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  1. #1
    brian Beach's Avatar
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    Default Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    Has anyone seen this set up before? The home owner called in a plumber to inspect the valve attached to the pr valve and he said it was to code!!
    I am awaiting a reply from the building code department but that could take a while. Hopefully someone can shed some light on this ticking time bomb.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    They were probably unlucky enough to call in the plumber that originally installed that improper setup.

    IRC
    P2803.6 Installation of relief valves.
    Acheck or shutoff valve
    shall not be installed in the following locations:
    1. Between a relief valve and the termination point of the
    relief valve discharge pipe;
    2. Between a relief valve and a tank; or

    3. Between a relief valve and heating appliances or equipment


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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    That valve would not close off the TPR drain line or hinder the operation at all. Not a ticking time bomb. The line is not a gravity flow away from the valve and maybe the AHJ allowed them to put in a drain valve so that the line would not trap water. I don't know of any written code exception that would allow this, but I have heard of it before. Get it in writing that is is "approved" by the AHJ, after you write it up.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    Upon a second look at the picture, does the discharge line go up and over? Could that valve be there as a "drip leg" for emptying out the discharge line when winterizing?

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  5. #5
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    Brian:

    There are a number of things wrong with this installation:

    (1) 3/4" CPVC is uncersized for this application. The interior diameter of CPVC is 0.71". The code and valve manufacturer require it to be 0.75".

    (2) The drain line runs uphill. It must not.

    (3) No threaded fittings or valves may be installed in this line.

    I have seen this plumber's work before and worse.

    Aaron


  6. #6
    Jon Randolph's Avatar
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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    I agree that it is probably a drain valve for winterization, leaky TPR or whatever.

    I also agree that CPVC or PVC should not be used and that it should not flow uphill, but there are no threaded fittings that I can see on the discharge line itself. Recommend that it be replaced with rigid pipe and directed to a drainage location downhill of the TPRV and the valve will not be needed.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    2003 IRC
    P2803.6 Installation of relief valves. A check or shutoff valve shall not be installed in the following locations:
    1. Between a relief valve and the termination point of the relief valve discharge pipe;
    2. Between a relief valve and a tank; or
    3. between a relief valve and heating appliances or equipment.

    P2803.6.1 Requirements of discharge pipe.
    The outlet of a pressure relief valve, temperature relief valve or combination thereof, shall not be directly connected to the drainage system. The discharge from the relief valve shall be piped full size separately to the floor, to the outside of the building or to an indirect waste receptor located inside the building. In areas subject to freezing, the relief valve shall discharge through an air gap into an indirect waste receptor located within a heated space, or by other approved means, The discharge shall be installed in a manner that does not cause personal injury or property damage and that is readily observable by the building occupants. The discharge from a relief valve shall not be trapped. The diameter of the discharge piping shall not be less than the diameter of the relief valve outlet. The discharge pipe shall be installed so as to drain by gravity flow and shall terminate atmospherically not more than 6 inches above the floor. The outlet end of the discharge pipe shall not have a valve installed.

    I have added bold.

    I think the "other approved means" leaves a big door open for the local AHJ.
    There are times when the location of the heater may be below grade and the requirements of the gravity flow, trapped and damage to property may be in conflict; and the AHJ might approve an alternate soloution, no?
    I know there used to be a prohibition against threaded end on the discharge pipe somewhere, but I don't see that in the IRC, just no valve.

    We have had this discussion before, but I think it is straining at gnats over .04" diameter on the CPVC. I would tend to use the Nominal Size printed on the valve and the pipe rather than the actual pipe dimension.
    Do anyone have any UL listing or manufacturer info to support the measurement approach?
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    2006 IRC
    P2803.6 Installation of relief valves.
    Acheck or shutoff valve
    shall not be installed in the following locations:
    1. Between a relief valve and the termination point of the
    relief valve discharge pipe;
    2. Between a relief valve and a tank; or
    3. Between a relief valve and heating appliances or equipment.
    P2803.6.1 Requirements for discharge pipe.


