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Common Household Remedies Request

[I'm going to sticky this because I'm still looking for an answer. --lambert]

So, modified rapture on the hot water heater! The plumber came and installed it, and the electrician came and wired it up. However, the plumber did not "stub down the PT valve":

During times of considerable use, the water heater has a great deal of steam and moisture inside. This amount of steam increases the amount of pressurization in the heater. You may find that it rumbles or shakes, and this is a sign that it is near its pressure overload point. When it reaches this amount of pressure, the relief valve opens, allowing steam and moisture to escape, thereby relieving the pressure inside the heater.

So, the valve is there (as it should be) but the pipe that should allow the steam and moisture to escape is not. The question:

The plumber's guy is coming tomorrow, but how bad is this? Minor fuck-up, utter cluelessness? Criminal incompetence?

UPDATE The plumber's guy came, and "stubbed down the PT valve." There is now a nice copper pipe angling angling out from the pressure valve on top of the heat and then down to within a few inches of the ground. So at least they're responsive! But again, how bad is the error?

No votes yet


Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

It depends on whether or not your water heater (and house) blows up before he gets there. If it does, its criminal incompetence, if your house is still standing, its merely utter cluelessness.

Submitted by lambert on

The valve is going to open so the house is safe; it's a question of where the water goes. And if I want the value leaking on top of the tank where corrosiion will happen, or if the leakage is drained off the with the pipe.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

i am no plumber,but i believe it is piped to the floor so that if it ever does open it will not blow piping hot water into someones face, but rather onto floor.

gizzardboy's picture
Submitted by gizzardboy on

I dont think it was any big deal even without the pipe going down to the floor. It is a safety feature that seldom is needed. When my plumber installed my new gas water heater he didn't install the pipe either. There is no sign that it has ever opened to relieved the pressure in two years of use. The whole idea of the thermostat settings well below the boiling point of water keeps the water from boiling and building dangerous pressure. Only if the thermostat fails to do its job, would the water overheat and pressure need to be relieved. I just got an insulating wrap for my waterheater and was thinking that I ought to get a piece of pipe and extend it down to near the floor after I put the wrap on. I'll get a plastic piece with pipe threads and look for a chunk of plastic pipe of the right diameter at the local ReStore. If I don't get it done for 6 months or a year, I'm not concerned.

Submitted by lambert on

That's exactly what I needed to know. And of course it's a fail safe for thermostat failure because -- and I know this! -- the water is set to 120°!

Submitted by Lex on

People do make mistakes, and if he put the valve in the danger isn't in explosion but someone maybe being scalded if they're standing in the way when it releases.

If they come out quickly and don't charge (because it's probably code even though half of homeowners probably don't have it), then let it go.

P.S. a Captcha, while being logged in on an account i've had for something like two years. Minor Fuck-up, utter cluelessness, criminal negligence? Oh, here i'll do another one just to post a fucking comment to a blog.

Submitted by lambert on

I'm experimenting with them. You've got no idea of the crap that's been clogging my mailbox and demanding to be processed, and I should be blogging and not doing that. Fortunately, some new stuff I installed cut it back dramatically.

Submitted by lambert on

I want to lower the barriers to commenting a little and see how it goes. But too many knobs and switches on the back end of this site ;-) I flipped one the wrong way.