Ron & Elena's 2007-2010 Travels travel blog

This old TPR valve was difficult to remove because of corrosion &...

New TPR installed. I also bent the little water deflector out of...

New TPR is rated at 75# rather than 150#.

We also used a little of John's anti-seize compound so it will...

(Ron Writing) It’s been pretty busy and stressful here for us the past several days as you can imagine based on Elena’s entry yesterday. Today she’s feeling much better – just a little sore yet from where they implanted the loop recorder . So all of the “projects” have been on hold. Besides that the weather has been kind of nasty so I probably wouldn’t have been working outdoors anyway.

I did manage to get the latest version of Mac OSX installed on my computer. It was almost effortless. Basically just start the installation from the DVD and come back a couple hours later. Then it told me to download the “updates” from their website. That download took about another 4 hours. Then everything just “worked”.

I also installed the new Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac. The version I was using is three major revisions out of date and I was worried that my current data files might not run properly under the new version. But everything seems to work fine so that upgrade went very smoothly also.

When our neighbor to the north moved in a couple weeks ago he showed me a pressure relief valve he had added to the water line feeding his motorhome. He did this to prevent excessive pressure in his motorhome plumbing in case his regulator failed or if the pressure built-up for some other reason downstream from the regulator.

I decided this might be a good idea. I’ve noticed that after we turn on the hot water heater we get a “spurt” of high pressure water the first time we open a water valve in the trailer. We only operate the water heater when we take our showers at night so the heating of the water in the water heater causes the pressure in the entire in-house plumbing to increase well beyond the recommended 40 or 50 pounds. This was never a problem in our stick house where we kept the water heater on all the time.

In discussing this problem with John he suggested it might be a better idea to replace the water heater’s temperature/pressure relief (TPR) valve with one rated for a lower pressure rather than add a new pressure relief valve somewhere in the plumbing system. After quite a bit of searching on the web I found that the same basic valve used in our rigs is actually available in 4 different pressure ratings. The lowest pressure valve is rated at 75# but they are not widely used and very few vendors carry them. I did find a plumbing supply website that had them so John and I both ordered them.

Yesterday afternoon John and I installed the new TPR valves in our water heaters. Both of our RVs, and some others we’ve checked all come with the same Watts TPR valve that is commonly used in home water heaters. These are rated at 150 PSI – if the pressure in the water heater exceeds either 150# or 210° F the valve will open to relieve the pressure and prevent the water heater from exploding. Our new valves are a direct replacement and our entire plumbing system is now protected if the pressure exceeds 75# for any reason.

Every RV manufacturer warns their customers to use water pressure regulators to protect the plastic plumbing from excess pressure. This is important because campgrounds often have very high pressure at the hose bib. It would make a lot of sense if the manufacturers would also use this 75# TPR valve rather than the 150# valve in the water heaters they install in the RV. In fact they really don’t need the 150# valve because the plastic plumbing itself will relieve the pressure before it gets to 150#!

Today it’s been raining lightly most of the time so we are catching up on some indoor stuff. Elena made a big pot of delicious lentil soup with a little spicy sausage in it – really hits the spot on a cold rainy day.

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