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Water Pressure Regulator FAQs

What is a Pressure Reducing Valve / Regulator (PRV)?

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Water pressure regulators or pressure-reducing valves (PRV) are compact valves used to reduce high incoming water pressure from the public water main to provide a lower, more consistent 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 more than necessary to satisfy normal fixtures or appliance demands can become damaging, wasteful and reduce equipment life expectancy in homes. Maintaining a set pressure in the house, 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?

The pressure regulator is usually installed downstream (on the house side) of the water meter, near the house on new installations.

These can be purchased at a home improvement/plumbing supply store and are relatively 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 three years and 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 cleaned or repaired via an inexpensive service kit. Design-wise, it is similar to the kitchen faucet because dirt or foreign matter on the seating area can cause problems. It is no more challenging to repair a water pressure-reducing valve than fixing the kitchen faucet.

How do I adjust my pressures?

With the right tools and instructions, 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?

  1. Diminishing or fluctuating water pressure…
  2. No water pressure
  3. Thumping, banging, hammering, or vibrating noises in the walls…
  4.  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.