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  1. #1
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    Default Water heater improper installation

    What do you tell a client when you see something like this? The gas line is piped over the top of the water heater and T'd into the TPRV. I didn't make this up.....

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    You look at the fitting you are describing as a tee and find that it is a gas shut off valve ... then tell your client "Look at this safety gas shut off valve - when the water heater overheats, it shuts the gas supply off - that's a good thing."

    https://www.hirsch.com/2580933/p/n/watts-0556025

    Then I would look up the installation instructions and see if that is listed for use "instead of" a T&P relief valve, or if that is listed for use with a T&P relief valve.

    From the second page of the Data/Spec Sheet-1 (bold is mine): "The installation of a separate pressure relief valve is required forinstallations without T&P. Removal of the factory installed T&Pvalve may void water heater manufacturer?s warranty."

    (added with edit)
    And may also make the installation not code compliant:
    From the IRC:
    - P2804.1 Relief valves required.
    - - Appliances and equipment used for heating water or storing water shall be protected by one of the following:
    - - - 1. A separate pressure-relief and a separate temperature-relief valve.
    - - - 2. A combination pressure-and-temperature relief valve.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 12-07-2019 at 07:36 PM. Reason: added code section requiring relief valves
    Jerry Peck
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    As Jerry stated, it's a Watts 210 valve.

    https://inspectapedia.com/plumbing/Automatic-Gas-Shutoff-Valve-Watts-210-5s.jpg

    The proper installation requirements can be found on the product's site.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    After all these years, its the first time I've encountered one of these. Thank you for continuing my education.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    Is that a "relief valve"?

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 12-08-2019 at 01:44 PM. Reason: moved " from "relief" to "relief valve" for correctness
    Jerry Peck
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Is that a "relief valve"?
    To help answer that question:

    From the IPC:

    - RELIEF VALVE.
    - - Pressure relief valve. A pressure-actuated valve held closed by a spring or other means and designed to relieve pressure automatically at the pressure at which such valve is set.
    - - Temperature and pressure relief (T&P) valve. A combination relief valve designed to function as both a temperature relief and a pressure relief valve.
    - - Temperature relief valve. A temperature-actuated valve designed to discharge automatically at the temperature at which such valve is set.

    Jerry Peck
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    That was my first thought as well. I've read about them, but never seen one in person. Here the usually just send the pipe from the TPR up and out of the basement or crawl space. And, yes I write it up but doubt it ever gets changed.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    So, I have been inspecting homes for more than 20 years and I just saw my first Watts 210 today! Actually, it was a 210-5.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    So, I have been inspecting homes for more than 20 years and I just saw my first Watts 210 today! Actually, it was a 210-5.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Is that a "relief valve"?
    Says I need 5 characters:
    Charlie Chaplin
    Groucho Marx
    Joe E Brown
    Buster Keaton
    Tim Conway

    Jerry Peck
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    Jerry,

    No. So... you are implying that I should say something about it in my report?

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    Oh wait...

    This is why there was a pressure relief valve adjacent to the main shutoff valve at the exterior.

    At least I figured it out.

    Belatedly.

    DUH

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    Gunnar,

    While those do shut off the gas flow, which allows the pressure and temperature to gradually reduce, those do not meet the code requirements for a temperature and a pressure "relief valve" as I read the definitions.

    Jerry Peck
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    First time I've seen one also. When I first looked at Pierre's picture I thought that was gas coming in from the left side (yellow CSST) and water going out the right side (metal pipe) from a TPR valve and was thinking how the hell does that work. After going to the link provided and looking at the schematic I see how it works now. From what I can gather the installation shown would need a separate "relief valve" and the valve shown is the "temperature relief valve". Is that how you guys are seeing that. Also, is that pipe on right side rated for gas??

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    First time I've seen one also. When I first looked at Pierre's picture I thought that was gas coming in from the left side (yellow CSST)
    Technical correction. That yellow flex tubing is not CSST. It is the flex connector and cannot be used like CSST.

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Says I need 5 characters:
    Charlie Chaplin
    Groucho Marx
    Joe E Brown
    Buster Keaton
    Tim Conway
    I have seen quite a few of these and in this pic and others the mistake is made by using street ells to save space instead of short nipples and full bore ells. Street ells are notoriously restrictive and are by name exactly what they say, they are what you use to connect a water or gas line to a castiron or ductile main or bolt on saddle. Technically on gas they violate the IFGC on threaded fittings underground at our company they were the only threaded underground fitting we allowed.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    You should educate yourself a little better. Look up Watts 210 gas shutoff valve. There is nothing wrong with this installation.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Kirkpatrick View Post
    You should educate yourself a little better. Look up Watts 210 gas shutoff valve. There is nothing wrong with this installation.
    Lighten up. This is a place where you can get that education. We all don't know anything until we learn it. This is a business where the learning never stops and we constantly see something for the first time.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Kirkpatrick View Post
    You should educate yourself a little better. Look up Watts 210 gas shutoff valve. There is nothing wrong with this installation.
    Jeff,

    Okay, please provide the documentation and educate us on your statement "There is nothing wrong with this installation."