    The discharge
    piping serving a pressure-relief valve, temperaturerelief
    valve or combination valve shall:
    1. Not be directly connected to the drainage system.
    2. Discharge through an air gap located in the same
    room as the water heater.
    3. Not be smaller than the diameter of the outlet of the
    valve served and shall discharge full size to the air
    gap.
    4. Serve a single relief device and shall not connect to
    piping serving any other relief device or equipment.
    5. Discharge to the floor, to an indirect waste receptor
    or to the outdoors. Where discharging to the outdoors
    in areas subject to freezing, discharge piping
    shall be first piped to an indirect waste receptor
    through an air gap located in a conditioned area.
    6. Discharge in a manner that does not cause personal
    injury or structural damage.
    7. Discharge to a termination point that is readily
    observable by the building occupants.
    8. Not be trapped.
    9. Be installed to flow by gravity.
    10. Not terminate more than 6 inches (152 mm) above
    the floor or waste receptor.
    11. Not have a threaded connection at the end of the piping.
    12. Not have valves or tee fittings.
    13. Be constructed of those materials listed in Section
    P2904.5 or materials tested, rated and approved for
    such use in accordance with ASME A112.4.1

    Jim nothing in the 2006 IRC about "or by other approved means"


    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 10-05-2007 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Add comment
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    I'll put another spin on it:

    The T&P relief valve discharge drain line is required to go downhill ... we all agree on that, right?

    Okay, starting with the above agreement, the pipe going uphill is incidental to the operation of the T&P relief valve and the pipe going downhill *IS* the required T&P relief valve discharge drain line.

    Agreed?

    Okay, taking that a step further, then, *THE* T&P relief valve discharge drain line *IS NOT CORRECT* (referring to the downhill pipe).

    The pipe running uphill is no (okay, some) bearing on the T&P relief valve as we have summarily removed that uphill pipe from the discussion (because we all agree that it is not a proper T&P relief valve discharge drain line, if it is not proper because it goes up, and there is another one which goes down, you get what I am referring to ... ).

    Thus, *THE* T&P relief valve discharge drain line (the one going downhill) is not correct and needs to be corrected.

    Agreed?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    To sum it all up for you Brian, It's wrong.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    Rick, is there an "OR" or "and" in there anywhere? I don't have the 2006 version of the IRC. There seems to be some pretty substantial changes.

    2. Discharge through an air gap located in the same
    room as the water heater.



    5. Discharge to the floor, to an indirect waste receptor
    or to the outdoors...
    12. Not have valves or tee fittings.


    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    Jim
    I just copy and paste from the file.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    This will be a big change if required as it is worded here. I never see an air gap around here.
    Typically there is a solid line directly from the TPR to the outside.
    The reason I qouestioned the wording is the code seems to contradict itself. Calling for an air gap in one location and allowing for direct to outdoors unless in a freezeing area in another.
    I have no idea if anyone in the area has adopted the 2006 yet, but I expect if so we will begin to see changes soon.

    2. Discharge through an air gap located in the same
    room as the water heater.


    5. Discharge to the floor,
    to an indirect waste receptor
    or to the outdoors.
    Where discharging to the outdoors
    in areas subject to freezing, discharge piping
    shall be first piped to an indirect waste receptor
    through an air gap located in a conditioned area.


    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  14. #14

    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    Brian,

    In Georgia, there is an ammendment to the code (IPC 504.5)that allows the TPR drain line to go uphill as long as it has a drain at the low point. That's why the plumber said it was to code.
    "If the discharge pipe is trapped, provisions shall be made to drain the low point of the trapped portion of the discharge pipe."

    Ted
    Atlanta


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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    Ted
    I think this is the amendment you are referring to.
    Note what I have in bold.

    504.6 Requirements for discharge piping. The relief valve shall discharge full size, separately to a safe place of disposal such as a concrete floor, outside the building, an indirect waste receptor, or other approved location. The discharge shall terminate in a manner that does not cause injury to occupants in the immediate area or structural damage to the building. When the relief valve discharge piping goes upward, a thermal expansion control device shall be installed on the cold water distribution or service pipe in accordance with Section 607.3.2. If the discharge pipe is trapped, provisions shall be made to drain the low point of the trapped portion of the discharge pipe.
    (Effective January 1, 2007)


    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 10-05-2007 at 05:09 PM. Reason: spelling
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Ted
    I think this is the amendment you are referring to.
    Note what I have in bold.

    504.6 Requirements for discharge piping. The relief valve shall discharge full size, separately to a safe place of disposal such as a concrete floor, outside the building, an indirect waste receptor, or other approved location. The discharge shall terminate in a manner that does not cause injury to occupants in the immediate area or structural damage to the building. When the relief valve discharge piping goes upward, a thermal expansion control device shall be installed on the cold water distribution or service pipe in accordance with Section 607.3.2. If the discharge pipe is trapped, provisions shall be made to drain the low point of the trapped portion of the discharge pipe.

    (Effective January 1, 2007)
    Rick,

    When the pipe goes uphill, *it is trapped*, meaning that both would always need to be done.

    I cannot believe 'those in power' went to the trouble to specifically adopt something so absolutely contrary to all requirements for the drain line to slope down hill and drain dry. It just boggles my mind that they went to that much trouble - must have been a lot of pressure put on by plumbers, if only they would have put 1/2 that much effort into running the drain lines downhill, there would have been no need to get that through.

