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Old 05-21-2016, 11:49 AM   #1
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Water heater relief valve dripping

Ok third run with TT. and noticed relief valve dripping. Got home little to my knowledge I replaced relief valve. Filled tank started heater and it still dripped. Called dealer he said you need to get air in the tank. Some told me to fill from an empty garden hose and that air should pocket in the water heater. Before doing that I got out the instructions and followed them. ( see attached ) that did not work. Then I did what he told me with empty hose. Big improvement yes. Still out playing around with water usage.
What have others done and or did you ever hear of this situation. ???

Also in case this continues I added drain to relief valve so a can manage water and we're it goes. It was a mess this last trip. Click image for larger version

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Old 05-21-2016, 12:08 PM   #2
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The relief valve can get water heater crud in it when you open it to vent the air. Open it and allow some water to drain out ( be careful if it is hot) then let is snap back closed. Eventually it may have to be replaced.
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Old 05-21-2016, 12:09 PM   #3
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Semi different subject matter, but just wanted to make sure since you have a Suburban water heater that also has an electric heating element (shown in your pic), that you fully understand it's operation too.

If so, then please disregard.

Suburban's electric switch and much more
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Old 05-21-2016, 03:19 PM   #4
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Had the same issue in a house we bought last summer. Tried everything. Lowered house water pressure, lowered hot water temperature, replaced release twice. None of these worked. Put in an accumulator and all is good. A small one gallon accumulator is plenty for an RV hot water heater.

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Old 05-21-2016, 08:59 PM   #5
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Update. I just installed an in line expansion device. As Suburban suggested in there fine print, in section referring to adding air pocket. Sorry I don't get the air pocket, since they also say to remove air from lines before turning on unit anyway. This is working but time to tell. I'll remove it if it doesn't work. Click image for larger version

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Just a note heat ducts at take offs on furnace were loosing lots of air. Modified those with more foil tape and zip ties. Click image for larger version

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Old 05-21-2016, 09:49 PM   #6
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Just keep in mind, if it seeps water it will also seep air and when the air is gone it will seep water again. Just open it when it is full and NOT hot and has pressure on it and let it flip shut a couple of times. Might also have to turn the flip lever a couple of times when it is open also. It will eventually seat if it is new.
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:00 AM   #7
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There has to be an air pocket somewhere in the system because when you heat up the water it must expand. If there is an air pocket in the top of the water heater tank all should work fine but the instructions in the picture will not form an air pocket but, rather, will let the air out until the tank is full of water. With the system off the relief valve should be opened and the tank partially drained from below. When the relief valve is closed air will be trapped in the top of the tank.
If you notice the relief valve dripping and don't have time to fix it (like on a trip) turn off the water supply and pump and open a faucet while the water heats. You will see the faucet dripping if there isn't an air pocket in the tank.
If you don't have an air pocket for expansion and fix all the drips then all that is left is to rupture a hose or fitting somewhere.
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Old 05-22-2016, 06:17 PM   #8
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You should fill your fresh water system, hot & cold water lines, including your hot water tank. Turn off the city water, release the water pressure, then open the Pressure Relief valve. when water stops draining out, let snap shut. This will create the water pocket in the top of the tank which allows for the expansion when hot.


Good luck
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Old 05-22-2016, 06:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dontay View Post
There has to be an air pocket somewhere in the system because when you heat up the water it must expand. If there is an air pocket in the top of the water heater tank all should work fine but the instructions in the picture will not form an air pocket but, rather, will let the air out until the tank is full of water. With the system off the relief valve should be opened and the tank partially drained from below. When the relief valve is closed air will be trapped in the top of the tank.
If you notice the relief valve dripping and don't have time to fix it (like on a trip) turn off the water supply and pump and open a faucet while the water heats. You will see the faucet dripping if there isn't an air pocket in the tank.
If you don't have an air pocket for expansion and fix all the drips then all that is left is to rupture a hose or fitting somewhere.
6 gal of water @ 50d F when heated 92d F to 142d F will expand 0.119 gal or approx. 15 oz. The pex lines in the plumbing system will more than handle that much with no problem.

BTW, I bleed the water heater tank via the pressure relief until only water comes out and then go bleed all the air out of the hot and cold water lines and we DO NOT have any seeping from the water heater or any faucet.
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomrob1161 View Post
You should fill your fresh water system, hot & cold water lines, including your hot water tank. Turn off the city water, release the water pressure, then open the Pressure Relief valve. when water stops draining out, let snap shut. This will create the water pocket in the top of the tank which allows for the expansion when hot.


Good luck
You are correct. I made a mistake in not looking closely enough at the picture. The relief valve is on the side of the tank down from the top so when water stops coming out there is air above the valve level. Mine and all the ones we have ever had were on top of the tank. SAT
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