You may have noticed excessive energy costs, an irregular supply of hot water, or a decrease in water pressure if your water heater has been acting up recently.

It is very annoying, but why does it happen? The pressure release valve on your water heater could malfunction.

The relief valve on the water heater is probably fixable if you understand how they work. This article will teach you everything you need to know about operating a valve.

Eventually, you can take a hot shower in the morning like you used to since the water pressure is correct. Continue reading to learn more.

This post will walk you through “Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve Keeps Opening” and recommend what to do.

Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve Keeps Opening: What Is a Pressure Relief Valve for a Water Heater?

If an overheated water tank pressure relief valve will automatically open and release excess pressure from the system. Its purpose is to protect you from harm if the water pressure is too high.

Your water heater could only succeed if it includes this safeguard. Burns are a real possibility if the water pressure is too high.

This valve also prevents water pressure from dropping due to leaks in the water heater, which would affect tasks like dishwashing and showering.

What Is the Function of the Pressure Relief Valve in a Water Heater?

The pressure relief valve on a water heater is there if the internal pressure or temperature rises to dangerous levels. This standard household device undergoes thermal expansion since it is a closed system.

The procedure is as follows. Whether your water heater uses electricity or gas, between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit is when you’ll notice an expansion in the metal tank and the water inside.

Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve Keeps Opening

The expansion of the water and the water heater is entirely typical. After all, this is the norm as temperatures increase. If that’s the case, you should lower the temperature on your water heater.

The pressure relief valve on a properly operating water heater will release pressure at this point. You can now securely use your water heater again as steam and hot water escape through the output tube.

How the Pressure Relief Valve Operates on a Micro Scale

It is how the valve operates at the microscopic level. The relief valve automatically releases when the pressure or temperature reaches a dangerous level.

If it’s working correctly, it’ll open when the temperature or pressure is just right. This secondary drain helps reduce stress and temperature in the storage tank.

The temperature and pressure stop increasing. The water heater’s pressure release valve shuts off whenever conditions are safe.

The water heater is in a blowdown state when it reaches this temperature. The term “blowdown” is typically defined by experts (and utilized in the valve’s design or setup) as a particular pressure percentage.

Typically, the “blowdown” ranges from 2% to 20%. The pressure relief valve will automatically close whenever the pressure inside the water heater reaches the “blowdown” level, restoring regular operation.

Where Is the Pressure Relief Valve for the Water Heater Located At?

Knowing the location of the water heater’s pressure relief valve is essential if you’ve been experiencing problems with the valve. Most of the time, it will be on the top or side of the device.

When you get a new water heater (or buy a house with one), the pressure is set for you. You can see a threaded intake in the tank.

There is no way to change or eliminate it. The valve body attaches to the threaded intake using a screw. It is for your protection. In other words, everything is up to the plumbing code standards. Therefore, you should contact a repairer if the valve develops problems.

However, if the problem is limited to the discharge tube, replacing it is simple. You won’t have to turn off your water heater or drain the tank; you can handle the problem independently.

However, since there may be additional causes for the problems with the discharge tube, such as excessive water pressure or temperature, it is best to have a professional handle this as well.

How to Check the Pressure Relief Valves on Your Water Heater

You can check the water heater’s pressure release valve if you suspect it has a problem. Even if you haven’t noticed any issues, performing this maintenance will safeguard your water heater and health.

You should change into closed-toe shoes before conducting the tests to prevent burns.

Locating the off position of the relief valve is the first step. The cold water feed is often found on the right side of the inlet at the top of the tank.

After that, check the discharge tube’s connection to ensure it’s not loose. Then, place a bucket under the outlet pipe.

With a light tug on the metal lever, a quarter cup of water should flow out of the valve and into the bucket.

Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve Keeps Opening

At last, let go of the level, and it will snap back into place. It is time to get a new water heater valve if it doesn’t return to its starting position instantly.

How to Replace the Pressure Relief Valve on Your Water Heater

Two common causes of a malfunctioning pressure release valve in a water heater exist. It’s stuck so that it won’t open or close, or it leaks, reducing the water pressure in your home.

1. How to Replace a Sticking Valve

If it is sticky, the valve will remain either closed (retracted) or open (extended) state. The closed water heater system cannot vent excess heat or pressure if the valve closes. It could cause a leak or a rupture.

On the other hand, if it’s open, water will leak regularly and could cause floods if you don’t fix it. Opening and shutting the valve lever several times can solve this problem. But if it keeps sticking, you’ll have to get a new one.

2. How to Fix a Leaking Pressure Relief Valve

Is there a leak in your water heater? Before you go and replace the valve, make sure it’s not the source of the problem. A possible reason for a leaking pressure relief valve is improper seating in the tank’s threaded entrance. 

If you have recently installed a new valve, this is a common problem. You will need several measures to address this problem’s root cause.

Start by turning off your water heater. Let it cool down to room temperature. After that, take the valve apart and thread it back into the water tank.

Silt or dirt within the relief port is another possible cause of the valve’s leaking.

If water leaks from the valves, you can release it into a bucket by pulling back on the lever attached to the metal spring.

Turning the gas valve to the off position will stop the leak even if the lever returns to its original position. Turn off the water supply before replacing the valve.

How Come My Safety Valve Keeps Opening?

If it’s open, it means it’s functioning correctly. If the tank pressure rises too high, it will release tension. Lower the temperature if this keeps happening. If it doesn’t help, it could be due to a malfunctioning T&P valve.

  • Does it leak instead of “pop open” to drain? Internal parts can seize up under hard water, leading to a leak. If you have the T&P valve set up to drain directly into a pipe, you may have trouble seeing this type of leak, so you should exercise extra vigilance.
  • Tank pressure can erode the valve, resulting in T&P opening at progressively lower temperatures. Even if hard water isn’t an issue where you live, the pressure inside your water heater tank is. Problems like these were sure to arise.
Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve Keeps Opening

You’ll need a new valve in any instance. Learn more about replacing a T&P valve by reading our detailed tutorial. Here are some excellent alternatives for valve replacement:

  • Power 100XL-4 3/4″ T&P standard
  • T&P socket, 3/4″ long shank, Watts L100XL (for insulated water heaters)
  • Top-mount T&P adapter, Jones J34980 3/4″


This piece has covered the issue of a leaking pressure relief valve in a water heater. Due to its intended function (releasing excess pressure in the tank), it poses no threat. Lower the temperature if this keeps happening.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. My Water Heater Keeps Losing Pressure; What Could Be Causing This?

There are two possible explanations for water leaking from the release valve of a water heater. The relief valve has done its job, and the tank pressure has dropped due to the water draining. The water leaks accidentally due to an issue with the valve, such as a broken seal.

2. My Hot Water Heater’s Pop-off Valve Keeps Popping; What Could Be Causing This?

A T&P valve can fail for one of two causes. The water temperature and water pressure are excessive. If the thermostat is set or broken, the latter indicates intense water pressure.

3. Is It Normal for a Water Heater’s Release Valve to Leak?

It could leak if you last opened the pressure release valve on your water heater a while ago (say, several years). It’s possible that a minor leak here, and there isn’t a sign of anything wrong with your water heater’s system, but if it gets worse, you’ll need to replace the valve.