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Can a water heater TPR valve be mounted to discharge upward?
Sunday, December 16, 2018
The discharge piping for a water heater TPR valve is required to drain completely by gravity and not be trapped—which means not leaving any pockets of water in the pipe after it drains. An upward-pointing TPR valve, like in the photo above, automatically creates trapped water above when it closes, so it is not allowed.
This requirement is found in The International Residential Code (IRC) and the Residential Edition of The Florida Building Code (FBC P2804.6.1.8&9), stating that the discharge pipe must “not be trapped” and “be installed to flow by gravity."
A TPR valve can discharge horizontally, as long as any horizontal run of the discharge pipe has a slight downward slope so it will fully drain. See our blog post Can a Temperature and Pressure Relief (TPR or T&P) valve be mounted to discharge horizontally? for more details.
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