Inspection Training

How to Inspect the Temperature Pressure Relief (TPR) Valve

While inspecting the water heater the inspector should always check to make sure that the TPR valve is the proper material and is discharging at least 6″ inches from the floor. If you are not able to see where the pipe discharges (i.e., it goes into a wall or floor) it should be called out as a defect on the report. Please review the procedure below.



International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection


3.6. Plumbing


I. The inspector shall inspect:

C. The water heating equipment, including the energy source, venting connections, temperature/pressure-relief (TPR) valves, Watts 210 valves, and seismic bracing.


II. The inspector shall describe:



III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:



IV. The inspector is not required to:

B. Measure the capacity, temperature, age, life expectancy or adequacy of the water heater.
H. Operate any valve.
S. Test, operate, open or close: safety controls, manual stop valves, temperature/pressure relief valves, control valves, or check valves.


Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.


Tools Needed

The inspector might need to use the tape measure to determine how far the pipe for the TPR valve terminates from the floor.




  • While inspecting the water heater the inspector should check to make sure that the TPR valve is in good condition and has an extension pipe that extends at least 6” inches from the floor. If there are no defects, there are two pictures for this section with the first picture being of the top of the pipe where it is coming out of the water heater. The second picture should show the pipe terminating close to the floor and possibly include the tape measure if it is close to 6” inches. If it does not discharge in plain sight it should be put down as Repair/Replace in your report.


Common Defects

  • Not being able to verify the presence of a TPR valve or has a missing pipe extension.
  • The TPR valve has corrosion or is leaking.
  • The TPR valve pipe is damaged, flows uphill, did not extend 6” inches from the ground, was too small, used a PVC pipe, or used the wrong material.

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Common Mistakes

  • Not checking the bottom of the TPR valve extension pipe for any leaking.
  • Not measuring the the bottom of the pipe to make sure it is at least 6” inches from the ground.
  • Not calling it out as a defect if the pipe flows uphill or terminates in a location that you can’t verify is a safe location.


Report / Software


  • The water heater was equipped with a T&P (Temperature and Pressure) relief valve and a properly-configured T&P relief valve discharge pipe which was connected to the T&P relief valve and terminated within 6 inches from the floor. This device is an important safety feature and should not be altered or tampered with, and was not tested as part of the inspection. No adverse conditions were observed.


  • N/A


  • Unable to verify the presence of a TPR valve on the water heater at the time of the inspection. A TPR valve (and connected discharge pipe directed to a safe location) is a very important safety feature. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary and according to current standards.


  • [word 1]. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair/replace as necessary.
    • Corrosion
    • Leaking
    • No Pipe
    • Pipe (Damaged)
    • Pipe (Flows Uphill)
    • Pipe (Not 6 inches)
    • Pipe (PVC)
    • Pipe (Too Small)
    • Pipe (Wrong Material)