T&P discharge question

2006 IRC P2303.6.1 Requirements for T&P discharge pipe states.

**P2803.6.1 Requirements for discharge pipe. **The discharge piping serving a pressure-relief valve, temperature relief valve or combination valve 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.

Question: Does this apply to exterior termination? Sure reads like it does.

I think you have your answer.

sStill not clear. IF it terminates to the exterior do I still need an air gap in the same room as the water heater?

Code says
2. Discharge through an air gap located in the same room as the water heater.

Seems like they left out the word “if”

  1. Discharge through an air gap located **if **in the same room as the water heater.

I have never seen a water heater discharge to an air gap in the same room before terminating to the exterior.

The air gap is the space between the end of the pipe and the floor, so you can see the discharge. Thus, the pipe needs to be in the same room.:wink:

Here is the commentary. This should answer your question (bold is mine);

Relief valves are emergency devices that are not intended to operate continuously. Any discharge must not go unnoticed, because discharge from a relief valve indicates that something is wrong with the system. The termination of a relief valve discharge must be visible for observation so that corrective measures can be taken as necessary.

If a relief valve discharges to a drainage system, the discharge must be an indirect connection through an air gap to prevent backflow from potentially contaminating the potable water system.

The diameter of the discharge pipe must not be reduced or be less than the diameter of the relief valve outlet. Relief valve discharge piping must not be exposed to freezing temperatures, since freezing water could block the pipe and disable the relief valve. The relief valve must first discharge through an air gap into an indirect waste receptor located in a heated space, which, in turn, terminates outside. The discharge pipe must terminate close to the floor level to prevent harm to building occupants. See Commentary Figure P2803.6.1. Water must not be allowed to discharge where it can cause structural decay. Discharge piping must drain by gravity and must not be trapped within the relief piping system. Standing water in the discharge linemay become contaminated. To discourage any obstruction in the discharge pipe, the code prohibits the installation of a valve or threads on the outlet end of such pipe

The whole point to remember is that if the valve discharges, someone needs to be able to see / know it, along with the other requirements that Jeff provided (which are pretty much to ensure that someone sees/knows about it).

Thanks for the input.

I have found many of these that, per the code, are installed correctly. However, when they are tested the water splatters all over the wall and floor due to poor design. The inspectors are overlooking this because they believe that most valves may leak but rarely will they release water at full pressure. I catch hell every time I write one of these up.

I can understand why since

I don’t operate any valves or circuit breakers. Rather, I advise my Clients to have all valves tested if the sellers cannot prove (through a service contract, receipt, etc.) that the valves have been tested within the past 12 months. I’ve even had some Clients request such proof or testing before close of escrow. Imagine that. Clients who read, understand, and act. Must be margarita time!