Step 1: Test the TPR Valve

latex-gloved hand testing a TPR valve on a water heater
Photo: Ryan Benyi
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Shut off the power and the cold-water supply valve. Place a bucket under the pipe connected to the temperature-pressure-release (TPR) valve on the top or side of the tank. (This valve opens if the tank pressure gets too high.) Lift the valve's tab to let some water out, then let go. If water keeps flowing, drain the tank partway, unscrew the old valve with a pipe wrench, and install a new one.
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    Tools List

    • bucket with sponge
      Bucket
    • pipe wrench
      Pipe wrench
    • garden hose
      Garden hose
    • socket wrench
      Socket wrench with 1-1/16-inch head
    • flathead screwdriver
      Flathead screwdriver

    Shopping List

    1. Anode rod

    2. Teflon tape

    3. 3/8-inch-thick self-stick foam pipe insulation to hold heat in the pipes. Make sure you get the right diameter for your pipes 4. 1-inch-thick unfaced fiberglass pipe wrap to insulate pipes near the flue

    5. Water heater insulating blanket

    6. Foil tape to seal the insulating blanket