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The fitting threaded into the T&P relief valve does not seem as though I can turn it counter-clockwise to remove it since it s joined to PVC pipe below by cement. In order to remove it, do I simply cut the PVC and later use a coupler to re-join the PVC to another PVC fitting attached to the new T&P relief valve?

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Is there a way I can improve this connection for future replacements of the T&P relief valve?

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You will need to cut the PVC pipe. Because of the shape of the elbow you will likely need to make a cut just below the male adapter where it screws into the relief valve, and another on the horizontal pipe, to facilitate removal. Make sure your cut on the horizontal leaves room for gluing a fitting to the downstream side.

It might be a good idea to investigate whether or not it is feasible to cut the horizontal farther downstream on the other side of the wall, as it appears this is the second repair on the line and you will soon run out of room for future repair.

To make future repair easier you might be able to use an elbow union, you will need to assess if there is sufficient vertical distance. Also, union elbows are not very common; you may need to visit a specialty plumbing shop or order one special.

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    Since it is hot water I would use cpvc +. – Ed Beal Aug 21 '16 at 14:14
  • The T&P valve is a female thread, so the pictured elbow union would not work without an additional fitting in between. – Tester101 Aug 21 '16 at 15:03
  • Using this fitting allows the purchase (or creation) of a threaded nipple the right length to adjust for vertical distance to the pipe coming out of the wall. @Ed Beal, CPVC is unnecessary and I have never seen it used in this application. It is not in hot water service, it will only see water if there is a system malfunction causing excess pressure or temp. (very rare). If it were to open, it would only be for a very short time as system pressure/temp is relieved. – Jimmy Fix-it Aug 21 '16 at 17:23
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    @jimmy Fix-it it is code for CPVC in my area even though this usually dumps on the ground or in a drain – Ed Beal Aug 21 '16 at 20:26

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