Water Heater Safety
and the Emergency Safety Relief Valve
Members of American Water Works Association cannot simply ignore the “warnings”
regarding closed systems and water heater explosions?

“Containment” changes the hydraulics, eliminating the usual open systems which
were design criteria when the T &P safety valve was originally designed. Property
damage injury and deaths are profound. There have been no substantial upgrades to
the   T &P safety valve suitable for operation in a closed system. Those who are
exposed to damages today turn to lawyers to get “made whole". Lawyers quickly
discover “who” caused the “changes” that contributed to the damages. Lawyers
quickly recognize the usual and customary actions that professionals should have
taken. Water suppliers are “stake holders” who have required the closed systems and
AWWA is providing guidance to the Water Supplier industry.
Warnings from the
AWWA  are important
. This will not be over looked by the lawyers. The AWWA is not
the only guidance documents that Warn of the dangers of heating domestic water
in a closed system.

Heating water in an open system is much less dangerous than heating the same
water in a closed system. When the water is heated in a closed system it expands
and without a bleed off to the main lines the over pressure affects the T&P safety valve
in a negative way.

The T &P safety valve was not designed for General and Continuous thermal
expansion  device.  

The T &P Safety Valve was not designed to act as a regulating control valve.

Water suppliers containment control device does result in some degree of “thermal
expansion” and a small pneumatic tank is not the answer. These tanks are a band
aid.  They are helpful, so long as the air charge is monitored but they can fail anytime.

When the air is gone from the small tank so is the protection against thermal
expansion.  The consumer may live or die depending on how the Water Suppliers
approach the closing of systems.

Pacific North West Section of AWWA said it this way. “Water heaters explode with the
force of dynamite”!

Warning! Water Suppliers Warning! Take appropriate measures to ensure
“consumers” maintain water heater T&P safety valve. Have professionals who test,
inspect, and report whether the backflow prevention devices will act appropriately over
time also provide a report of conditions for the  T&P emergency safety valve.

AWWA made it perfectly clear that eliminating the open system has a direct impact
and a negative impact “compromising consumers safety margins”. The AWWA M-14
second edition and bill stuffers make it clear that water heaters in closed systems can
explode with the force of dynamite.

Act in good faith and absent of malice or remove the containment control backflow
prevention devices. Prevent Disaster.
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This act is a substantial change which effects the function of the ordinary T&P Safety Relief. The T&P Safety Relief Valves on
stored water heaters have now become an operating control to prevent water heaters from building up steam and exploding
like dynamite. Manufacturer's instructions dictate the re-inspection program that is to be followed in the case of the T&P.

The Water Authority states that the owner or his designated agent shall be responsible for the maintenance of the stored water
heater system at all times.  

Manufacturer's instructions require that the T&P be inspected visually and internally by removing every 2-4 years to ensure
proper function. If faulty it needs to be replaced.
When was your Water Heater T&P last checked by a professional?
©2014 Towle Whitney LLC