TPR valve testing? The New SOP

LOL, I will gladly inspect in TX any day of the week. I may not agree with every rule the board decides to dump on us, but it seems like there are less complaints coming from TX inspectors, on this board, than there are KC Inspectors complaining about REAs and low ballers, soft writers etc…

Perhaps, you should move to TX where the market is hot, never really suffered (comparatively speaking) and you can make a good living.

Come on down, roofs are easy to walk…

A Texas inspector reading this thread … and who chooses not to participate on the message board … emailed this opinion that contradicts mine:

Another thing, one might not like government oversight (especially when there is a clear conflict of interested since the org is run by REA) however, the TX SOP is I believe one of the most strengent SOP, which comparatively speaking to anybody else using their association or state SOP, makes the minimum standard TX inspection more “thorough” or detailed than any other minimum standard SOP.

I think that is what I needed to be reminded of.

Will is right. The market is hot and my business never did suffer after the 08 crash. In fact, it has grown each year. It makes a huge difference when you live in a business friendly state like TX.

Since it seems there is no consensus on whether to or not to test it then do any of the TX inspectors have an email for a TREC attorney?

The SOP is a double-edged sword in that it provides you a third-party document to point to if you do test it and it starts leaking, so in that sense, it is useful.
You will get answers by emailing there. But it’s been my experience that you will get different answers depending on the TREC attorney who replies…
It’s all as clear as mud :smiley:

Thanks. I am sure it is as clear as mud. :smiley:

I can confirm on other questions (not TPR) that I’ve phoned in and received different answers from different attorneys.


I know, right?


I believe you. It’s why I want to have it in writing. If we are supposed to check them then there are going to be some busy plumbers in TX.

Every case decided by a court has at least two attorneys (or sets of attorneys) on both sides of the issue who do not agree with one another and have a different view (or answer) on the case … one that is right and wins and one that is wrong and loses.

Any answer from any attorney on any topic has a 50/50 chance of standing up under a challenge.

Attorneys are like home inspectors. Caveat emptor.

We already know we’re “supposed” to check them. We just don’t want to because of failure, leaking, etc… Personally, I’m tired of the sellers saying, “it was working before THAT inspector touched it.” :roll:

Less than three years old I trip them. Over three years old I use this.

Texas inspectors feel free to copy/adapt.

BTW: The WATTS T&P Relief Valve Reinspection procedure specifies that the inspection date and results are to be logged, so the absence of an inspection log at a three year old or older T&P valve is a reasonable indication that the valve has not been maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidance.

If you judge damage may occur you do not have to test. Testing TP has a high rate of valve leaks afterwards. If you do not test it you are required to say “not inspected” and specify a reason why per Departure Rules.

(A) An inspector may depart from the inspection of a component or system required by the standards of practice only if:
(v) the inspector reasonably determines that conditions or materials are hazardous to the health or safety of the inspector;
(vi) in the reasonable judgment of the inspector, the actions of the inspector may cause damage to the property.
(B) If an inspector departs from the inspection of a component or system required by the standards of practice, the inspector shall:
(i) notify the client at the earliest practical opportunity that the component or system will not be inspected; and
(ii) make an appropriate notation on the inspection report form, stating the reason the component or system was not inspected.
© If the inspector routinely departs from inspection of a component or system required by the standards of practice, and the inspector has reason to believe that the property being inspected includes that component or system, the earliest practical opportunity for the notice required by this subsection is the first contact the inspector makes with the prospective client.

Some argue the earliest moment to notify the client is immediately, however I just do it in report. “The water heater TP valve was not tested to avoid causing a leak.”

The departure rule is the most important item to comply with.

I very rarely test one. I suspect 50% will leak. I have never had a complaint on it.

I disagree with having to write it up as “Not Inspected”.
The TPR valve was visually inspected but deemed unsafe to operate due to XYZ reasons (corrosion, evidence of previous leaks, active leak, original valve on a 30 year old unit, no TPRV extension, capped extension, no safety pan etc…)
Per TREC, in temperatures under 60 degrees, a home inspector is not required to operate the AC unit. The system is still inspected. One should still report the visual condition of both coils (if accessible), refrigerant lines, insulation etc… But the unit was not operated and the reasons why it was not operated should be written.

Response from TREC’s attorney;

Dear Mr. Washington:

The standard of practice about water heaters allows discretion on the part of the inspector to inspect the effectiveness of the TPV or even operate the pressure relief valve. As you are aware the TPV is the most frequent part on a water heater to fail. The second part of the rule give you the option, if in your professional option it cannot be operated safely or could cause damage to the home then you are not required to test it. (If it is not tested for this reason you must note that in the report and provide your reason). The SOP’s were updated in January 1, 2014 but this portion did not change from the previous version of the SOPs. This has been a long standing rule. Conversely, if in your professional opinion the TPV can be operated without the risk of damage to the property then you must test it. While it may look like a contradiction on the face of the rule, it is actually an option to the rule that allows you to exercise your professional opinion.

Sandra M. Zimmerman
Staff Attorney
Standards & Enforcement Services
Texas Real Estate Commission

Since I cannot verify the the entire TPV pipe is damage free (most of the time some portion is concealed) then I it will not be tested manually due to the possibility it could cause damage to the home.

Who are you kidding - The Market is Hot and never did suffer ?