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TPR valve discharge


NJinspector
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My first inspection today!

Inspected a second floor condo unit. Everything went pretty smooth, except for the parents pulling me away every couple minutes - "Did you see this!, Did you see that!!".

The TPR valve discharges into the same drain as the condensate for the AC unit. Problem is the discharge pipe has several elbows and turns to get to the drain.

What is the solution? You dont want a straight pipe 6" from the floor on a second floor unit, correct? There is a pan present, but I cant imagine discharging directly on this.

How would you write this up?

thanks

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Well, if its an older building there usually isn't a way to get the TPR to its own drain and to the exterior or 'approved location' that is feasible or practical.

It's much better that it drains into something other than terminate above the floor into nothing except the carpet, subfloor and unit(s) below.

About the parents . . . I usually just treat them kind of like my children. "Look Daddy! Isn't this cool??!!" "Yes, sweetey, that's neat-o!" as I carry on with my business at hand.

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The TRP drain line should discharge into the catch pan, which is under the hot water tank, and the drain pan should be piped to a drain.

Congrats on your first inspection! With regards to people pulling you away, tell them that there is a method to your madness and to hold that thought, you will address it momentarily. I find that if I'm always being pulled away it's easy to forget where you left off.

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Originally posted by NJinspector

My first inspection today!

Inspected a second floor condo unit. Everything went pretty smooth, except for the parents pulling me away every couple minutes - "Did you see this!, Did you see that!!".

Give the dad a receptacle tester. Tell him make a notation of the location and test results for each receptacle in the house. When he's finished with that, give him a thermometer and tell him to measure the temperature of every heating register.

The TPR valve discharges into the same drain as the condensate for the AC unit. Problem is the discharge pipe has several elbows and turns to get to the drain.

What is the solution? You dont want a straight pipe 6" from the floor on a second floor unit, correct? There is a pan present, but I cant imagine discharging directly on this.

If there are 4 or fewer elbows, it's fine. If there are more than four, just re-direct it into the catch pan.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Condos: pre-2002 (I think that was the year pans became mandated here), hardly ever.

Post-2002: most all of them.

SFD: Hardly ever, cuz WH's are in the garage most of the time.

When inside the home, after 2002, new construction, they're in a pan.

Do-it-yourself water heater installs; hardly ever. If they do have a pan, the pan is almost never drained to the exterior.

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I only see them once in a while, and half of those have no line. I'm dumbfounded when I see a fairly recent, professional replacement over a conventional floor and no pan was installed. Stupid. Nevertheless, I write them up relentlessly, on conventionals or a slab (unless they're in the garage).

Brian G.

Pans Are Cheap, Water Damage Isn't [:-dunce]

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I see them often, even with tanks that are in a garage. My new home has the tank in the garage, it is raised about 24" on a platform and it is sitting in a pan. The pan drains to the exterior as does the TPR discharge pipe. I also have a line from a pressure relief valve that terminates in the drain pan, when it drips it goes into the pan and if it really runs it will go to the exterior.

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Hey Kurt,

When I was up there still doing construction, we building new condos in 1999 on the North Side. We had a situation where the TPR discharge would have to have more than 2 elbows so we used a straight pipe into a pan, then piped the pan's drain to a floor drain. At that time the City's Inspector made us change from a plastic pan to a Galvanized pan. That was the first time I had ever seen a WH Pan.

I have a lot of family still building up there and they use WH pans every now and then especially for nasty rehab condo jobs. As far as I know they are still required to use galvanized pans, even for residential, I guess that's just a Chicago Thang...

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Hi,

I've gotta wonder sometimes about the guys sitting around on these code writing panels. Sometimes I think they dream up stuff just to be able to say, "Look at this portion of the code! That was my idea!" without any thought given to how inane the requirement appears to be.

Homeowners routinely ignore their homes and let stuff go until it fails. A pan under a water heater just provides one more little bit of comfort to the know-nothing homeowner and will allow him to ignore that water heater until the thing is so rusted that the bottom is ready to fall out and it starts leaking. It'd be smarter to not require pans, so that damage would occur and some folks could get sued for being apathetic. Word would get around and people would start paying more attention for fear of being sued or losing their homes to rot and mold.

I think the pan under the water heater thing is a little bit silly. After all, how often do they actually get flooded? I know that the intent is to prevent damage - if not to the homeowner's property, to the property of someone living below - but I don't think the number of incidents really justifies forcing the use of a pan. Besides, they're pretty danged shallow and most of the ones I see are not plumbed to the exterior and have the outlets capped off. I guess the intent is to capture the leak in the hope that the resident will spot the water in the pan and correct the cause before the pan overflows.