    Maybe you will have the answer to the question I asked "Is that a "relief valve"?"

    I asked that because the IRC says a relief valve is required (I presume that you've read through the thread to know what has been discussed).

    Jerry Peck
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Jeff,

    Okay, please provide the documentation and educate us on your statement "There is nothing wrong with this installation."

    Maybe you will have the answer to the question I asked "Is that a "relief valve"?"

    I asked that because the IRC says a relief valve is required (I presume that you've read through the thread to know what has been discussed).

    There is more than one way to remove pressure from a water heater tank. In basic high school chemistry you were probably taught PV=nrT. One way to reduce pressure in a water heater tank is to physically remove the pressure with a temperature pressure relief valve. Another way is to remove the heat source. Shutting off the heat source or shutting off the gas supply to the water heater reduces the water temperature which in turn reduces the pressure within the water heater tank. The valve in that pictures is a Watts 210 automatic gas shut off valve. Look it up on the Watts Regulator site. The proper installation of this type of valve and system requires a relief valve somewhere on the piping usually at the exterior of the home.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Kirkpatrick View Post
    There is more than one way to remove pressure from a water heater tank. In basic high school chemistry you were probably taught PV=nrT. One way to reduce pressure in a water heater tank is to physically remove the pressure with a temperature pressure relief valve. Another way is to remove the heat source. Shutting off the heat source or shutting off the gas supply to the water heater reduces the water temperature which in turn reduces the pressure within the water heater tank. The valve in that pictures is a Watts 210 automatic gas shut off valve. Look it up on the Watts Regulator site. The proper installation of this type of valve and system requires a relief valve somewhere on the piping usually at the exterior of the home.
    Jeff,

    The code doesn't say "remove" pressure or temperature over time, the code states that at the given pressure and/or temperature setting, that the "relief valve" (which the code says is "required") shall relieve and discharge such relief into the specified relief discharge line by the means provided for.

    Yes, one could turn the breaker off for an electric water heater, thereby allowing the water to cool, and as the water cools, the temperature drops, and as the temperature drops, the pressure is reduced ... over time ... which is the same thing that happens the gas is shut off by those gas shut off valves.

    The above 'loss of hearing energy' is not the same as a relief valve opening and relieving the pressure, with the outflow of hot water through the relief valve creating a simultaneous inflow of cold water, which (simultaneously) reduces the temperature.

    A pressure relief valve opens at its pressure setting, opening the closed system, and relieves pressure.

    A temperature relief valve opens at its temperature setting, opening the closed system, releasing the high temperature water out through the relief valve,
    which allows cold water flow into the tank, thereby reducing the temperature of the rest of the heated water in the tank.

    Still waiting for the documentation where the code has an exception to the required relief valve(s) and discharge libe(s) when energy (gas, electric, whatever energy is being used) is turned off/stopped.

    Jerry Peck
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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation


    PRV is not completely eliminated per installation directions. https://www.watts.com/products/plumb...f-valves/210-5


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    Lighten up. This is a place where you can get that education. We all don't know anything until we learn it. This is a business where the learning never stops and we constantly see something for the first time.
    If you look at the 3 installation position in Watts instructions the prv is not eliminated in any of them, the idea of not using street ells is to get as little interference as possible resulting in a quicker shutoff the restrictions from street ells may slow the process down. You do what you want I have only been doing this for a little over 30 years the last 10 spent in technical training for a large gas utility.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    So, I have been inspecting homes for more than 20 years and I just saw my first Watts 210 today! Actually, it was a 210-5.
    Was there a T&P valve somewhere else in the installation? If not it would be a shutdown and red tagged .


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Domina View Post

    PRV is not completely eliminated per installation directions. https://www.watts.com/products/plumb...f-valves/210-5
    Which is what I have been pointing out. The code "requires": a) a separate temperature relief valve and a separate pressure relief valve; or b) a combination temperature and pressure relief valve ... there is no 'c) except if a gas shut off valve is installed' in the code.

    Thus, finding a gas shut off valve installed by itself (no T&P valve with it) is not code compliant when the code requires T&P relief valves - verify with your local code that T&P relief valves are not "required" if a gas shut off valve is installed, otherwise, you should also find a T&P relief valve (with the gas shut off valve serving as a 'stop wasting gas with the T&P valve open' by shutting off the gas).

    The manufacturer states: (underlining is mine)

    WARNING
    Local building or plumbing codes may require modifications to the information provided. You are required to consult the local building and plumbing codes prior to installation. If the information provided here is not consistent with local building or plumbing codes, the local codes should be followed. This product must be installed by a licensed contractor in accordance with local codes and ordinances.

    I have provided a link to the lead free 210 valve (LF210-5) as the 'non-lead free' valves (210-5) have been discontinued:
    - https://www.watts.com/products/plumb.../watts_0556025

    - installation instructions: https://www.watts.com/dfsmedia/0533d...ce/1910217.pdf

    Jerry Peck
    Construction Litigation Consultant ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Water heater improper installation

    Thanks for the explanation given above. My sister faced a similar issue for which we called for an expert help and now I understood the exact issue.


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