A water heater can be one of the most dangerous devices in your house. Water heaters are equipped with a temperature pressure-relief valve (usually abbreviated TPV or TPR) that releases both hot water and built-up pressure if either gets too high (usually 150 degrees or 300 pounds per square inch). If the valve malfunctions, the water heater can explode. Carefully test your valve periodically by quickly tripping its test lever. If water pours out of the discharge tube, the valve is clear of deposits and capable of performing its job. If it has been a while since you’ve performed this test, or if the valve is old, be aware that it might become stuck in the open position during testing which can result in flooding and associated water damage. Before you begin, know the location of your main water shutoff in case this happens. If you have any doubts or fears, if the valve is older, or has never been tested let a licensed qualified plumber test for you.
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