July 1, 2015

How to replace a water heater temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a water heater temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve

This DIY repair guide explains how to replace the temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve in a water heater. The T&P relief valve is a safety feature that opens to let hot water out of the water heater if the temperature or pressure inside the water heater tank gets too high. Replace the T&P relief valve with the manufacturer-approved replacement part if the valve is leaking or is damaged.

Use these steps to replace the T&P relief valve in Kenmore, Rheem, State, A. O. Smith, Whirlpool and Reliance water heaters.

Quick links
Tools required
Work gloves
Adjustable wrench
Pipe thread sealing tape
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
30 minutes or less
How to replace a temperature and pressure relief valve on a water heater repair guide video.

Replacing a water heater temperature and pressure relief valve video.

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Shut off the electricity

    Switch the two house circuit breakers dedicated for the water heater to OFF.

    Wear work gloves to protect your hands.

    Switch the water heater circuit breakers off.

    Switch the water heater circuit breakers off.

  2. 02.

    Drain the water heater

    Turn off the cold water supply to the water heater.

    Attach a garden hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of the unit and run the garden hose outside.

    Open a hot water faucet in the house or flip the relief valve open on the water heater.

    Open the drain valve and allow the tank to drain approximately 10 gallons of water or below the level of the temperature/pressure relief valve (T&P). Then shut off the drain valve.

    Turn off the cold water supply.

    Turn off the cold water supply.

    Attach the garden hose the water heater heater drain valve.

    Attach the garden hose the water heater heater drain valve.

    Flip the pressure relief valve to the open position.

    Flip the pressure relief valve to the open position.

    Open the drain valve.

    Open the drain valve.

    Close the drain valve.

    Close the drain valve.

  3. 03.

    Disconnect the drain pipe

    Disconnect the pipe or tubing from the pressure relief valve.

    Disconnect the drain pipe.

    Disconnect the drain pipe.

  4. 04.

    Remove the temperature and pressure relief valve

    Unthread the temperature/pressure relief valve and remove it from the tank.

    Remove the T&P relief valve.

    Remove the T&P relief valve.

  5. 05.

    Install the temperature and pressure relief valve

    Wrap pipe thread-sealing tape around the male end of the T&P valve.

     Thread the new T&P valve into the tank and tighten firmly.

    Wrap thread sealing tape around the valve fitting threads.

    Wrap thread sealing tape around the valve fitting threads.

    Install the new T&P relief valve.

    Install the new T&P relief valve.

  6. 06.

    Reconnect the drain pipe

    Wrap pipe-sealing tape on the drain pipe and reconnect the pipe or tubing to the new pressure relief valve.

    Install the drain pipe.

    Install the drain pipe.

  7. 07.

    Fill the tank with water

    Turn the cold water supply on to the water heater and allow the tank to fill with water.

    Once you see water coming out of the hot water faucet, turn the faucet off.

    Tip: Once the water heater is full of water, water will begin to flow from the hot water faucet that you left open when draining the tank.
    Warning: Don't restore power to the water heater until the tank is full of water.
    Turn on the cold water supply.

    Turn on the cold water supply.

  8. 08.

    Restore power

    Flip the house circuit breakers to the ON position.

    Flip the circuit breakers to the On position.

    Flip the circuit breakers to the On position.

Warning: Undertaking repairs or maintenance to appliances or power equipment can be hazardous. Should you choose to undertake repairs or maintenance, you are assuming the risk of injury to your person or property. In an effort to reduce the risk, use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the applicable guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs or maintenance, however, should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all water heaters

Choose a symptom to see related water heater repairs.

Main causes: water supply needs chlorine treatment, anode rod too reactive
Main causes: loose water pipe fittings, leaky drain valve, bad temperature-pressure relief valve, leaky heating element, cracked tank
Main causes: faulty pressure relief valve, water is overheating
Main causes: lack of power, no gas supply, thermostat limit switch tripped, bad element, bad thermostat, gas valve failure, bad thermocouple
Main causes: thermostat temperature set too high, thermostats need adjustment, faulty thermostat, shorted heating element
Main causes: thermostats need adjustment, water heater capacity too low, bad heating element, thermostat failure, excessive tank sediment
Main causes: broken heating element, thermostat failure, excessive tank sediment, tank size too small, burner valve assembly failure

Repair guides for electric water heaters

How to replace an electric water heater heating element

If your water heater runs out of hot water quickly and one of the two heating elements has failed, replace the element following these step-by-step instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
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How to replace an electric water heater thermostat

If the water temperature fluctuates or you don't get enough hot water, follow these instructions to replace your water heater's thermostat.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a water heater temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve

Replace a broken temperature/pressure (T&P) relief valve on an electric water heater using these instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all water heaters

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your water heater.

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