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  • Hot water heater

    I bought a new GE water heater at Home Depot last year that is a gas heated 40 gallon model with the 12 year warranty. I installed it myself and it seems to work great and seems real efficient on its use of gas but every once and awhile I hear a phsst noise that I assume is the pressure relief valve letting off a little steam. After reading some other posts I" wondering if I have a bomb waiting to go off. According to the manual a back flow preventer would make it a closed water system which would prevent thermal expansion from bleeding back into the main supply line. As far as I know I don't have a back flow preventer. What could I do to fix this problem.

  • #2
    Re: Hot water heater

    Whoa!!! if that heater is making steam you need to shut it down right away and call a professional! tick...tick...tick... BOOM!

    You here a noise but do you see any water coming from the relief valve discharge pipe?

    I'm sure by reading the manual it talks about a thermal expansion tank. Do you have one installed?

    It could just be condensation dripping down onto the burner. A common occurance not to be a concern.

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    • #3
      Re: Hot water heater

      Captleemo,

      Welcome to the forum.

      So whatsa captain leemo.Is it like a lame Nemo?

      Usually when one installs a regulator to reduce the pressure entering their home,an expansion tank is installed at the water heater.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Hot water heater

        Originally posted by Captleemo View Post
        I bought a new GE water heater at Home Depot last year that is a gas heated 40 gallon model with the 12 year warranty. I installed it myself and it seems to work great and seems real efficient on its use of gas but every once and awhile I hear a phsst noise that I assume is the pressure relief valve letting off a little steam. After reading some other posts I" wondering if I have a bomb waiting to go off. According to the manual a back flow preventer would make it a closed water system which would prevent thermal expansion from bleeding back into the main supply line. As far as I know I don't have a back flow preventer. What could I do to fix this problem.
        It is possible the noise you are hearing is simply condensation in the vent tube dripping back on to the hot burner.

        You do not want to block water from getting back to the main water. Assuming you have a pressure regulator on your main water it should have a built in by-pass which will allow the pressure from thermal expansion to go back into the main water. That feature is in the regulator as a safety so to try and eliminate it would not be smart.

        Where does the drain line to your temperature & pressure relief valve terminate that you think you could hear (what typo?) noise from it but not see it?

        Mark
        Last edited by ToUtahNow; 04-21-2007, 10:54 AM.
        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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        • #5
          Re: Hot water heater

          i second what mark said, except for the typo

          rear= hear.

          also, as long as the street pressure is less than your relief valve setting. 150#. then thermal expansion will go back threw a regulator and into the city main.

          there are no check valves/ 1 way valve on your system, right

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Hot water heater

            If I have a pressure regulator I don't know about it. I plumbed up this new water heater just like the old one was plumbed up except I replaced some of the old fittings with new ones. There was no expansion tank for the old one at least I didn't see one. I did call a plumber and told him that I had the temp set at 130 degrees and he said to lower it to 120 degrees and see if that took care of it. I asked him what he thought the city water pressure was and he said about 65 or 70 psi. which surprised me. I didn't think it was that high. Anyways he said to get one of those cooking thermometers and check the temperature of the water coming out of the faucet. I will be getting one of those tomorrow. If I did have a check valve where would it be located. And if I don't have one do I need one.

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            • #7
              Re: Hot water heater

              Oh and the relief valve is plumbed over to the inside of the garage wall about 2 feet away and then down the inside of the wall about 5 feet and then through the wall to the outside where it comes out to a pipe 90. Its three quarter inch pipe. I don't see any rust stains on the sidewalk.

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              • #8
                Re: Hot water heater

                Most plumbing codes require that when a new water heater is installed a thermal expansion tank needs to be installed along with it. Its a small bladder tank installed anywhere on the cold water line but most likey near the water heater itself. Your old heater probably didnt have one therefore you didnt install one but you need it.

                60-70 lbs is good pressure but not nearly too high. You may not see a check valve. Some are built into the water meter and no you don't need one.

                Now back to your relief valve... is it trickling a few drops of water when the heater is fired up or does it dump more than a gallon in a few secs. This will tell you if its a pressure or temp problem. Please please tell me Home Depot sold you a relief valve with that heater!
                Last edited by plumberscrack; 04-21-2007, 03:57 PM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Hot water heater

                  Yes there is a relief valve on the water heater which I believe the noise is coming from but maybe lowering the temp 10 degrees will help. Will I need to go to a plumbing supply house to get an expansion tank? Or can they be purchased at Lowe's or Home Depot.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Hot water heater

                    Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                    i second what mark said, except for the typo

                    rear= hear.

                    also, as long as the street pressure is less than your relief valve setting. 150#. then thermal expansion will go back threw a regulator and into the city main.

                    there are no check valves/ 1 way valve on your system, right

                    rick.
                    I wouldn't waste time with a tank if it was my house pressure being at 70 lbs max.,even though what p-crk say's is true
                    Last edited by drtyhands; 04-21-2007, 04:57 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Hot water heater

                      still havn't siad if the relief valve is discharging water or not? if there is no water being discharged, then it's not a relief valve issue. you still need to check the pressure. there are gauges that have a second needle that will show the highest pressure read. typically at night when the heater reheats.

                      i would buy a pressure gauge and check the pressure, both high and low.

                      you might also have a bad relief valve too. if the relief valve is not dripping, then it's not a relief valve issue.

                      check the pressure and let us know if there is any water dripping from the relief valve. you can also put a cup under the discharge line to catch the water if you're not sure if it drips.

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

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                      • #12
                        Re: Hot water heater

                        Easy to use water pressure gauge.

                        http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...770&lpage=none
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          Re: Hot water heater

                          I don't think there are any one way valves unless the city put one at the water meter. I don't see any water dripping out of the relief valve discharge line either. I will get a pressure gauge and see just what kind of pressure I'm dealing with. I'm also going to get a thermometer tomorrow and see what temperature the water is with the dial set at 120 degrees. I will keep you all posted as to what I find out. I did find some pictures of a little 5 gallon water heater that blew up and did some serious damage. http://www.safteng.net/Accident%20Ph...0explosion.htm

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                          • #14
                            Re: Hot water heater

                            So it seems you are just wondering about the noises you are hearing supposably coming from your relief valve They only make noise when they open so if you don't see any water coming out its not the relief valve making the noise.

                            And that 5 gallon heater explosion will look like a firecracker compaired to what your 40 gallon heater could do

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                            • #15
                              Re: Hot water heater

                              I heard that noise this morning and looked out the door and didn't see any water. I checked on that pressure test gauge and Lowe's doesn't have it in stock but I will call them when they open up and see if they can order me one. That looks like a handy item to have.

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