thanks for any help you can give us!!

  36. i have a problem with a electric water heater i have a pretty steady small flow leak from behind the pressure releif valve i had it since 1995 and it started leaking yesterday. do i need to replace the valve or the water heater itself?

  37. My hot water heater was working fine until I raised the top thermostat. I did not raise the bottom one. Now the releif valve drains when the heater is turned on at the breaker. I turned the thermostat back down and turned the heater off at the breaker but kept the cold supply turned on. the valve does not drain unless I lift the valve toggle manually, but water seeps from around the threads of the valve. Have I blown a thermostat,need to replace pressure valve or have I made an expensive mistake and now need a new heater? Please Help!

  38. I just bought a place and had the water turned on today, well when the guy turned on the water, water shot out of the pressure relief valve w the valve shut off. Whant could cause this?… Maybe to much water pressure… Would it be ok to just replace the pressure relief valve on the top of my hot water heater?

  39. The home I rent has a gas water heater. Today when I went into the basement, there was substantial water draining out of a long plastic tube leading from the hot water heater. The end of the tube had apparantly been elevated at one point, as I found the duct tape showing the beam it was attached to, but had fallen. What is this?

  40. Our hot water heater had collected sediment and was making a loud popping noise so we contracted with a local plumbing company to have them drain and refill the heater. (our unit is in the attic and did not want to try this ourselves). When I got home from work the following evening, the heater had leaked. The ceiling was completely soaked with a giant hole in it as well as hardwood floor damage. Unit was less than 4 years old, still under warranty with an expansion tank installed. We were told that the T&P valve had gone bad but I find it hard to believe that it would go bad less than 24 hours after the unit was drained. Sounds more like they didn’t completely cut off the drain valve after the work was completed. How likely is it for T&P valve to go bad on a relatively new unit? And would draining a heater require the plumber to do anything on the T&P valve?

  41. I tried to replace my gas water heater pressure release valve, but when I went to remove the old valve, the inside piece fell into the tank, how do I get the piece out?

  42. Hi,

    The tank for my domestic (well) water system was just professionally replaced. Now the pressure relief valve on my boiler is leaking at a rate of about 2 gals/day. Should I replace the valve?

    Thank you.


  44. Tpr valve on hot water heater will leak small amounts of waters from time to time filling a small dish daily, I’ve replaced valve twice and the and replacedthermostat , valve continues to release water. Any thoughts to help .

  45. Electric water heater: Very Very Hot water was coming out of the relief valve, we shut off the cold water, it quit. We then flipped the breaker for it.

    Also, we have to push the reset button for it daily. It had also burned out a fuse in our breaker box, we recently had a new one put in.

    What can it be?

  46. My hot water heater tank is old, but I don’t know how old. It is electric. Last year I replaced the burners and thermostat(s? both if there are two, i can’t remember now without running out to look at it). In other words, I replaced all the parts, including the pressure relief valve. Recently I had a leak from the hot water pipe, close to the connection at the top (it is important to note that this is a mobile home previously owned by some cheap-ass and the pipes coming out of that thing look like a nightmare!). My friend fixed the leak by replacing several pipes with new stuff, and did a good job of it. Two days ago I noticed another leak, however it is impossible to tell where it is coming from. What is clear is that there is (rusty/red/sediment) water pooling around the two top connections (hot and cold water outs) and the pressure relief valve. The panels that usually cover the electrical components – thermostat, etc- are gone and as that plus some insulation is exposed for top and bottom thermostats, you can see that these areas too are soaked! It seems to me that there is some sort of leak or crack at the top INSIDE the water heater, and this is spilling out basically everywhere.

    I’ve turned the hotwater heater off, but water is still on. I am extremely poor this summer, jobless, and 8.5 mo pregnant! I can’t afford a new heater, but perhaps a new shell and pop out all my components into a ‘new’ or newer shell…. Maybe you have an answer or suggestion. Thank you!