Riiiiggggghhhhhhhhhht. Like that's going to happen.

If they want to try and protect against stuff that might someday take place, they should go after things that are more likely to fail, such as the supply hoses attached to washing machines. Force people to equip washing machines with stainless steel braided hoses or automatic shutoffs that will stop the water flowing if a hose does burst. Then they should make laws prohibiting people from installing brand new high capacity washing machines in older homes with small standpipe plumbing that can't accept the volume of water being pumped out of new washing machines without backing up and overflowing. Want to buy a new washer? If you own an older home with 1-1/2 inch pipe, it should be a law that you have to re-plumb that line with a 2" fall all the way to the main soil pipe. Hmmm, how about mandatory drain pans beneath entire bathrooms and kitchens? Mandatory drain pan flashings under every single window and door? Mandatory sprinkler systems in every new home would be nice too. How about mandatory ice and water shield underlayment under entire roof surfaces?

Oh, the discharge pipe on a second floor unit aimed into the drain pan six inches from the floor? Why not? What the hell. Maybe the sound of dripping water will get the homeowner to pry his butt out of the recliner, open the door and look at the water heater that he's never bothered to flush or change the anode rod in and realize that he needs to take a break from the Cheetos long enough to fix the thing.

Uh, sorry, got off on a rant there. Apologize for the thread drift. I'm just in a cranky mood this morning.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Around Buffalo, I see them all the time. We have a flood plain up here so that some homes can't have the HW in the basement. They are placed on the first floor with a pan. Also, all of the Habitat homes get them!

Originally posted by Scottpat

I see them often, even with tanks that are in a garage. My new home has the tank in the garage, it is raised about 24" on a platform and it is sitting in a pan. The pan drains to the exterior as does the TPR discharge pipe. I also have a line from a pressure relief valve that terminates in the drain pan, when it drips it goes into the pan and if it really runs it will go to the exterior.

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I've seen more water heater pans in the last four years than I saw in the previous tewnty. I asked several participants at different ICC meetings/seminars about this. I was told that one of the concerns which led to the current requirement for a pan "where leakage of the tanks or connections will cause damage" had to do with gas-fired water heaters installed on elevated platforms in garages in warm climate areas such as Arizona and southern California. Builders were constructing the platforms tops from OSB and sheathing them with gypsum board. Code officials were concerned with the potential for a slow, unnoticed leak to cause sufficient damage to the gypsum board/OSB top that the top would fail and the water heater would drop and separate the gas supply line upstream of the regulator valve on the heater.

They also said that when a water heater is installed above the ground floor/first story level, the requirement for a pan is to reduce the degree of water damage that could result from a slow, unnoticed tank leak. They all agreed that the pan would provide no benefit in the event of catastrophic failure of the tank and that, in the end, even a pan is no substitute for periodiccally checking the water heater for evidence of leakage and for perventative maintenance in the form of replacing the tank when it approaches the average service life for water heaters in a particular area.

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In Texas our SOP's require the reporting of a lack of a safety pan as in need of repair if the Water Heater is in a location that can cause interior damage or located over framing.

I have had a water heater fail and it flooded the garage and the Living Room. I figured that if a pan had been present it might not have soaked the carpet quite so bad.

I write em up.

Buster

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Hi Scott,

If you already have the picture displayed on your site you can right click it, highlight and copy the URL to it and then paste it into the avatar slot in your profile. Alternatively, you could simply attach the photo as you normally do to this post, then copy the URL out of the code and paste that into the avatar slot in your profile.

You have to watch size though. If it's too big it will cause the whole page to get squashed or shifted every time you post. It's best if you size it to about 100 by 124 pixels before you post it and then experiment, deleting it and increasing or decreasing the size as necessary so that it fills the column to the left without knocking everything out of kilter.

Alternatively, send it to me by email and I'll put it in for you.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I think a pan over a conventional floor is just good sense, but it has to have a drain line to mean anything. I doubt if one would make Average Joe Homeowner any more or less apt to ignore that which he already ignores. Should we eliminate auxiliary condensate lines because the homeowner neither knows nor cares about them? Nah.

I wonder if I could make custom drip pans for the rich & famous....

"Have you seen my new drip pan J-Lo? It's a Goodman original!" [^]

Brian G.

The Tao of the Pan [8D]

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