Question about Rheem Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve

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The water pipes that carry the water throughout the house makes a loud humming noise every three seconds

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Hi, it says you are having problems with the relief valve, I am not sure what it is, but they will blow water if the water temperature exceeds its rating and water pressure. Also, says you have a humming every 3 seconds or so in the pipes? This sounds like a classic case of hard water deposits have formed up around the control valve probe that's inserted into the water. Also if the pipes are galvanized and not copper, they will rust up the walls of the pipes over time with deposits also closing of the amount of room for the water to get through. It would really help to know the age of your home and if the water heater is gas or electric? When this happens, you will hear a popping noise at the water heater and you will get air in the pipes that will cause all sorts of noise, humming, growling, the pipes will rattle and with the restricted lines and build up of sediment, the pressure relief valve will let loose to relieve the pressure. If you are having any signs of low and uneven pressures and hot and cold problems, depending on the age of this water heater, you will need to replace it.If it is a gas heater, you will have a round plastic drain knob located at the bottom of the heater. You can turn it ccw all the way open and let the water coming into it from the fill valve on top flush out as much of the sediment as you can. When you have done this, close the valve off to fill it up again and repeat the draining or flushing process. This will also remove any air trapped in the lines. Important! When you are filling the heater if you had shut the fill valve off on top, open the water valve and on the relief valve, pull the lever up to lock it open as this lets all air from the lines out of the heater and the water pipes. If this relief valve is blowing a lot, replace it. Just turn the water valve off on top and use a pipe wrench to turn it ccw to remove it. Look for sediment on the rod to see how much has build up on it. This valve is around $25 and will be cheaper to replace then the heater. The size is 3/4". Temperature range for it to open will be stamped on the old valve. This you can get at any hardware store such as Home Depot, Lowe's, Ace and so on. Pick up a small tub of pipe dope to coat the treads when installing and once it is in, turn water on and raise the lever up as you turn water back on to fill the tank to remove the air. This should solve this problem. Please keep me posted on this and your progress and if you will tell me the age of your home and if its a gas or electric heater this will be helpful if the instructions I have given you do not solve this problem. I do believe it is just trapped air and a faulty pressure relief valve at this point. Please don't forget to rate me as I know you will be kind and please keep me posted as I will check on you as I store your information in my files to look in on at any time I may need.
Sincerely,
Shastalaker7

Posted on Aug 30, 2010

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http://waterheatertimer.org/New-water-heater-making-noise.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Repair-water-heater-valve.html
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From your description, I am guessing you are on a deep well with this answer. I think you have an issue with the well pump. To isolate it do this...........

Turn the main supply valve off to the house. Your well tank should have a hose bib on the well tee. Hook a hose up to that and run it outside. Open the valve to the hose until you heard the pressure click on which activates the pump. After the click close the valve and listen for the hum. If it still hums it is the Well and not the piping in your home.

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