  47. My hot water heater is leaking out the bottom (set on bricks off the concrete floor) It leaks cold water, not hot anyway. If I turn off the supply line it continues to leak out the bottom until I open the pressure relief valve and release the pressure. The TPR appears fine and dry. I’m confused because if it were a tank leak I would think the leak would increase when opening the pressure valve but instead it stops. Would lack of dip tube maintenance cause this?

  48. its friday and i cant get a plummer here til next week,pressure vavle shot,can i cork the other end and be safe thru the weekend

  49. We did not have any hot water….we took the cover off of the water heater and found that the thermostat had caught on fire. We have a single element system. We replaced the thermostat and turned the water heater back on. My son took a shower over an hour later and then my husband went to wash his hands after that and he heard the water heater start to spew water out of the top. It is a side mounted water heater so there is no piping in the top of the tank. What would be causing this and how does it need to be fixed?

  50. Water was leaking from pressure valve overflow. Replaced the pressure valve, but it is still leaking. Checked lower element with tester and it does not seem to be working. Would the lower element leaking cause the upper element not to shut off and create the excessive pressure?

  51. Hello!
    My 11 year old gas water heater is leaking heavily in the pressure relief valve since this morning. The valve is on the top of heater. No leaks in the past. Shut the gas and cold water inlet, and drained the water out. Replaced the PRV with new one and turned the cold water inlet on. Gas was still shut off and hence the heater was off. Still leaking heavily in the PRV. Do I have to replace the heater, or is there anything I can do to fix the existing one? Thank you very much.

  52. I have water running out of my overflow constantly and after a relief valve replacement ,as suggested by many there is still water pouring out of the overflow . Have you heard of this problem before? I have read many stories of this problem but no answers .
    Can you help?

  53. Brand new whirlpool gas heater installed. pressure relief valve drips a few drops every 10 -14 days. not more than maybe 10 drops of water.—-is that a concern? I have a small plastic container to catch drops, so i know when it drips.

  54. Had a Bradford White gas hot water heater installed today and there is a tiny drop of water come out near the relief valve up near where the thread is located. I then trickles down the tank leaving small beads of water. Will this resolve itself with daily use and seal itself or what should I do? I don’t want my brand new heater having any type of leaks.

  55. i have a pretty old water heater. and recently started constantly leaking out of the overflow valve. it has actually doubled my power bill. would you say it is the over flow valve needs to be replaced? everything else seems to work fine. It is Rheem.

  56. We were moving some things in the basement and accidentally hit the relief valve and now it’s leaking. What do we do to get it to stop?

    • Christina,
      Sometimes a pressure relief valve will reseat itself or you can try opening and closing it a time or two, but if it doesn’t stop leaking after a couple of days, your best bet is to replace it.

  57. What about opening the faucets around the house to lower the pressure in the line before you turn the hot water or water main back on?

  58. I accidentally bonked the pressure relief valve line, long story, and now it is leaking a slow, but steady stream of hot water. Advice?!?!?

  59. i have a 40 gallon electric hot water boiler with an expansion tank attached to it,in the past wk the tank gave out,i replaced the tank an now the boiler blows off,it has the right pressure in tank,i also changed the relief valve an 2 thermostats,with no success.any ideas

  60. Electric hot water tank overflow valve has been leaking for about a year. My plumber has replaced the hot water tank (it was due), installed an expansion tank, replaced the overflow valve and the pressure reduction valve. Its still leaking! Not a huge amount, probably a liter/24 hours. When we tested the water pressure it was between 80 – 110 psi. Running out of things to do. Thoughts? Thanks.

  61. I’m not sure if its required to be piped outside but right now it isn’t and just dumps water onto the floor of the crawl space (which is next to the drain so no big problem).

  62. Im having problems with my pressure relief valve leaking after I take a shower. I replaced the relief valve and it is still doing the same thing so I bought a new hot water heater and pressure relief valve. It still hasn’t fixed the problem can you please give me some insight on my problem because I have ran out of ideas to fix the issue.

