Your hot water system is a vital part of any home, and it is the thing that makes sure that your sinks and showers are nice and warm. However, it is also essential to ensure that its temperature and pressure release valve are working correctly. Otherwise, your hot water system can quickly turn into a bomb.

So, how can you check this valve to make sure that everything is working?

Reasons the Valve Has Discharge

Every hot water system has one of these valves as mandated by regulatory codes. It is a critical device that should never be removed or disabled for any reason.

One thing that you should routinely check is if the release valve has discharged. They may have been discharged for a variety of reasons, but these include:

  • Excessive pressure over 120 PSI
  • Water temperature in excess of 98 degrees

Because of this, you should always check your water pressure and temperature. You can check the pressure by buying a pressure gauge, which can be found at pretty much any hardware store. Screw this into a faucet and turn the water on.

The water should be between 50-60 PSI on average. But it should definitely be under 80 PSI above. This is starting to go to dangerous levels.

You should also make sure that the temperature is not set too high. And that the thermostat is not faulty. Hot water should not exceed 50 degrees at the tap as well. Any higher than this can cause scalding. Not a good thing to happen.

Testing Your Hot Water System's Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve
How Often Should You Check These Valves?

They should be checked once a year, at least. What you should do is make sure that there is a bucket under the water heater and then open the pressure release valve. It is a good thing to do to make sure sediments have not accumulated in the valve, which can clog the pipes.

Do make sure, even if you have a bucket, to wear closed-toe shoes. It is because the water that comes out of the valve can be scalding hot and, as a result, can burn you if it splashes out. The last thing that you want is a severe burn on your feet just because you wanted to check your hot water system.

Also, make sure that the expansion tank, which is above the hot water system, is functioning correctly as well. You can do this by removing the cap and pressing the valve. If water has escaped, it is time to change the tank.

Making sure that you have a functioning hot water system is important not just for your convenience but also for your safety. If you are nervous about checking it yourself, always contact an expert, such as from Level Plumbing Canberra. Call us at 6188 6088, and we will do the job for you. You can be sure we will do it correctly and thank yourself in the long run.