Customers warned about hot water tank pressure
A backflow prevention device being installed on water lines as part of the water line replacement project may cause water customers to have problems with their hot water tanks. Pressure may build up inside a hot water tank that causes the emergency relief valve to open releasing water.
So far, four water customers have been affected. When water is heated, it expands causing increased volume. The old water line system allowed excess volume to flow back into the main line. The new water line system prevents backflow because the system is designed as a closed loop and includes backflow prevention devices.
Not all hot water tanks will experience a problem. On older tanks, the emergency relief valve may open if pressure builds up. Some valves may fail to close letting water continue to flow. Water customers need to be aware of a potential problem with their tanks when work on the water line replacement project reaches their location.
To fix or prevent a problem, installation of a pressure relief valve or bladder type accumulator on the cold water supply line to the hot water tank may be necessary. According to Bath Town Council, the parts cost approximately $50. Customers are responsible for all costs of parts and installation.
Information on the installation of a pressure reducing relief valve or accumulator may be obtained by contacting the Berkeley Springs Water Works at 258-9152.