A Temperature/Pressure Relief (TPR) valve is a water heater safety feature that is designed to help reduce the risks of heater explosions. It does this by providing a pressure outlet in cases where things go wrong. In such cases, it is normal to have hot water, and steam, dripping out of the TPR valve.
While the TPR valve plays an important role in helping to prevent boiler disasters, the fact that it usually leaks water can be a nuisance. These water drips can cause mold growth in a home. They can also damage wood floors and any other valuables that are not-so-friendly with water. And the fact that it usually emits hot water and steam means that scalding is one more thing that a homeowner needs to worry about. This is where a TPR valve discharge tube usually comes in handy.
A TPR valve discharge tube is simple a tube that is attached to the TPR valve with the sole purpose of guiding the hot water, and steam, to a safe discharge location. By doing so, it reduces the risks of scalding accidents while also protecting property from water damage.
However, these are benefits that one can enjoy only when the TPR valve discharge tube is functioning properly. Here are some of the mistakes that you should look out for.
"Piped-up" TPR valve discharge tube
For the TPR valve discharge tube to work properly, it has to be installed in such a way that it encourages the water to flow smoothly through it. When the tube is piped upwards, the water has to flow against gravity. This is usually hard especially in cases where the output of the TPR valve is small. A piped up discharge tube will therefore reduce the efficiency with which the TPR valve relieves boiler pressure, something that may increase the risks of a boiler explosion.
Blocked TPR valve discharge tube
A working TPR valve discharge tube usually drips with water every time a TPR valve has to release boiler pressure. It is therefore tempting for a homeowner to mistake these drips for boiler leaks. He or she may then attempt to prevent the "leaks" by sealing off the end of the tube by using a valve, a cap or a plug. Doing so is a mistake that essentially eliminates the safety powers of the TPR valve, increasing the risks of a boiler explosion.
However, not all blocking mistakes are intentional. One may end up blocking the pipe accidentally when he or she is installing water heater insulation – the insulation may clog the pipe. If you have questions about TPR valves, click here for more info