What is a TPR Valve?
TPR stands for Temperature Pressure Relief. This valve is a small, inexpensive device that is a very important safety feature for Water Heaters. If the hot water tank experiences excessive pressure build-up, a TPR Valve can allow the release of this pressure. Without it, your water heater can explode and cause potentially extreme damage to your home. Anyone within close vicinity to the water heater can be seriously injured or killed. The MythBusters clearly show what an exploding Water Heater looks like in their Video .
The TPR Valve releases scalding hot water and steam. An extension pipe is required to be attached to the valve to direct hot water towards the floor and terminate no more than 6 inches above the floor. This pipe is commonly omitted and it’s a common defect us Home Inspectors include in our reports. This is a serious safety defect but very easy to have installed if your water heater is missing this extension pipe.
How Do I Have Mine Tested?
Overtime, these valves can stop working properly so its recommend to have them tested by a licensed plumber. You can perform the test yourself but if it starts leaking after testing it, you’ll need to have it replaced anyway.
Your Home Inspection Report may notate a problem with your TPR Valve or extension pipe. It will probably be listed as a serious defect, but rest assured that it is fairly easy to remedy.
Make sure to hire a professional Home Inspector for your next inspection to spot any safety issues with your Water Heater. If you’re looking for a knowledgeable inspector in the Los Gatos, CA area, Call/Text/Email us or schedule online 24/7 from our Schedule Your Inspection page.
Thanks for reading!
David @ Sneak Peak Inspection