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My pressure relief valve keeps blowing more so when it is hot any ideas please

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Pressure relief valves open on high temperature as well as high pressure. They do go bad and are replaceable.

Consider calling the plumber. It is not very expensive part and the plumber can change it quickly.

If you just want to do it yourself:

  1. Write down the make and model of the water heater.
  2. Go to a real plumbing store and buy a new one.
  3. Turn off the heat source (the gas or electricity)
  4. Turn off the water inlet and open a hot water valve at any sink to take the pressure off the heater.
  5. Remove the old relief valve. It may take a long handled wrench.
  6. Install the new pressure relief.
  7. Close the sink valve.
  8. Turn on the water and check for leaks.
  9. Turn on the heat source.

Good luck.

Posted on Apr 11, 2015

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It sounds like your thermostat could be the problem. Have you noticed the boiler cutting off at all, or does it run continuously until it goes out on low water?

You stated, "when boiler is on", so I am wondering how you get the boiler on. If your boiler is controlled by a thermostat, you need to check it for a cold draft possibly from behind the thermostat in the wall where the wires come through. The thermostat should never be on an outside wall. The thermostat could be defective.

An aquastat can also control your boiler. If you have an aquastat, check the setting, typically 175 - 180 degrees. You should also have a "high limit" which should be set at 210 - 220. Some people run that high side limit higher; not a good idea - defeats the purpose. If the aquastat is set too high, the boiler will operate too hot and the problem you have will occur.

"pressure rises and pressure relief valve opens" This could mean that your pressure switch is prematurely venting. Check boiler temperature to see exactly at what temperature the T&P valve purges. If it blows off below the high side setting, either adjust or replace. The T&P valves are usually not adjustable. That blow off temperature is stamped on the head of the valve. So, if it discharges too soon, replace it.

Have you actually seen evidence thgat the T&P valve is opening? You may have a bad bladder in your expansion tank and your system may have air in it. Your boiler should have 12 psi when cold and 20 - 22 psi when operating. Check your boiler pressure guage.

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this eventually drops below the minimum operating pressure" Technically, there is set point for a NO MINIMUM OPERATING PRESSURE. That is a function of the amount of water in the boiler. If the T&P is blowing off, it will vent water from the boiler and the boiler pressure will go down. There is a minimum operating TEMPERATURE.

Your boiler could be low on water. You will have to manually fill the boiler. Be careful of thermal shock to the boiler. Feel the piping, and fill only when the circulator is running. Make sure the water is not going directly into the boiler. The supply water should go into the circulating supply side which feeds the radiators, radiant floor, or base board circuits.

All this will adversely affect your hot water. The heat exchanger for the potable hot water may have scale build up in it. Using the hot water keeps the boiler running, and a scaled heat exchanger will give you cooler hot water and the boiler keeps running. If this is a problem, you will need to replace the heat exchanger. A better idea is to not use the boiler for your domestic hot water. Why run the boiler in the summer?

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Hot water pressure relief valves serve two functions. The first is to remove high-pressure water from the hot water tank. The second function is to act as a high temperature valve to remove water that exceeds a predetermined point for the valve. Both of these relief settings are preset at the valve factory. Many pressure relief valves will come with a metal tag that identifies these release points. If you're attempting to remove the hot water heater pressure relief valve, pay careful attention to ensure that you replace with the correct valve.

Your hot water heater has a pressure relief valve safety mechanism. When pressure inside the water tank exceeds certain limitations, the valve opens up to allow the pressure to be released. A faulty pressure relief valve will not release excess pressure, which could cause extensive damage to your home. You should test the hot water heater pressure relief valve once every six months to ensure proper operation. If the pressure relief valve fails the test, replace the valve with a new one immediately

Locate the pressure relief valve on your hot water heater. The pressure relief valve has a lever handle on top with a drain pipe attached to it. The pressure relief valve is most often on the side of the water tank toward the top. Newer models of hot water heaters have the pressure relief valve on top of the water tank.

  • Inspect the area around the pressure relief valve for signs of leaking water. If there is leaking water near the relief valve connection, replace the relief valve. If no leaking is evident, proceed with testing the pressure valve.

  • 3

    Examine the area below the pressure relief valve drain pipe. Most water heater closets either have a drain in the floor below the pipe or the pipe is inserted into another pipe to direct the water out of the home. If the end of your drain pipe is not in another pipe or there is no drain in the floor, place a bucket under the drain pipe to catch water when you test the pressure relief valve.

  • 4

    Pull the lever handle on the top of the pressure relief valve up with your fingers. A working lever will lift up without difficulty.You should begin to hear water going through the drain pipe. Slowly release the lever to shut off the pressure relief valve. The pressure relief valve is good. If you did not hear water running through the drain pipe, lower the lever on the pressure relief valve and replace the valve. If the lever is difficult to raise, do not force the lever. Replace the pressure relief valve.


  • Now with all that said if you have a closed loop water supply system and you have a pressure vessal/expantion tank it may have gone bad and is making the TP valve leak. you can call your water provider to see if you have closed loop system.

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