What is a Pressure Reducing Valve / Regulator (PRV)?
Water pressure regulators or water pressure reducing valves (PRV) are compact valves used to reduce high incoming water pressure from the public water main to provide a lower, more compatible water pressure for distribution to your household plumbing and fixtures.
Why should I have a PRV?
High water pressures in home plumbing systems may cause leaking water heaters, banging water pipes, dripping faucets, dishwasher and washing machine noise and breakdown, or leaking water pipes. Water flowing at a rate in excess of that necessary to satisfy normal fixtures or appliance demands can become damaging, wasteful, and reduce the life expectancy of equipment in homes. By maintaining a set pressure in the home, usually 50 pounds per square inch (psi), may assure the home piping and appliances operate under a safe, more moderate, but satisfactory pressure.
How does a pressure regulator work?
A pressure regulator is a spring-loaded valve that regulates pressure on the downstream (house) side of the valve. Altering the degree of spring compression changes the downstream pressure.
Who is responsible for installing and maintaining the pressure regulator?
The property owner is responsible for installing and maintaining the pressure regulator.
Where should the pressure regulator be installed?
On new installations, the pressure regulator is usually installed downstream, (on the house side) of the water meter, near the house.
These can be purchased at a home improvement/plumbing supply store and are fairly simple to install and could be a do-it-yourself project. However, you may contact a local qualified plumbing contractor who can provide you with an estimate.
How long will a Water Pressure Reducing Valve last?
The life expectancy of a water pressure regulator is most commonly in the range of 10 to 15 years. However, you may see a regulator malfunction at 3 years, as well as one still properly functioning at 20 years old if regularly maintained.
PRVs have been described as "life-of-mortgage" products, because historically a malfunctioning water pressure reducing valve is not replaced but simply cleaned or repaired via an inexpensive service kit. Design-wise, it is similar to the kitchen faucet in that dirt or foreign matter on the seating area can cause problems and actually it is no more difficult to repair a water pressure reducing valve than it is to fix the kitchen faucet.
How do I adjust my pressures?
With the right tools and instruction, you can adjust the water pressure regulator by yourself instead of calling in a plumber. For more details you can look up tuitions on the internet.
How do I know if my pressure reducing valve is bad?
- Diminishing or fluctuating water pressure…
- No water pressure
- Thumping, banging, hammering or vibrating noises in the walls…
- High water pressure, water leaking from faucet, toilet running constantly…
How do I check my pressure coming into the house?
The most accurate method is to buy a pressure gauge from your local hardware store and hook it up to a hose faucet/bib. Check the pressure when all other faucets and water-using appliances are turned off to get a baseline reading. In general, you want the household plumbing to provide between 30 and 80 psi.