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  1. #1
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    Water heater T&P drain line that is 'slightly' routed uphill.

    HI who inspected the property stated:

    "The unit in the hall has a T&P discharge line that runs uphill new standards do not allow this but the location of this unit it has to be this way, which was allowed at the time this home was built."


    Quote is taken verbatim from the report. Home was built in 1973.

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  2. #2
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    Nolan,

    That doesen't look like a 'B' flue either-- more like a single wall.

    Rich

    _______________________________________________
    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.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________


  3. #3
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    The flue did transition to a B-type before it went through the ceiling.

    It was / is an interesting site. I'm processing the paperwork for the client's 203k loan so received all the documents recently generated.

    This was one of two W/H's in an 1800 s.f. home (??), vinyl in-ground pool, original HVAC equipment (but still operating within ranges), overloaded Zinsco panel in bedroom closet along with double-tapped breakers.

    But ... it had a fresh coat of paint and will likely get ~ $8K of foundation work done.

    Hey ... I'm just processing the 203k paperwork.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    Nolan,

    I see more of them it seems running uphill than like they should be. NO one reads directions.

    The picture below was taken at a plumbers personal home. He lives out in the country, and told me he did not have to answer to any AHJ so he could get by with it.

    He wanted to argue with me that the flex connector on the drain line was acceptable also. When I questioned him about the reduced inside diameter of the pipe material not being 3/4 inch, he just looked at me with a blank look.

    He argument was how often is the T&P going to open up anyway? I told him it was not how often but when it "does" open.

    Oh, it didn't have a drain pan either and being in the laundry room next to the garage it wasn't 18 inches off the floor.

    rick

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post
    HI who inspected the property stated:

    "The unit in the hall has a T&P discharge line that runs uphill new standards do not allow this but the location of this unit it has to be this way, which was allowed at the time this home was built."
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rushing View Post
    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.
    From the 2006 IRC. (The discharge line *shall* meet *all* of these conditions.) (underlining is mine)
    - P2803.6.1 Requirements for discharge pipe.
    The discharge piping serving a pressure-relief valve, temperature relief 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.



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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    Jerry,

    Have you or anyone have a picture of a drain line (T&P) that has a "air gap"?

    I've never seen one, of course I've never seen Big Foot either. Some claim existance.

    rick


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    I have seen 'attempts to make' that air gap fittings by plumbers, just nothing that works, and I don't remember which folders those photos would be in (I kept all my photos in folders by client name, meaning I'd have to look through them all, and ... ).

    That said, though, any time you discharge above a floor or floor drain, you just made "an air gap".

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    ask not, want not.

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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    WC Jerry,

    It's real easy to 'draw it', it's a different matter to actually make one which works and keeps all the water in it. That's the problem.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    The majority of water heater equipped drain pans I have ever seen had the PTRV drain line dumping into them. Do we actually believe anybody is going to correct that non-code complying condition? It sort of like writing up kitchen DW drain lines not equipped with an air-gap, darn near a total waste of carbon.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    Here's the typical type I see....

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    Dom,

    Those are "air breaks", not "air gaps".

    An "air gap" is exactly and precisely that - "a gap of air" between the top of the receptor and the bottom of the discharge opening above the receptor.

    The code calls for "air gaps".

    I've seen attempts like that too, but they do not work (they spray water all over everywhere), nor are they "air gaps".

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  13. #13
    Randy Clayton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    This is so simple to resolve; a t&p drain line that needs to be run uphill can be done with a drain loop installed with a sill cock located at the bottom of the loop. Wich in this case be installed at the bottom

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    Zibby Swieca TREC LIC #9645 www.SanAntonioTexasHomeInspector.com

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Clayton View Post
    This is so simple to resolve; a t&p drain line that needs to be run uphill can be done with a drain loop installed with a sill cock located at the bottom of the loop. Wich in this case be installed at the bottom
    Randy,

    You forgot the smile face, right? Right? I mean, you weren't being serious, RIGHT?

    The T&P discharge line *IS NOT ALLOWED* to go uphill, but you knew that, right?

    The one Zibby posted, while being better than the one Nolan posted, is still wrong. Not only that, but if the T&P valve had been installed at a slightly downward angle facing toward the drain line, the drain line would not have had to go uphill at all.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    But Jerry, it would have not been as easy as using the flex line with the reduced line.

    rick


  17. #17
    Randy Clayton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    Jerry I was not being funny; though I regret I did not have a pic Zippy had it almost right whith his with on exepction the sill cock at the bottom of the loop to allow for drainage of condisation..


