Incorrect Water Heater Discharge Installation?

Discussion in 'General Plumbing Help' started by InjuredReserve, Oct 23, 2019.

Help Support Plumbing Forums by donating:

  1. Oct 23, 2019 #1

    InjuredReserve

    InjuredReserve

    InjuredReserve

    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2019
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I have a new construction house that was built in a group of 4 by the same builders - same construction, same floorplan. We have noticed some small inconsistencies, but this week I noticed one with my water heater setup and the way the emergency discharge is installed:
    upload_2019-10-23_8-6-9.png
    upload_2019-10-23_8-6-27.png


    The problem is that I can't find any evidence that this actually goes anywhere. There is nothing going down into the crawl space and nothing on the exterior of the house. Both of my neighbors with the same floorplan have this:
    upload_2019-10-23_8-6-42.png

    Is this an issue that needs to be addressed?

    There is also a separate run of pvc with uncapped ends that I'm unsure of their purpose:
    upload_2019-10-23_8-10-7.png

    upload_2019-10-23_8-10-43.png

    Thank you.
     
  2. Oct 23, 2019 #2

    Rossando

    Rossando

    Rossando

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2018
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    San Francisco
    That discharge pipe from the pan should be piped to the outside of the house or close to a drain.
     
  3. Oct 23, 2019 #3

    johnjh2o

    johnjh2o

    johnjh2o

    Senior Member Professional Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    3,277
    Likes Received:
    746
    Location:
    Melbourne, Florida
    With it piped to the crawl space there is no way you would be aware there is a problem with the heater.
     
  4. Oct 23, 2019 #4

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Pro Handyman, NOT A Pro Plumber Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2019
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Give more info about the pvc pipes, their source, their size, and where they are ending up.

    You can put the sensor for a water alarm in the pan under your water heater.
    Or at the outlet of any pipes that have been installed to carry away water in the event of a leak.
     
  5. Oct 23, 2019 #5

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Pro Handyman, NOT A Pro Plumber Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2019
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    Chicago suburbs

    Attached Files:

  6. Oct 23, 2019 #6

    Mikey

    Mikey

    Mikey

    Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2018
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Northwest Washington
    The code requires the discharge to be through an air gap that is (arguably -- I argue for it) at the water heater, so you can see it drip/flow directly. There's a long discussion about this elsewhere in the forum, and a more general article about the TPR valve at http://www.ashireporter.org/HomeInspection/Articles/The-Temperature-Pressure-Relief-Valve/1568. The full code section is:

    504.6 Requirements for discharge piping.
    The discharge piping serving a pressure relief valve, temperature relief valve or combination thereof shall:
    1. Not be directly connected to the drainage system.
    2. Discharge through an air gap located in the same room
      as the water heater.
    3. Not be smaller than the diameter of the outlet of the
      valve served and shall discharge full size to the air gap.
    4. Serve a single relief device and shall not connect to piping
      serving any other relief device or equipment.
    5. Discharge to the floor, to an indirect waste receptor or
      to the outdoors. Where discharging to the outdoors in
      areas subject to freezing, discharge piping shall be first
      piped to an indirect waste receptor through an air gap
      located in a conditioned area.
    6. Discharge in a manner that does not cause personal
      injury or structural damage.
    7. Discharge to a termination point that is readily observable
      by the building occupants.
    8. Not be trapped.
    9. Be installed so as to flow by gravity.
    10. Not terminate more than 6 inches (152 mm) above the
      floor or waste receptor.
    11. Not have a threaded connection at the end of such piping
     
  7. Oct 23, 2019 #7

    johnjh2o

    johnjh2o

    johnjh2o

    Senior Member Professional Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    3,277
    Likes Received:
    746
    Location:
    Melbourne, Florida
    From what I'm seeing it's not connected to a waste line it's just dumping into the crawl space.
     
  8. Oct 24, 2019 #8

    Diehard

    Diehard

    Diehard

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    Messages:
    2,002
    Likes Received:
    343
    Location:
    North Reading, Mass.
    I doubt a crawl space meets the requirement of the code that says. "Discharge to a termination point that is readily observable
    by the building occupants."

    The purpose of an air gap is primarily to prevent any chance of cross connection/backflow into a portable water system. So dropping into that PVC pipe is not acceptable. It's an air break and is subject to drawing back anything that pipe ends up getting filled with, including whatever may have been sitting in that pan.

    The pan could serve as an indirect waste receptor with the P&T relief pipe terminating at least 6" above the rim.

    Then it would meet the readily observable requirement regardless of it dumps in the crawl space or elsewhere.
     
  9. Oct 24, 2019 #9

    Mikey

    Mikey

    Mikey

    Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2018
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Northwest Washington
    I always thought the primary purpose was to allow it to be readily observed. These things do fail, and some (but not all) folks recommend giving the release a little tap now and then to a) see that it does flow, and b) see that it stops. Testing or not, looking at the outlet regularly may alert you to future problems.
     
  10. Oct 24, 2019 #10

    Diehard

    Diehard

    Diehard

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    Messages:
    2,002
    Likes Received:
    343
    Location:
    North Reading, Mass.
    I guess I was using the word Primary as meaning the most important reason.
    I suppose that may be a matter of opinion.
    I agree with your good reasons to be readily observed.
    I would put prevention of potential contamination of potable water above an alert to a problem.

    I was a NEWWA Certified Cross Connection Control Surveyor while working for an environmental engineering firm that designed water and wastewater treatment plants. So my brain tends to focus more on that subject.

    When you mentioned, "and some (but not all) folks recommend giving the release a little tap now and then", for some reason frodo immediately came to mind.
     
  11. Oct 24, 2019 #11

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Pro Handyman, NOT A Pro Plumber Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2019
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    I find that giving my release three good taps results in much less annoying dripping.
     
    Rickyman likes this.
  12. Oct 25, 2019 #12

    Mikey

    Mikey

    Mikey

    Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2018
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Northwest Washington
    Yeah, I give mine a whack whenever I change the air handler filter (right next to the WH). I figure it clears out any crud that's accumulating; the "don't whack" side figures it might allow crud to move from "accumulating" to "blocking". Different strokes...
     
  13. Oct 25, 2019 #13

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Pro Handyman, NOT A Pro Plumber Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2019
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    I was making a joke, in my last reply.
     
  14. Oct 25, 2019 #14

    Diehard

    Diehard

    Diehard

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    Messages:
    2,002
    Likes Received:
    343
    Location:
    North Reading, Mass.
    I thought you were but was hesitant to say it. I was going to say that you could have said "shake".
     
    Mikey likes this.
  15. Oct 25, 2019 #15

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

    Pro Handyman, NOT A Pro Plumber Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2019
    Messages:
    537
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    A little saying I heard back in grade school was,
    “No matter how you squirm and dance,
    The last drops always fall in your pants”
     
  16. Oct 25, 2019 #16

    Mikey

    Mikey

    Mikey

    Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2018
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Northwest Washington
    Those thoughts never entered my mind...
     

Share This Page