  63. We were having problems with our water heater leaking (alot of water)and hissing from high pressure we replaced the release valve and it was still hissing from too much pressure and leaking a lot of water when we turn off the water (cold water coming into the water heater and turn the hot water on inside the house there is very little water left and it is never really hot even when the water is on.We replaced the water heater and it is still having the same problem.My husband is thinking that maybe our problem is because our swamp cooler shares the water line with the water heater but the water heater leaks from too much water pressure the second i turn the water on. We don’t know what to do anymore we have no water we haven’t had constant running hot water(sometimes we turn it on to shower and wash dishes) for a over a month and our water bill is twice what it used to be

  64. I recently had a Rheem Water Heater installed and once all connections were properly completed and connected the unit with the water system it profusely keeps leaking water once the Water Heater fills up. We installed a brand new Temperature Pressure valve but once connected to the water system problem persist – water leaks. What could be the problem

  65. 65 gal Bradford White electric water heater installed in 1995. Every couple of months five to ten gallons of hot water leak from the bottom of the tank on to the basement floor. What can cause this?

  66. Even at very low temperature settings (even just a notch above the ‘vacation’ setting) our water heater spews massive amounts of water out of the relief valve pipe. The water temperature itself is luke warm at best.
    I tried going notch by notch turning up the temperature a bit everytime the burner would stop. I couldn’t even make it to the ‘warm’ setting before it began releasing the water. It’s a propane run heater, if that makes a difference. Thanks for any advice.

  67. boiler pressure gauge keeps dropping keep filling by the loop, out side over flow dripping slightly what is the problem thanks harold

  68. Yes i would like to know if after changing a pressure relief valve. How long does the dirty water come out of the faucet. We ended up draining the whole tank by accident and i have all of the dirt from the bottom of the tank floating around or is the tank shoot. Thank you

  69. A while back we had our roads and water lines replaced.During construction my inline water pressure reducer was weeping water.The city engineer said it was likely due to temporary hook up to water lines used for hydrents and water pressure was 125 psi.When project was finished my water heater started leaking from overflow valve.It was an older heater so I replaced it and had same problem.Had the city water dept.check water pressure coming into house and it was 148psi.I am up to 5 gallons per 90 min coming out of the overflow valve.I have to shut the water of at main house shut off when I am not using water.The water that comes out is warm,not hot.Thermostat is set at 125 degrees.I know most relief valves are designed for approx. 125 to 150 psi.My water reducing valve before the water meter is new and only opened approx. half way.Any ideas or suggestions?The city will not do anything,they say it was the road contractors responsibility and their fault that they hooked me up to a high pressure line and not the normal water line.No one else in my neighborhood has this issue.Thank you,Steve P

  70. I am about like Steve above. Recent water line work (on main road) by water dept etc at my lake cabin which I shut off and drain for the winter. Turn water and water heater (WH)on and a day later noticed it began to drip. Purchased and replaced PRV valve. It does not leak, as with old one, until I turn WH power on, 5 min I get the leak, slow drip back, but is stops when I shut power to Water Heater off. I checked and the water is not hot. I am going to check water PSI next but why does it only leak when the WH power is on. I have not touched thermostat or water psi yet. I was thinking thermostat might be bad but water didn’t have enough time to get hot prior to leak. Maybe I am near close to over pressure and the added heat/pressure is enough to make the PRV WEEP ! Thoughts, Jax

  71. I just discovered one check of a leak from my overflow pipe! Recently our well pump bit the dust and our landlord opted to hook us up to city water vs. replacing the pump. Water was turned back on Tuesday, now on Friday I found water GUSHING from the pipe and half my basement flooded. It has never leaked so much as a drop before. This new city water pressure is MUCH higher than our well was. The water heater is quite old but has worked perfectly in all the seven years we’ve been here. I would like to try to fix this myself because our landlord left us without water for 19 days then raised our rent after this last fiasco. Please help me!