    I suspect they (the plumber) think that will remove them from legal responsibility when a water heater blows up in Georgia ... it won't. Too many nationally accepted codes and manufacturer's installation instructions which specifically state otherwise.

    Oh well, guess they will learn later rather than sooner.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #17
    Patrick Martinez's Avatar
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    Post Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    Hi all,

    seeing this really makes me wonder at the logic behind the AHJ approval??

    First, the line is trapped, (inverted), if the bleed valve is as much as a cracked open, it will produce atomized steam when it lifts therefore causing burns to those in the vicinity, or potential to, meaning the shutoff to the W/H is now inaccessible.

    Second, the use of a thermal expansion device does not alleviate the requirement of a T&P to drain / discharge downward to within 6 ad 24 inches from grade. No part of said drain shall be trapped or subject to freezing. The terminal end of the drain shall not be threaded.

    This info is quoted per '06 UPC which many jurisdictions are adopting with little change. I hope this helps.

    The specific sections are CHapt 5 Water heaters and 608.4 of the potable water section.

    Personally my view on something that can harm / maim you should be reviewed by higher authority if in doubt. IE, what does the state have to say about?? Rather than the city jurisdiction.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    "When the pipe goes uphill, *it is trapped*, meaning that both would always need to be done."

    Jerry, I agree, that is why I used bold on that section.


    "I cannot believe 'those in power' went to the trouble to specifically adopt something so absolutely contrary to all requirements for the drain line to slope down hill and drain dry."
    Yes, much better ways exist to do it better.

    Partick
    "reviewed by higher authority if in doubt. IE, what does the state have to say about?? "
    This is the state code.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  19. #19
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    Exclamation Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    Directly from the Watts web site, and this trumps the AHJ, regardless. If this installation was approved, then litigation is possible. Governmental immunity would not protect the code inspector, if personal negligence was proven:

    Correct Installation of T&P Relief Valves

    Important Instructions: Relief Valves and Automatic Gas Shut-Off Devices
    Combination temperature and pressure relief valves with extension thermostats must be installed so that the temperature-sensing element is immersed in the water within the top 6" (152mm) of the water storage tank. They must be installed either in the hot outlet service line or directly in a tank tapping. Combination temperature and pressure relief valves that do not have extension elements must be mounted directly in a tank tapping located within the top 6" (152mm) of the water storage tank. Valves must be located so as to assure isolation from flue gas heat or other ambient conditions that are not indicative of stored water temperature.

    WARNING: To avoid water damage or scalding due to valve operation, discharge line must be connected to valve outlet and run to a safe place of disposal. Discharge line must be as short as possible and be the same size as the valve discharge connection throughout its entire length. Discharge line must pitch downward from the valve and terminate at least 6" (152mm) above a drain where any discharge will be clearly visible. The discharge line shall terminate plain, not threaded. Discharge line material must conform to local plumbing codes or ASME requirements. Excessive length over 30' (9.14m), or use of more than four elbows or reducing discharge line size will cause a restriction and reduce the discharge capacity of the valve.

    No shut-off valve shall be installed between the relief valve and tank, or in the discharge line. Valve lever must be tripped at least once a year to ensure that waterways are clear. When manually operating lever, water will discharge through discharge line and precautions must be taken to avoid contact with hot water and to avoid water damage. This device is designed for emergency safety relief and shall not be used as an operating control. If discharge occurs, a licensed contractor must evaluate the system and determine the cause for discharge and correct the cause immediately.

    To ensure proper operation, this valve must be installed by a qualified service technician or licensed plumbing contractor in accordance with these instructions and the local plumbing codes and standards. Repair or alteration of valve in any way is prohibited by national safety standards/local codes.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  20. #20
    Bill Wallerius's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    There are 2 reasons CPVC is incorrect for terminating a TPR valve.
    (1) CPVC is listed as Max Temp= 180 F degrees / TPR Valve discharges @>210 F deg.
    (This makes any other reasons moot)

    (2) As per Aaron Miller's 10/5 post "3/4" CPVC is uncersized for this application. The interior diameter of CPVC is 0.71. The code and valve manufacturer require it to be 0.75".


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    Uniform Plumbing Code. Section 608.5 says the material for T & P R piping may be; galvanized steel, hard drawn copper, CPVC(PVC inadequate), PB or listed straight sections of relief valve drain tube.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Valve attached to PR valve on H20 HEATER

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Wallerius View Post
    There are 2 reasons CPVC is incorrect for terminating a TPR valve.
    NEITHER of which is correct as CPVC *IS* approved for that use.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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