How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
Why is there a pressure relief valve at the outside wall of my home?
Friday, October 28, 2022
The purpose of a pressure relief valve in a home water supply system, like the one shown above, is to protect the pipes and plumbing fixtures from damage caused by excessive pressure. The valve is usually located along the main water line coming into the house and after the shut-off valve. They are not code-required, but definitely a good leakage-prevention safety feature.
However, the building code does require a pressure relief valve at your water heater to keep it from violently exploding if the thermostat fails and the water overheats. See our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Temperature and Pressure Relief Valves to learn more.
Only a few homes have pressure relief valves on the cold water piping in our area. Because they look like a hose faucet with the handle missing, our customers will ask about it when they see one. Most are preset by the manufacturer to open if the pressure exceeds 75 psi.
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Field Guide for Home Inspectors, a quick reference for finding the age of 154 brands of HVAC systems, water heaters, and electrical panels, plus 210 code standards for site-built and manufactured homes, and the life expectancy rating of 195 home components. Available at amazon.com for $19.95.
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