Where is the Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve?

Written by Plumbers of Perth

on 5 April 2023

On every tank water heater, you’ll find a hot water heater pressure relief valve, which is a safety feature that’s critical for this type of device. In order to effectively heat your water and ensure it remains safe to use, this valve needs to be in good condition to avoid high pressure build-up. A common question we receive is where is the hot water heater pressure relief valve if you do need to test it or use it. Keep reading as we share exactly where you can find this valve and how it can protect you in the future.

What Does the Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve Do?

A hot water heater pressure relief valve is designed to temporarily open and discharge spurts of water. This valve comes into play when the temperature of the heater goes above 210 degrees F, or the pressure rises to higher than 150 psi. The reason you might need to locate this is for testing or if you are finding you have regular leaks. Everyone should test the hot water heater pressure relief valve each year, which is why it’s essential you know where it’s located.

Where Can You Find the Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve?

On most tanks, you’ll find the water heater pressure relief valve located either on the side or the top of the tank. The valve has a flat lever that will lift and lower, which helps to drop the pressure and temperature in the tank. By knowing where it’s located, you are able to test it annually in order to check that it is working properly. Once you’ve found it once, this job will be quick and easy each time, ensuring your tank water heater remains in perfect condition for years to come.

How to Test the Valve

The main thing you need to think about when testing the water heater pressure relief valve is whether it will work safely if the pressure or temperature rises. If it’s not reacting properly, then pressure could grow too high in the tank, resulting in a safety issue. Make sure you always check that your pipe is connected to the valve before starting the testing and that it is connected in a way that leads to a basin or a drain below. You then need to lift up the lever and listen to see if any water comes out of the tank into the floor below. If it does, you’ve successfully completed the test, and you know it’s in good working condition.

On the other hand, if you find that water doesn’t come out or the lever won’t move at all, then there is an issue with the valve. One reason for this issue is that mineral deposits could be blocking the waterway, which stops the valve from working properly. If that’s the case for you, make sure you switch off your water heater straight away so that the pressure and temperature don’t rise too high. Call a plumber to book an appointment so that they can replace the valve and bring it back to working condition.

Why Do You Need to Find the Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve?

There are many reasons that you might need to know the location of the hot water pressure relief valve. First, you should perform the annual test that we shared above to ensure that it is working correctly. Check that there is no water leaking from the heater so that you don’t have future issues which may be much harder to rectify. You might also want to release any pressure that has built up in the water tank. Of course, if you do feel that there is a major issue with your valve, make sure you contact a professional. This can be a dangerous device to deal with if you don’t know what you are looking for, which is why it’s always best left to those who know their way around your water tank.

What to Do If There is a Valve Leak

The sound of trickling water coming from your device is a clear indication that something isn’t quite right. If you start to hear the sound of water 24/7, then there’s a good chance the hot water heater pressure relief valve could be leaking. It could also suggest that the thermostat or water pressure regulator valve isn’t working. Keep in mind that it’s normal for the valves we have to discharge water, so it may look like a leak, but unless this is a constant issues, it’s not usually a problem.

All of these reasons that we shared above require further investigation, which can help you to avoid future issues. Firstly, check if there is any leaking around your valve so that you can see if there is an immediate issue. From there, see if the drain line is hot to touch to see where any hot water is leaking out of the tank. From there, it’s likely time to call a plumber, who can find out what the issue is. They can easily replace the valve as well if that’s the necessary solution, but make sure you don’t attempt this yourself. While it can be tempting to try and DIY your way through this issue, it’s something we don’t recommend doing.

By learning where the hot water heater pressure relief valve is, you can ensure you can find it quickly in an emergency or for your annual testing. We highly recommend that you take the time to double-check that you can now find it so that you don’t have any issues in the future. By performing an annual test of the valve, you can be sure that you catch any issues before it’s too late, allowing you to take control of your health and safety in your home or workplace. Our team will be on hand if you do have any further questions about this type of valve, offering you the support you need should you have any issues in this area.