The cold intake pipe for my water heater has a drain valve with plastic tubing leading to my basement drain. This tubing always has a constant flow of dripping water; basically, my water heater's cold intake drain valve is ALWAYS dripping. I've NEVER seen it not drip.

Is this normal? I ask because my sump pump goes off like clockwork every 3 hours and I'm beginning to think its due to this dripping. I thought we had a water table underneath our house because unplugging the sump pump for days at a time doesn't cause it to overflow.

  • That's strange. How about a picture of where the plastic tubing meets your heater's cold water supply? Apr 5, 2016 at 17:00
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    Yeah, it sounds like the drain valve needs to be replaced. At any rate, to figure out (for sure) if the drip causes sump to pump like clockwork, catch the drip in a bucket for a few hours. Apr 5, 2016 at 17:27
  • Not sure what a "cold intake drain valve" is, but it's not necessarily a bad thing for your pump to run occasionally. When they sit unused for long periods they tend not to work when you need them to. Did you try tightening up on the valve? Valves do leak by when they get old or damaged. Maybe this is deliberate, to exercise the pump? Apr 6, 2016 at 3:19

2 Answers 2


Ben Welborn is correct. Sediment or mineral is keeping the drain valve from seating properly if everything is closed inside especially the hot and your cold inlet valve works you could change out the valve without draining the heater. But I'm assuming since there is a sump that this is down inside a basement. Drain and replace use a 3/4 di electric nipple with a. 3/4" ball valve or pvc and remedy this problem for good


Question: Is this normal.

Answer: NO it is not normal for a valve to leak.

A valve is a shut off device and as such i designed to not let water flow through the valve when the valve is closed and to allow water to flow through the valve when it is opened.

You need to repair it if you can or replace it. The water upstream of the valve will need to be shut off and depending where the valve is in relation to the water heater you may to drain some of the water out if soldering is required. A photo would help to asses what exactly would be required. Once the valve is replaced you can then access you sump pump issues if there is indeed any.

  • Not sure why this was voted down. One question at a time is suppose to be addressed on Stack Exchange, else it makes it hard to search for answers, so answering the original question with a no and some explanation on how to repair replace should never fall below a 0 unless it's totally wrong. I'm voting back up...
    – virtualxtc
    Jan 13, 2018 at 20:39

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