    • Stella,
      After changing the pressure relief valve, make sure you open the cold water inlet valve and fill up the tank. Then be sure you have turned either the circuit breaker back on (for electric hot water heaters) or light the pilot light and turn the gas back on (for gas hot water heaters).

  72. So I have replaced this part now 3 times. still have the slow drip coming out he pipe even while the tank is still heating up. How do I lower my water pressure?

    • Hi Thomas,
      First you need to test your water pressure, using a gauge available at home centers that fits onto an outside spigot. If it’s too high (40 to 50 PSI is considered the optimal range), you can install a special pressure reducing valve to the water line coming into your house to lower the water pressure in your home to acceptable levels.

  73. my husband turned off the water feed valves before he replace one of our bathroom tub cartridge. After he’s done all work, and turn back the water feed valves, then our hot water tank is starting hissing and leaking. Not sure what to do.

  74. Am going to replace the valve, there are two to choose from, both have the same pressure specs, but one has a longer plastic rod or shaft protruding out the back of the valve, apparently into the tank. What does this rod do and what difference would it make between the longer and shorter versions (besides about $4.00) ?

  75. Dear Danny,
    Thank you so much. I accidentally bumped into the pressure relief valve on my 8 year old hot water heater and water started coming out. I opened and closed it a couple of times and… the water stopped.
    With deep gratitude, John

    • John,
      Glad to know opening and closing the pressure relief valve stopped it from running. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t!

  76. In may of 2014, my electrical water heater developed a leak around the inlet of the water heater. It was old and due for replacement. I had a location in crawlspace where I could install a gas water heater (a good vent and gas nearby). I installed the water heater and relocated the main water supply to new location and installed a new gas Bradford and white water heater with a new expansion tank. I had some help from a friend. The new water heater in the first week started leaking water out of the pressure relief valve. The water does not come on the outside of the valve, but inside the pipe. I usually don’t see it when it leaks. I believe that it is leaking when the water heater is being called upon. I usually get about 1 to 2 quarts per week in leakage. The PV valve has been replaced and problem has not changed. I checked the water pressure to house and realized that I had an irratic regulator. I had that replaced, but leakage of water from RPV valve continues. Any thoughts or suggestions. I have never seen this item before on a water heater. How could I diagnois the problem? I have not checked the water pressure for fluctations again since it was changed out by the plumber. Checking the water pressure is on my list. I have the water heater set on 2nd level which is supposed to be 120 degree. Setting one is 100 or 105 degrees. Could a brand new water heater have a bad thermostat? If the water is leaking during the reheating cycle, could the expansion tank be improperly presurized and not working? I have not checked the pressure on the tank.

  77. I also have a leaking pressure valve. Tried the reseating and it’s still leaking. So I’ll replace. But my question is before I worked with the valve I turned off the cold water intake and was going to drain a little water from the tank. But when I connected a hose and opened drain valve very little water came out. I was expecting a lot more??Also when I manually opened the pressure value there was no pressure on it.
    Thanks for all the advice. Steve

    • Steve,
      If you open the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater and open the pressure relief valve and/or the hot water side of a faucet, water should drain out. It won’t gush out like it would if the water was on, and it might take a little while to get going, but it should gently flow out of the hose.

  78. My pressure relief valve stated leaking. I replaced it and the new one leaks as well. I wondered if it was ok to add pipe from relief valve pipe to my sump pump for water to drip untill plumber comes out to see what’s up.

  79. We have a 7 year old vacation condo. We were told that every time we leave, we’re supposed to turn the hot water tank & water supply to it off. Then turn it on again when we’re there (every 2 or 3 weeks). Everything was working fine until we started doing this. Now the pressure release valve leaks whenever it starts on. The valve was just replaced but it didn’t solve the problem. The system has an expansion tank.

