rv hot water heater relief valve leaking

RV Hot Water Heater Relief Valve Leaking


The water heater in the RV makes life so much convenient while traveling around. And if you wake up one day and see your RV hot water relief valve leaking, we know how frustrating it can be. 

Nobody wants to find out such an issue on a beautiful trip to the countryside with their RV. It’ll mean that they’ll be deprived of hot water for quite some time.

However, to save you in chilly weather with some hot water, we are here today. We’ll help you learn how to fix it and everything about it. 

So, without further delay, let’s get right into it-

What’s the Job of the Relief Valve?

Relief valve stands for its name. Basically, this particular valve relieves pressure from the water tank of your RV when it’s necessary. 

You see, when water is heated and cooled, again and again, the valve expands and contracts continuously. This often places a tremendous amount of pressure inside the water tank.

The water might even travel backward to the cold water inlet or the water supply line in most cases. In other cases, the water continues to stay in the tank and the pressure keeps on increasing inside too. 

And when the pressure is too much, the relief valve might often need to let a bit of water out to keep the pressure safe inside your tank. 

Location of the Relief Valve

Just to be sure that it’s the valve that’s leaking the water you need to know the right place for the relief valve. 

The relief valve is basically a small pipe which is an extension of the tank. It’s usually at the exterior of the RV covered with a barrier that keeps them intact. 

RV Hot Water Heater Relief Valve Leaking- Reasons and Solutions for the Valve to Leak

Here’s the thing.

The relief valve is created to relieve some pressure from the inside of the tank, right? So, it’s very common for it to release some water once in a while. 

But the real worries start when you see it leaking continuously. Yes, when it’s leaking continuously, it’s a matter to worry about and take some actions.

However, you can’t just fix the issue without knowing the reasons. There are a variety of reasons for such an issue. So, let’s just find out the reason first-

  • Problem Controlling Boiler Limit


If you have a heating boiler and the temperature inside of it is excessive, you might want to get it checked. It might cause the expansion of water and relief valve leak. 

This can occur because of defective control or a mistake while setting the temperature limit. 


The solution is very simple for this issue. You just need to make sure that you set the temperature of the boiler right. 

And if you have any defect in the control of the boiler, you should get the controls fixed right away. 

  • Confined Hot Water System


It’s very common for an often change in the temperature because of the hot water heater. Due to the temperature variation, the relief valve might get affected and start to leak water.


A regular check-up can keep you safe from this type of issue. When you have proper maintenance the whole water system can be checked and it doesn’t have to be confined for such a long time. 

  • Defect with Expansion Tank


People often use an expansion tank to make sure that the primary tank is not pressurized that much. 

However, there’s always a possibility that you might face some problems or you might even find defects with the expansion tank itself.A defective expansion tank can create a massacre even in the regular heat and pressure that it’s supposed to face. And this results in spillage of water from the relief valve.


Expansion tank alone is a solution to leaking water. However, if you have a defective expansion tank, you should take it out and check it. 

If the defect is repairable, you can just spend a few bucks and just make it all okay again. However, if the defect is too major to fix, get yourself a new expansion tank. 

  • Defect with the Water Heater


A simple defect like a leak in the main tank or water heater can also cause the relief valve to leak. Water will leak whenever there’s high pressure inside your tank and reach the relief valve without any barrier. 

In case of an internal leak, you’ll need to take out the whole water system and then operate on it if you wish to fix it. 


Temperature fluctuation and fluctuation of pressure both are jobs of the water heater. Most of the time, people select the wrong water heater with cheap and low quality built. 

And low built quality can’t stand fluctuating temperature and pressure, which later results in leakage of the tank. The water comes down, running through the relief valve then. 

So, grab a quality water heater in that case. 

  • Relief Valve Defects


Sometimes the relief valve alone might be the issue for the leak of water. You see, dirt and debris often cause difficulty while closing the valve. And this creates a path for the water to come out.

Moreover, corrosion and issues with the valve seat might also cause leaks at the valve. Applying excessive force might create a crack at the relief valve’s seat, and thus a leak can be created. 


If there’s an issue with the relief valve that’s causing the leak, try to tighten it to the seat first. However, if you see any crack or loose with the relief valve or the seat, it’s time to get new ones.

You can just use a wrench to remove the relief valve from the place and attach the new one back on. Don’t fix too tight, it might cause the valve or the seat to break. 


Watching your RV hot water heater relief valve leaking wouldn’t worry you anymore as you have read this article today. We provided you as much information we could on the leakage today.

You are now more than ready to find out why the leakage and get it resolved right away. So, let’s get to work because we have a lot of fun time to experience with the RV.

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