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Hot water heater relief valve leaking, tastes like antifreeze .

benson2680
benson2680 Member Posts: 10
edited July 2019 in Domestic Hot Water
I have a hot water boiler system with antifreeze in it. But how could the anti freeze be coming out of the hot water heater relief valve. It may not be anti freeze , but it tasted like it. I am positive that it is coming out of the copper line that comes out of the bottom of the relief valve. The pictures show the plastic bottle that is catching the liquid . It took 2 months to capture that much liquid . My domestic water taste fine and am sure there is no contamination , so how could this be leaking from my hot water heater? They are separate systems .


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Comments

  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,871
    edited July 2019
    Prestone or Quaker State?
    It's not antifreeze unless your local water authority has set forth a diabolical plot to eradicate the community.
    Or if your on well water, that might take some investigating.
    It shouldn't drip at all but only relieve pressure at it's designed temperature or pressure.
    Is there a domestic extrol charged to match incoming water pressure? A well system will obviously have one.
    Do you drain the sediment and flush the tank at least annually?
    Have the anode rod(s) been checked or replaced?
    A drip that slow likely means the relief valve is faulty but it should be checked.
    Now about that copper piping off the circulator.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,501
    First off, it the T&P valve on the hot water heater is leaking, it's failed. It should be replaced -- and the reason why it opened at all in the first place investigated.

    Second, that water doesn't look good, and if it tastes -- even slightly -- like antifreeze, you would be very wise to have it -- and your hot water -- tested to find out what's in it that shouldn't be there. If the antifreeze in your boiler is propylene glycol, that's not all that toxic, but it isn't really good for you; if it's ethylene glycol (I hope not) that really is toxic.

    Third, if there is a connection between your heating system and either your hot or cold water, it should have a reduced pressure zone backflow preventer on it. If it doesn't -- just double checks or maybe a single check -- it is possible for there to be a backflow condition from the heating system to the domestic water under certain pressure conditions -- none of which should happen, but which can. That should be checked.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • benson2680
    benson2680 Member Posts: 10
    Thanks for the quick replies! I will call in an expert now. I bought a relief valve , but no sense in replacing it at this point. anode rod, has never been checked , nor has the tank been drained. I have extremely hard and high iron well water.
  • benson2680
    benson2680 Member Posts: 10
    What about the blue/green pipe on circulation pump?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,501
    That pretty blue green pipe? Suggests rather strongly that the fitting where the colour starts is leaking. Probably not much.

    If you are on a well, one thing which would be wise to check is the relationship between the cutin pressure on your well pump and the maximum pressure on your heating system. To avoid problems, the cutin pressure on the well pump must be greater than the heating system pressure.

    And all the more reason to have a reduced pressure zone backflow preventer on between the domestic water and the heating system. If your power goes out -- or the pump fails -- the domestic pressure will drop below the heating system pressure and, if there is a problem with the backflow preventer, the heating system water will get into the domestic water. Which you do not want...

    Also, it might not be a bad idea to check and make sure that both your expansion tanks -- for the heating system and for the well -- are really big enough and are working properly.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • benson2680
    benson2680 Member Posts: 10
    thanks for the suggestions
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,797
    What does antifreeze taste like? And why would anyone know the answer to that?
    Steve Minnich
    ChrisJ
  • invermont
    invermont Member Posts: 72
    Is your tank indirect? Heated off your boiler? Could be anti freeze in your heating pipes. If there is a leak in the coils inside the tank it could be coming from there. Extra pressure in tank will make it blow off a little
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,354

    What does antifreeze taste like? And why would anyone know the answer to that?

    The old green car antifreeze is delicious. Seriously the sweetest tastiest stuff ever. Why they made a poison one of the best tasting things ever is hard for me to understand. I only know because I was curious why animals are drawn to it, I now know.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ethicalpaulChrisJ
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,540
    @KC_Jones , you are so right. It is delicious and so lethal.
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,368
    Loved the taste while de-icing aircraft. You can't help but get a few licks when in a mist of the stuff.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,907
    Fred said:

    @KC_Jones , you are so right. It is delicious and so lethal.

    How did I know you'd know what it tastes like? :p
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,354
    ChrisJ said:

    Fred said:

    @KC_Jones , you are so right. It is delicious and so lethal.

    How did I know you'd know what it tastes like? :p
    That's what he used to wash the tar down.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,540
    @KC_Jones , Right again! :D
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,540
    @ChrisJ , what can I say??? >:)