    I believe that turning the hot water tank on & off frequently isn’t good for the system & it’s caused the issue. Can you comment & recommend any solution?

  80. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! My husband replaced the pressure valve and now we have hot water again! Thanks again

  81. Hi there! Water heater leaking from the pressure valve. New water heater! Changed the valve two more times…. Still leaking. I turned the temp down to low…. Leaks….. Defective tank? Old tank didnt leak…. Thanks!

  82. I opened the relief valve and water came out of the pipe on the side of my water heater, closed the valve and the water will not stop leaking. Please advise, I need help.

  83. my water heater pilot was put out by water dripping from bottom of tank. I removed the cover and placed a small bowl to catch water. After two bowlful it stopped dripping. Should I put the burner back in and relight it?

  84. I too have been reading of the leaking relief valve, and am having the same problem. I have a two month old Whirlpool 40 gal electric heater. It was factory set at 124 F. It leaked a gallon in about a week. I tried to reset the seal but to no avail. I finally looked at the metal ring under the release handle on the valve and saw it was specified to 150 psi and 210 f max for pop-off. Fool that I am, I thought that was the blow off point but it is clear it isn’t. I replaced it with an after market with the same spec. but it now leaks about a quart in two or thee days, better but not right, it still leaks.

    I read the BS on the safety tag. I am certain it is the EPA or OSHA protecting us from ourselves again. I have read of this problem on here from as long back as 2008 and no real solutions. I can’t believe the tank manufactures don’t know of this problem and haven’t come up with a good fix, but it is clear they haven’t and probably won’t to CYA them from liability, etc. I have talked to several plumbers and they all shake their heads and don’t know why the valve doesn’t work as advertised. Lt is clear to all of us here it doesn’t. I have had several heaters over the 35 years in this house and I don’t ever remember having this problem. I was going to get a valve from one of my old tanks but had thrown them all away to scrap. I’m a saver, but missed the boat on this one. In any case, I’m going to contact Whirlpool and probably get the official line and no help.

    My heater valve leaked before I changed the factory set temp of 124 F up to 140. My water temp is now measured at kitchen sink as 135 F. Close enough, but I still have a small leak. I guess I can live with it but having paid a lot of money for a water heater, I shouldn’t have to work a problem that is clearly the problem of the manufacturer. I guess “made in China” isn’t as good as it used to be.

  85. I just found an article on that states the t&p valve should release about one cup of water for each 10 gal of tank capacity. A 40 gal tank should release about one half gal on each heat cycle. (I think I remember it correctly, but you can check for your self) In any case it looks like water coming from the valve is the design and we will have to live with it.

    I’m going to put a medium pan under my discharge line, and since my dryers hot air passes thru the HW pedistal base, maybe it will evaproate the water and solve the problem. It works like a charm for your refrigerator, you just didn’t know it did that. Under the condensor coil( the one that get all dusty) is a pan that collects the defrost liquid, and the heat from the condenser evaporates it away. Problem solved, for refrig. any way. It may work, I’ll get back if it does.

  86. my old Hoyt has a dripping t&p valve rated at 125psi. All I can find at the hardware stores are valves rated at 150 psi. Can I use the 150 valve safely?

  87. Just bought a brand-new hot water heater (electric rheem wifi) and we installed it, and it is leaking out the pressure valve. What is your suggestion on fixing it? We ordered a new pressure valve from rheem we open it like 5 times thinking that maybe something was stuck in there but it did not help. What would make a brand-new water heater do this?

  88. replaced a leaking pressure relief valve. Now it leaks around the pipe, not in the valve. Tried tape, the plumbers putty then tape going around smoothly 6 times. Cant stop the leak. About 2 to 4 drops per minute. Should I have damaged the pipe tread? Now what to do to fix. Gas water heater is about 8 years old.please comment, thank you

  89. Thank you for the help. I have had a couple issues with my water heater recently, but am having a hard time know if it is the pressure valve or not. I want to try to diagnose it, but I have to admit that I am not even sure where the gas control is. Should I hire a plumber to come take a look at it? That may give me more peace anyway.

