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Old 10-18-2010, 10:40 PM   #1
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electric water tank help

I think my hot water tank might be leaking slightly. in the pan under the hot water heater there is a ring of wet at the bottom. I noticed to when we went away for 4 days we had turned it off and there was marks in the bottom of where there had been water. now im sure there shouldnt be any water or wet or marks in the hot water pan. Can someone confirm or deny this?

its a 30 gallon electric GSW (gun shot wound :P )
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:40 AM   #2
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Maybe your pressure relief valve popped slightly at one time.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:20 AM   #3
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The Sasks might be right. If your P&T valve isn't plumbed to the outside it could drip a bit. Also if there's a hose spigot for draining it could drip when cooling down. I'd check all the plumbing connections before I suspected the tank itself.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:57 PM   #4
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well it seems its just under the tank. just a wet around the ring. I got some pics but on my other camera. was just outside working on the plumbing and there was a heck of a feline grown that scared me crapless! think it was a cougar!
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:31 AM   #5
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If the plumbing comes in the top of the tank one of the fittings could be seeping and running under the skin to the bottom. Or it could be the heating element leaking a bit and running down.
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:46 AM   #6
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well it seems its just under the tank. just a wet around the ring. I got some pics but on my other camera. was just outside working on the plumbing and there was a heck of a feline grown that scared me crapless! think it was a cougar!
WOW,

All we get are them thar Coyote's running around here. I think I would have done the same..

And get the pics up when you can, it will make trying to help easier..
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:55 AM   #7
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If the pressure relief valve has any debris or gunk under the seal, then it may cause an occasional leak. With the heater off, and the water cooled, pop the pressure relief valve,let it flow a bit to wash out any unwanted gunk. This may allow it to reseat itself. If it continues to leak, it's either defective (easy, low-cost fix) or your temp is set to a higher setting than the relief, which nad be dangerous, because your water will be hot enough to scald.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:21 AM   #8
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lol i know its not set tooo hot. i think ill set a cup under the down spout and see if anything collects in there. makes sense right?

and of course hard to see but there is a little shiny along the bottom. but only at the front.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:36 AM   #9
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I'd pull that cover off and check the element for leakage.
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:33 PM   #10
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i shoved a plastic drinking cup under the pressure relief valve and yup there is water in there. now how do i "reset" it?



hmmm
"If you notice that after the large amount of hot water is used, the pressure relief valve discharges water, probably you have to install an expansion tank. Water expansion is probably being limited by a backflow-preventer valve or pressure regulator, therefore causing the TPR valve to open. "
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:04 AM   #11
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On the RV water heaters it's a common occurance to lose the airgap which causes the tank to overperssure the T&P valve as it heats up and leak a little water. You can reintroduce an airgap by turning off the water and draining the tank a little with the T&P open until it sucks air. Then close it and fill the tank back up. That'll leave an airgap at the top of the tank so the T&P won't open when the water heats up.

The airgap usually isn't an issue in home installations as the system is large enough to allow for the expansion of the water and they're usually not a closed system like an RV is.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:06 AM   #12
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On the RV water heaters it's a common occurance to lose the airgap which causes the tank to overperssure the T&P valve as it heats up and leak a little water. You can reintroduce an airgap by turning off the water and draining the tank a little with the T&P open until it sucks air. Then close it and fill the tank back up. That'll leave an airgap at the top of the tank so the T&P won't open when the water heats up.

The airgap usually isn't an issue in home installations as the system is large enough to allow for the expansion of the water and they're usually not a closed system like an RV is.
WOW GREAT POST!!!!!!

I learn something new here everyday!
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:12 AM   #13
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I will definitely try that!! Im glad that its not leaking though!!!
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:41 AM   #14
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I will definitely try that!! Im glad that its not leaking though!!!
i'm cureous, does the hot water line come off the side or top on ur waterheater? is the relief on the top or side?
if it's off the top, u may not be able to put an air gap in it. the reason i ask is that ur water heater looks too much like a home unit.
if u depending on a gap in the hw heater, the velocity of the water will eventually remove the gap.
if u need a surge, a small tank on the cold water line anywhere should work.
i don't know if sush an animal exist, but if u had something that would screw into the water supply connection (at the trailer) that could push in and release the check valve, u could take advantage of the city water supply as a surge.
if this came (the way pictured) from the trailer manufacture, i'm supprised they didn't incorperate something within the system, other than the relief, to take the water expansion.
come to think of it, i believe my trailer uses the relief for expansion.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:52 AM   #15
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its on page 1. cold comes in on bottom right side, hot out on top right side, relief valve on the left top side.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:49 PM   #16
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ok, i couldn't see the end of the top line.

one thing i have used to check for leaks is toilet paper. wrap it around joints like at the top. it might get damp if it is wet then but it will become soaked if it is still leaking.
i didn't know abt the air gap. that would explain how it can heat up against a check valve and pop the relief.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:22 PM   #17
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Let's revisit this. First of all it say ELECTRIC. Second of all, with ELECTRIC, you never want any kind of air as this will quickly burn out the element, (5 seconds or less). Now some said you need an air gap so the hot water can expand. It will expand, and back feed the hot water outlet, and the cold water inlet. Since the outlet has a check valve to let water out, it will increase the pressure at the water spigot. Since the cold inlet has no check valve, it will increase the cold pressure also. Now this is in a perfect setup. If you filled and pressurized the system, checked the pressure, and then activated the water heater, either gas or electric, the pressure would rise. How much depends on the system, Lou can give us a formula if you know the length of your lines, the size, water capacity, temp rise, etc. (only kidding). It can be calculated, but at most I would guess 5 psi. Not enough to trip a pressure relief valve. If yours is leaking, you have a faulty valve or a faulty thermostat letting the water get too hot. Get a thermometer that will read over 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and measure the water temp. If it is over 180 degrees, replace the thermostat, if not, replace the relief valve.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:53 PM   #18
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if there wasn't anyplace for the expanding water to go, the pressure increase would be infinate. however, this being the real world, u will get movement in the lines, tank etc. it's a loaded question...too many varibles. (humm....i just bit didn't i...)
my trailer has a check on the cold water input from the outside world. when u put ur inside pump on, the water does not flow out of the supply inlet.
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:19 PM   #19
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ya too many variables. I think the water pressure here is a problem factor to. some times its 10 psi, sometimes its nearly 60psi. its the factor of 350 units on one water line..

I think i dont really have a problem, just need to manage it a bit.
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:50 PM   #20
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we've got cougars and bobcats here too

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well it seems its just under the tank. just a wet around the ring. I got some pics but on my other camera. was just outside working on the plumbing and there was a heck of a feline grown that scared me crapless! think it was a cougar!
My sweet husband was sitting in the truck for a few minutes sorting through the mail he'd picked up and watched a bobcat lope up the drive in front of him, go around the pond and then off into the woods. A few miles away a female cougar had twins this past spring and several people have pictures of the trio.
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