What Does a Water Heater Pressure Valve Do?


Quick Answer

A water heater pressure valve relieves pressure from a water heater if the pressure rises beyond the maximum level. A water heater pressure valve is a safety device installed on all modern water heaters, as of 2015, to protect them from building up too much pressure and possibly blowing up.

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Full Answer

During times of optimal use, the levels of steam and moisture inside a water heater increase. This results in an increase in the level of pressurization in the device. When the amount of internal pressure reaches the overload point, the pressure valve opens, allowing moisture and steam to escape. This lowers the amount of pressurization inside the water heater.

A water heater pressure valve is connected near the water heater’s hot water piping system to sense the device’s internal pressure easily. Each pressure relief valve has a data tag that allows the inspector or owner to know the type of safety device installed on their water heating system. The data tag also shows the maximum pressure that the relief valve allows.

For optimal performance, a water pressure valve should be inspected and maintained regularly. If the pressure is leaking, it should be tested, and the cause of the leaking identified and fixed.

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