  90. Thanks for the information and all the comments really helped me out as i also needed to replace a leaking pressure relief valve. I managed all ok with no issues its hard to find useful information to trust so all your comments really helped me to get prepared . Its been a week since the repair and no issues so far.

  91. looking at a new little house where the water heater safety overflow pipe runs under the slab of the house. there is not much of a grade at the exterior of the house where the pipe comes out. could this be an issue? appreciate your comments.

  92. Pressure relief valve was leaking about a gallon or two of water each day. Valve was replaced, but valve is still releasing about 32 oz of water per day. Any solutions???

  93. My pipe above the roof from my cylinder is running water so I need the turn down the pressure valve so to turn it down do I turn it clockwise or anticlockwise? thanx Vince.

  94. My electric hot water heater has a pressure relief valve screwed in at the top and a long copper tube that extends from it down to a drain pan at the floor. An extremely small drip has developed at the end of this copper tube at the drain pan at the floor which over time begins to fill the drain pan. over time I extract the water that has accumulated with a sponge. Is there a way I can flush the valve to eliminate this extremely small drip? The heater is installed in the attic and I want to be very careful not to undo something and cause a flood at this upper level and cause damage to my home and contents on the floors below. I have carefully examined the valve and the copper tube and the drip is not leaking at the valve threads or at the joint where the copper tube attaches to the valve. I am confidant that the leak is thru the valve itself. Any suggestions and help is appreciated. Thank you.

  95. Hi i have a steaming hot water tap model SWT-FLTR-1

    and the main tank where it is bolted together is leaking any ideas on how to seal it

  96. I had an unusual problem develop after replacing my brand new Watts T&P Valve. The original was not leaking but read that I should replace after 5 years or so. Anyhow, after replacing the new valve it kept leaking after numerous attempts to flush the valve. It did not leak much but it kept leaking. So, I ordered another new one to replace that one. This time, without heating the water heater after the installation I filled the tank and guess what? This leaked without ever turning on the Pilot. Frustrated, I called Watts and was asked the serial number, after giving it to him he said that the Valves in question were over 3 years old. That doesn’t seem long to me but evidently it has some significance. He is sending me a new one. The question I have before another gets here is, can it be taken apart to see what the seat looks like? I am determined to get a fix on this problem.
    Thank You!!

  97. I have the same pressure relief valve problem as many have described, even after replacing the valve twice. Bought a new water heater and found the answer. Look in your owners manual. If you have what they term a closed system – a backflow prevention device on the cold water line coming into the house, then you need to install a thermal expansion tank on the cold water line going into the water heater. Hope this helps.

  98. Hi Danny, Your guidelines are really helpful. I followed most of them and would like to share with my audience on https:// Hope you have no issue in this.

    • Hi there!
      We grant permission for this request, provided:
      -Minimal content is used (a few paragraphs, at max, would be fine)
      -Quotes are clearly attributed to Danny Lipford and Today’s Homeowner.
      -Links to and the source article appear beside the sampled content.
      Thanks for your request.

  99. The valve in my water heater is leaking, and I have been searching for ways on how to fix it. I never knew that I would still have to use a pipe wrench to unscrew the old pressure relief valve! This seems manageable, but just in case, I’ll hire a water heater service that can resolve this matter.

  100. My water heater is constantly running, water coming out of the overflow pipe into the pan. No leaks around the release valve. So I have turned off the water and the breaker to the water heater to stop it from running. Is this a release valve problem and I need to replace it?

    • Hi, A!
      We’re always looking for homeowners to call into our radio show and ask questions directly to Danny and Joe. We’ve reviewed your question and shared it with our radio producer.
      Take care. 🙂


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