Question about Rheem 50 Gallon FVR NATGAS Water Heater 6YR 22V50F1

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Water leaking from the bottom of the big PVC pipe parallel to the water heater

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  • Randy Marshall May 15, 2010

    Is the pvc connected to water heater?



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What is the leaking pvc pipe connected to? The T & P valve on the side (or top) of the tank? Or is it an incoming cold or outgoing hot water line? If you have just lit the water heater, the T & P valve may drip, but only for a little while and it will stop. The T & P (temperature and pressure relief) valve may be bad and need replaced. Turn off the incoming cold water valve and turn the gas valve to off position. Then drain the water heater using the T & P valve, it will stop draining when the water level is just below it. Remove the T&P valve and replace with new one. Use thread sealing tape on threads. Or call a plumber if not sure.

Posted on May 15, 2010


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You can buy a replacement relief valve at any hardware or home improvement store. It's real name is a T&P valve or temperature and pressure relief valve. It always has a 3/4" inlet and outlet. It is a very easy procedure to replace. You will need a bucket, teflon pipe thread tape, and a 3/4" x 6" black iron or galvanized pipe nipple. To start the valve replacement, turn off the shuttoff valve on the cold water line. Then open the handle on the relief valve and drain water into the bucket, that is, unless you have a pvc pipe coming off of it into a drain floor, then just drain it without the bucket. Be careful, the water is hot! When the water level gets below the relief valve, it will stop draining. Then remove the pvc pipe, if applicable, and thread in the 6" pipe nipple to use as a leverage tool to remove the valve from the water tank. Turn it counter clockwise to remove. Then put teflon tape on the new valve, going from left to right with the valve threads facing downward. Wrap about 3-4 layers all around the threads. Then twist the new valve into the water tank clockwise and using the pipe nipple tighten by hand until very snug and outlet is facing downward, as before. Remove the pipe nipple and install pvc pipe, if applicable. Leave valve handle open and turn on the cold water until the valve starts spitting, then close the relief valve and let it fill up the tank. If you did it correctly, you are now finished! Good luck!

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1 Answer

Water on flour of water heater

If your water tank is leaking, is it dripping from above or actually leaking thru the bottom?. Can you find the source? Feel around and try to find wet spots above and around it. If it's not leaking from the water pipes or T&P valve, it's your tank leaking. You'd be wise to have it checked out in the morning, before it gets worse. Hopefully your catch pan has a pipe attached to divert water to the outside or to a sump pump or floor drain. Water heaters do sweat, but you can tell the difference if it continues to leak for several hours.

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The pan at the bottom of the water heater is leaking through the attached valve. Do I need to call the plumber immediately or is this normal? The water heater is still producing hot water.

Now, the pipe that leads from the base water pan should lead to the wall where the water can go outside. If you see water in it, but very little in the pan, then you have water from outside (rain or water hose) coming inside the house. You should have a valve, usually on the side of the water tank near the top that looks like brass with a silver 'flip' handle on it. There may be some plastic pvc pipe attached to it as well. If the water is coming from this valve then you need to have the valve replaced. You may get some extra time by gently tapping the valve where the handle is attached with a mallet so that the valve seats itself. This valve is a pressure release valve. If the water in the tank gets too hot or water pressure gets too high, this valve will open to relieve that pressure. it doesn't happen often, so if this is the first time you have seen it and it doesn't seem to be leaking any more, I would not worry about it. If it is still leaking, you can get a replacement relief valve from your local Lowe's or hardware/lumber yard. They usually cost less than $20 USD

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Water heater ground

You have clearly lost your ground due to PVC. One solution would be to run copper ground wire from the hot water tank to the metal splice on each end of the PVC. It is not necessary to go all the way back to the breaker box.

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