Water Heater Safety

Ask any home inspector what area of a house has the most common discrepancy… They will most likely say the water heater.water heater tpr sacramento

The photo shows a flexible discharge pipe attached to a temperature-pressure relief valve. This is a safety valve that opens when something goes wrong inside the water heater: high water temperature or pressure.

Why does the home inspector report a flexible discharge pipe as a safety concern?

The purpose of the discharge pipe is to direct the scalding, pressurized water to an approved location.


The inside pipe diameter must be the same size as the valve opening (3/4”) to ensure water flows unrestricted through the pipe; and the pipe must be rigid pipe to withstand excessive water pressure.

A flexible pipe is corrugated to make it flexible… The corrugation makes the inside diameter smaller than the valve opening; and the thin-wall won’t hold up to high water pressure… which doesn’t meet plumbing requirements.

If a water heater fails and there’s a flexible discharge pipe installed… something will come apart and possibly injure someone.

You can count on the home inspectors at Pacific Coast Inspections to perform a comprehensive safety review of water heaters.

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