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Nolan Kienitz

Mineral Deposits in 2006 TPR Valve ...

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Helped out a client and replace his TPR Valve that was leaking and would not reset. House and Water Heater are a 2006 vintage.

Image shows inside of valve. Somewhat surprised at the amount of chemical mineral deposits. There was also a boatload along the threads when I removed the valve. It was a side mount unit.

The particular water supply in this community must have high chemical content.

Interesting things we keep running across.

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tn_2011424143713_2011-04-24_00001.jpg

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While we're on the subject, has anyone heard of a case where an installed TPR valve failed to open, perhaps because it was gunked up, and allowed a water heater to explode?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Jim,

Attached is a PDF about a W/H explosion in Seattle (but article notes that the TPR Valve was 'capped'). It also refers to another W/H explosion in St. Paul, MN years ago.

I seem to recall a posting and image of a W/H exploding in a garage (side split open at seam) in or around the Phoenix, AZ area a couple of years ago. I don't recall if it was posted here at TIJ or over at IN.

Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif SEA_PI_WaterHeaterExplodes_article.pdf

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A google search for 'arizona water heater blast' brought this result. Some good pics of a blasted house. It sounds like the TPRV had been tampered with, but 'foul play' was ruled out. [:)]

http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoe ... eater.html

It appeared that the homeowner and the man renting the house had been trying to fix the water heater, which may have contributed to the heater being launched across Thunderbird Road and landing near a bus stop, Phoenix Fire Captain Sam Richardson said.

The man inside the home had been renting the house for only about 12 days. Damage to dental equipment he had in the home may be in the tens of thousands of dollars, Richardson said.

Foul play was ruled out, and the incident appeared to be accidental, he said. However, due to the destructive nature of the blast — which also caused minor damage to several nearby homes — the Phoenix police Bomb Squad and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were on the scene as investigators worked to find what caused the explosion. Richardson said the aftermath of the explosion left the house “leaningâ€

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If you do a bit of research there was a boiler explosion at AT&T (I think it was AT&T) where a boiler exploded due to the pressure relief being "gagged" by a maintenance worker who was doing a hydrostatic test (for annual insurance certification). I believe he forgot to "un-gag" the safety valve, started the boiler and after a malfunction out went the back of the boiler. It exploded into a cafeteria around lunch hour killing a few folks.

This goes back to the late 60's early-mid 70's? The details remain fuzzy as I was transitioning from a long-haired, free spirit to a long-haired father with two curtain climbers (the spirit remained somewhat free however very grounded -I did however become an expert at working around the clock)

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John -

It's an old and long story ... but here in Texas we have the onerous TREC SOP that says: "We shall test" the TPR Valves.

Most of us come up with reasonably inventive ways to exclude such tests.

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John -

It's an old and long story ... but here in Texas we have the onerous TREC SOP that says: "We shall test" the TPR Valves.

Most of us come up with reasonably inventive ways to exclude such tests.

That is understandable. Testing a TPRV that hasn't been touched for years is just inviting trouble. In an unoccupied house, it would be ignorant. You can pass that on to the TREC board.

If I see a client reaching to flip the valve, "No, first you buy it, then you can play with it."

So far, all the news storys of tank explosion point to handyman activity before the blast. They call it 'accidental'. A pipe wrench accidentally fell into the hands of an imbecile. [:)]

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Wouldn't "mineral deposits" be more accurate than "chemical deposits"?

Bill - You are correct. I have such in my reports, but was having a brain lapse today.

Thanks.

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While we're on the subject, has anyone heard of a case where an installed TPR valve failed to open, perhaps because it was gunked up, and allowed a water heater to explode?

So far, none of the described explosions fits the question.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Water heaters have been thermostatically controlled devices that keep them from overheating. Both gas and electric water heaters have temperature-limiting devices that shut off the energy source when their regular thermostat fails...[^]

Plumber Lodi

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Water heaters have been thermostatically controlled devices that keep them from overheating. Both gas and electric water heaters have temperature-limiting devices that shut off the energy source when their regular thermostat fails...[^]

Plumber Lodi

So you are saying a water heater can not overheat and explode? What if those fail safe systems fail?

Seems like I recall a recent event in Japan where a few fail safe backup systems failed on a little nuclear power plant. [;)]

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Water heaters have been thermostatically controlled devices that keep them from overheating. Both gas and electric water heaters have temperature-limiting devices that shut off the energy source when their regular thermostat fails...[^]

Plumber Lodi

No kidding? Really? Gosh whiz, I had no idea.

So, have you ever heard of a water heater exploding because the TPR valve failed?

Not because it was capped.

Not because it was improperly installed.

Not because it was missing entirely.

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She probably won't be back. She looks like a link dropper. Since it appears that she tried to contribute to the conversation, lets see if she returns to answer by tomorrow or if she's just dropped her link, in which case we can delete the link.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I have seen mineral deposits at the base of the drain pipes attached to the TPR Valves in areas known for high mineral content in the water, usually a private well or a municipal source from deep wells. I will call it out as a leak or bad valve. It would lead one to think that if the minerals are making it to the base of the drain pipe then they are not obstructing the valve.

I have also heard that the intermittent leaks at the valve are due to small increases in pressure from expansion and is cured with an expansion tank.

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