Plumbing in the Home/Hot water heater leak


Water is draining from the hot water heater run off pipe (copper pipe that runs the length of the heater.  I have put a hose to the floor drain to stop it from just running onto the floor.  What else can I do until a plumber comes out?

That pipe is your temperature/pressure relief valve. It's a safety device to protect the heater and your house. DO NOT PLUG IT. You can try to tap the pin that is attached to the lever handle in the center of the valve with a hammer, but do it gently. A couple of taps directed towards the tank in the center of the valve may stop it or slow it down, but have a plumber change it ASAP. It could be worn or it could be a sign that there is something more serious that needs attention. Again, a light tap is all that is necessary, if you are uncomfortable doing this, don't. Also, do not open that valve by lifting up on the lever, you may not be able to stop the water and it will come out more forceful and extremely HOT.
If you can do without hot water until the plumber arrives, you can shut off the cold water supply to the tank AND turn off the gas or if  electric, the power, to the  heater. If you do this make sure you turn off both water and gas/power. Once this is done, you can relieve the pressure by opening a hot water faucet and let it run until it stops on it's own.

Plumbing in the Home

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Jay Nicholas


Plumbing & Heating (warm air, hot water & steam heat)


40 years in the business, 40 years as a lic. master plumber in NY State. Retired

Graduated Magna cum laude at the School of Hard Knocks

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Commercial, residential and light industrial. You name it ...I have probably worked on it

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