TPR valve testing? The New SOP

SOP 535.231 Requirements for plumbing systems says:
"(b) Water heaters. The inspector shall
(2) report as deficient
(L) a temperature and pressure relief valve that failed to operate, when tested manually;


535-231 (b)(3) The inspector is not required to
(A) verify the effectiveness of the temperature pressure relief valve, discharge piping, or pan drain pipes;
(B) operate the temperature and pressure relief valve if the operation of the valve may, in the inspectors reasonable judgement, cause damage to persons or property:

Ok. Which one is it? If the inspector determines that testing does not cause damage to persons or property is the TPR valve supposed to be tested or not?

In Texas you have to test as I read it.

That is dumb.

Not if “(3) (B)” is applied.

How often could one expect to apply B and under what conditions?

IMO every time. What if you pop it open and the valve continues to leak. You can’t be sure a drain pan (if installed) will function properly. Or even worse what if water shoots all over the place damaging home owners property.

That’s like saying you never walk a roof because you might fall through.:wink:

Apples to oranges.

Do you test TPR valves?

I don’t.

Putting that in a SOP is just dumb.

But how would you document the reason you did not test it in Texas?

State laws can be stupid but trump NACHI SOP.

I don’t do it any more.

The first 3 I tested were not leaking, but started leaking after I operated them.

I simply cannot afford to keep buying them for the sellers.

From Watts website.


WARNING: Following installation, the valve lever MUST be operated AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR by the water heater owner to ensure that waterways are clear. Certain naturally occurring mineral deposits may adhere to the valve, blocking waterways, rendering it inoperative. When the lever is operated, hot water will discharge if the waterways are clear. PRECAUTIONS MUST BE TAKEN TO AVOID PERSONAL INJURY FROM CONTACT WITH HOT WATER AND TO AVOID PROPERTY DAMAGE. Before operating lever, check to see that a discharge line is connected to this valve, directing the flow of hot water from the valve to a proper place of disposal. If no water flows when the lever is operated, replacement of the valve is required. TURN THE WATER HEATER “OFF” (see your water heater instruction manual) AND CALL A PLUMBER IMMEDIATELY.

WARNING: Temperature and Pressure Relief Valves should be inspected AT LEAST ONCE EVERY THREE YEARS, and replaced, if necessary, by a licensed plumbing contractor or qualified service technician, to ensure that the product has not been affected by corrosive water conditions and to ensure that the valve and discharge line have not been altered or tampered with illegally. Certain naturally occurring conditions may corrode the valve or its components over time, rendering the valve inoperative. Such conditions can only be detected if the valve and its components are physically removed and inspected. Do not attempt to conduct an inspection on your own. Contact your plumbing contractor for a reinspection to assure continuing safety. FAILURE TO REINSPECT THIS VALVE AS DIRECTED COULD RESULT IN UNSAFE TEMPERATURE OR PRESSURE BUILD-UP WHICH CAN RESULT IN SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH AND/OR SEVERE PROPERTY DAMAGE.

I know what Watts says Dale but no one ever does it.

Then an HI comes along and tests it and will usually not stop dripping.

Better not to go there.

That’s what has happened to me in the past however a standard is a standard.

Oh believe me, Mike, I know, I’ve never tested one in my life, not even my own…:lol:

But the Texas real estate commission is probably getting kickbacks from Watts for making the inspectors test them…:shock:

I don’t think I would even bother trying to inspect homes in Texas, its seems like you would need to charge about $1,500.00–$2,000.00 per Shaq to make any money doing inspections based on their rules.

I used to check 300 or more every year on my old job every 6 months . ( company policy) How ever we carried at least 6 valves with us at all times. If they are check on a regular basis less failures , But in a home you can count on them being never tested , and yes you have a leaks for about 50 percent . LOL the first one i tested when i started this leaked didn’t do that again .

I put a departure statement in my report that states that I do not test them. Departure statements are permissible with TREC

Depending on the situation I will test them (bascically if the unit is less than 3 years old). I also carry a hammer with me to gently put the valve back in place should it stay open. If I have to use the hammer, I write the valve up as deficient and move on.
I also include in all my reports a FYI, the paragraph Dale posted.

I read this to say that an inspector has an option as to whether to test the TPR valve or not, based upon his own judgment … and when he chooses to test it and it and it “failed to operate”, he will report that it failed to operate.

Don’t you just love government telling you how to do your job? Especially if it comes from a board run by real estate agents, and their attorney/buddies. I will never inspect in Texas, but may purchase my guns and ammo there. What a country.