water heater tprA water heater has a TPR (temperature and pressure relief) valve for safety. This allows the tank to vent excess pressure and heat and is a measure to prevent the tank from exploding. Manufacturers recommend testing the valve periodically by toggling the handle on the valve. The only problem is, sometimes the TPR doesn’t stop dripping after toggling the handle.

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You can try a quick fix but it may not work and you may be faced with replacing the valve. Try using a hammer and giving the end of the valve a light “tap”. The tapping may just reseat the valve and your job is done. If the valve still leaks, you are looking at replacing the valve.

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It isn’t a difficult job, but you should shut the water off to the water heater and drain it down to just below the level of the valve. The valve may be located at the top or side of the tank. Disconnect the drain line from the valve and then use a wrench to unscrew the valve from the tank.

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Wrap the threads of the new valve with Teflon tape and install it back into the tank. Reconnect the drain line and turn the water back on.

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