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Clayton View Post
    Jerry I was not being funny;
    That's what I was afraid of ...

    though I regret I did not have a pic Zippy had it almost right
    That's what we are all saying - Zippy's photo is *ALL WRONG* ... not "almost right".

    whith his with on exepction the sill cock at the bottom of the loop to allow for drainage of condisation..
    Please provide the code or manufacturer's installation instructions which says that going up hill is permissible under ANY condition, and then under the condition where a valve is installed "to allow for drainage".

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  19. #19
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    WC Jerry
    What is the source of that drawing? I had not seen anything until that about the TP not being allowed to drain above the pan.

    and

    Wasn't there a recent thread about the copper flex being 'nominal 3/4" ' and acceptable for use as TP drain pipe even tho it has a slightly smaller ID??


  20. #20
    Joshua Hardesty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    It can't drain into the pan becauuuse:

    -Heaters aren't meant to be submerged.
    -The velocity of the water will more than likely splash out of the shallow pan, and ...
    -Unless you've got a rather large outlet on that pan gravity won't drain the water quickly enough, both of which will allow water to spill over, which kind of defeats the purpose of it being there in the first place.

    Of course, that's not code, that's just good sense reasons why you wouldn't want to do that.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Hardesty View Post
    It can't drain into the pan becauuuse:

    -Heaters aren't meant to be submerged.
    -The velocity of the water will more than likely splash out of the shallow pan, and ...
    -Unless you've got a rather large outlet on that pan gravity won't drain the water quickly enough, both of which will allow water to spill over, which kind of defeats the purpose of it being there in the first place.

    Of course, that's not code, that's just good sense reasons why you wouldn't want to do that.

    Joshua,

    I had a long drawn out discussion with A. O. Smith regarding just those issues, and they adamantly state that they do not make a water heater which is allowed to be partially submerged, they also adamantly state that it is okay to set their water heaters down into the drain pan. They also adamantly state it is okay for the T&P to discharge into that drain pan.

    Of course, though, ... ... they also adamantly state that the water should be dried out of the drain pan immediately.

    HUH? No one is standing around there watching for water to get into the drain pan, and, if someone saw water in the drain pan, are they going to grab a towel and towel it dry (YES! That *IS* what A. O. Smith said needed to be done - to towel it dry as soon as possible, not kidding.)

    Their installation instructions show their water heater setting down in the drain pan with the T&P discharge line shown draining into the drain pan, and, rather than acknowledge that there is an inherent problem with that set up, their response was 'it needs to be toweled dry as soon as possible because their water heaters should never set in water' - I kid you not.

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  22. #22
    Joshua Hardesty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    Jerry,

    Let's imagine for a second that the heater pans were similar to those pans people sit washing machines in, where the drain outlet is at the center of the pan instead of on the wall. And then slightly elevate the heater (either by blocks like you'd see under HVAC units in their catch pans, or the legs that're on the bottom of some heaters) would this alleviate the problems? Of course, the pan would still need to be made deeper to catch the splashing from a T&P blowing off full velocity, but it seems like it'd solve the standing water issue.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Hardesty View Post
    And then slightly elevate the heater (either by blocks like you'd see under HVAC units in their catch pans, or the legs that're on the bottom of some heaters) would this alleviate the problems?
    Yes, and that is something I've discussed with them on the phone before - and they had no interest in addressing it.

    I went the e-mail route this last time as I needed to document whether they did, or did not, allow water heaters to set in water (*never* according to them) and whether or not they had considered their installation instructions showing the water heater setting in the pan with the T&P discharging to it (apparently, as long as there are towels in this world, they don't care to address the issue - however, if water stands in that pan, do you or I really think that A. O. Smith will address their water heater rusting out? Of course not ... you - the occupant - should have checked it as often as necessary to know when the water got there and to immediately dry it up with a towel ... yeah, right, like that is gonna happen).

    Their position, in a nut shell:

    - No water ... EVER

    - If water gets in the drain pan intended to catch that water ... TOWEL IT UP DRY NOW!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  24. #24
    Joshua Hardesty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Slightly "uphill" T&P Drain Line ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Their position, in a nut shell:

    - No water ... EVER

    - If water gets in the drain pan intended to catch that water ... TOWEL IT UP DRY NOW!
    Well, why don't we just shove a tampon up the T&P and prevent the water from ever getting to the pan?


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