The side mount TPR valve on my 16-year-old GE/Rheem gas water heater (a Home Depot purchase) leaks at the valve stem when I test it routinely. It does not otherwise leak. Is that reason to replace it? I couldn’t figure out how to attach a photo.
It is indeed a bad sign unless you’ve regularly changed the anode, which most people don’t bother to do. You can take it out, wrap it with Teflon six times, and put it back, but odds are that you’re going to need a new water heater soon. Look in my Water Heaters 101 for tips on how to make an informed choice.
Hello, It’s not uncommon for the T&P to leak through the stem a little when being tested. If it leaks at any other time, replace it. It’s not a fixable part… One more though is that sometimes they leak through the stem if there is a restriction in the outflow pipe. The outflow needs to be a full 3/4″ pipe with no more than four 90-s in it. Also it must drain down. Is yours good in these ways?