Why Is My Water Heater’s Relief Valve Leaking?

Why Is My Water Heater's Relief Valve Leaking

Both the water heater and your home can be kept safe by installing a pressure relief valve. When the relief valve begins to leak, you may become concerned about what is causing this problem. Today, we’re going to answer several questions on why a temperature pressure relief valve could leak—from common causes down to signs that it’s time for professional repair.

What’s the Function of a Water Heater’s Relief Valve?

The thermal expansion causes the pressure within a water heater tank to increase as water is heated. If this pressure becomes excessive, your water heater could explode. The temperature pressure relief valve is a preventative measure against this issue. If the temperature or pressure in your tank exceeds a certain threshold (often 210 degrees and 150 psi), the relief valve will open and allow water to drain from the tank. The tank is then filled with cold water to reduce the internal temperature and pressure.

Why Might The Relief Valve On Your Water Heater Begin Leaking?

Your water heater’s relief valve may begin leaking for two reasons: it was triggered to open by excessive temperature or pressure, or the valve itself is defective. The valve will drain water from the discharge pipe in the first scenario. It may appear to be a “leak,” but the relief valve is performing its function. If the issue is a malfunctioning valve, you may have an actual leak. For instance, the valve may not seal properly or become stuck and remain open (allowing water to drain out continuously).

How Do You Fix a Leaking Water Heater Relief Valve?

Regardless of what caused your relief valve to leak, you should immediately contact a professional plumber. If the valve is frequently triggered, they can determine why the water heater’s temperature or pressure is getting too high and fix the issue. If the relief valve leaks, they can replace it with a new one (a general water heater repair). If there’s no visible damage to the tank, have them check for leaks in the lines leading from your water heater.

What Measures Can You Take To Avoid Water Heater Problems?

Learn How Your Water Heater Operates

Water heaters can be scary, particularly for those with limited technical knowledge. Learn how the water shutoff valve, drain valve, thermostat, and pressure relief valve in your water heater work and what they’re used for. This facilitates frequent maintenance and ensures a thorough comprehension of any faults.

Insulate The Water Heater And Pipes

By insulating both the cold and hot water pipes, condensation is prevented, and heat loss is reduced. This helps to prevent the water heater from overheating and reduces energy costs.


A leaking water heater relief valve can be a significant problem. If you don’t periodically check your water heater for signs of damage, leaks, or other issues, it could cause extensive damage to your home that you will only realize once it’s too late. Contact Gray Plumbing today to schedule a water heater service and check the relief valve on your water heater. Our expert technicians will ensure that your system is properly functioning so that you never have to worry about a leaky relief valve again.