Water Pressure Regulator

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Topic Author
catchinup
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Water Pressure Regulator

Post by catchinup »

I was told by a plumber my water pressure incoming was at 100psi. I was in a work meeting and did not see the gauge readout. The plumber wanted to replace the regulator. I asked why can't it simply be adjusted vs replacement. He said better to replace.

Three years ago a plumber installed that regulator.. I'm pretty sure it was set at 60 PSI at the time.

If the PSI is high, is the plumber correct that it's better to replace it?

I think I can buy a gauge and just test it myself?
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southerndoc
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by southerndoc »

Sounds suspicious for a regular to go out in only 3 years.
random_walker_77
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by random_walker_77 »

Even with hard water, 3 years sounds short for a PRV to wear out. Personally, I'd get a water pressure gauge (about $12 at home depot) and see what the static pressure is. If it's off, there's a bolt on the top of the PRV that you can turn to adjust the pressure. When mine was off, I ended up needing to adjust it every couple of months until it maxed out, at which point it definitely needed to be replaced. Based on that experience, you might check on it and if you need to adjust it repeatedly, then proactively get quotes on a replacement.
twh
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by twh »

I had to replace mine recently.
As said, get a cheap gauge at HD or equivalent.
100 psi isn't good for anything in the house.
At 100 psi, if you have a hot water expansion tank, it may be ruptured as well and not working.
Many pressure reducing valves can be rebuilt with a kit from the manufacturer.
Many pressure reducing valves are installed with unions for easy replacement -- as long as you put in the same model. That's what I did.
PoorPlumber
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by PoorPlumber »

You can get a gauge that screws onto hose bibbs to check pressure provided they are tied in after the regulator. Most are.
Pressure will be the highest later in the evening.
PRV's are adjustable.
Due to small sized PRV's being inexpensive, most plumbers are reluctant to do much adjusting, rebuild, or clean any internal screens.
Labor doesn't pay out for the homeowner.
Liability doesn't pay out for the plumber.
Topic Author
catchinup
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by catchinup »

Thanks for all the responses.

I purchased this test gauge at my local Home Depot.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Watts-3-4-i ... /100175467

Around 15 minutes ago, attached it to a spigot in the rear of the house. Not sure it matters that I didn't attach it near the regulator in the front of the house? I can always test a second spigot if so.

The black needle is reading around 72 PSI. The red is around 90. I can leave it on overnight to see what happens.
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TnGuy
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by TnGuy »

When we first purchased our home the incoming pressure was 160 PSI (we live halfway down a hill that has a water tower not too far away). The pressure was so high (though we didn't realize at the time) that it blew out our dishwasher. I installed a PRV and set it at 60 PSI. It ended up that the PRVs lasted on average about 2 years, since the incoming pressure was so high.


David
"Money will not make you happy. And happy will not make you money." - Groucho Marx
random_walker_77
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by random_walker_77 »

catchinup wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:57 pm Thanks for all the responses.

I purchased this test gauge at my local Home Depot.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Watts-3-4-i ... /100175467

Around 15 minutes ago, attached it to a spigot in the rear of the house. Not sure it matters that I didn't attach it near the regulator in the front of the house? I can always test a second spigot if so.

The black needle is reading around 72 PSI. The red is around 90. I can leave it on overnight to see what happens.
Sounds like you're fine then. If the water isn't running, the pressure should be the same everywhere, at the same height. Expect the pressure to drop a little if there's a volume of water running. The pressure will drop if you go up to the 2nd floor (about 5psi per 10 feet, iirc). I've read that 50 psi is a good setpoint, and that you want to keep it between 30 and 80.
PoorPlumber
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by PoorPlumber »

catchinup wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:57 pm Thanks for all the responses.

I purchased this test gauge at my local Home Depot.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Watts-3-4-i ... /100175467

Around 15 minutes ago, attached it to a spigot in the rear of the house. Not sure it matters that I didn't attach it near the regulator in the front of the house? I can always test a second spigot if so.

The black needle is reading around 72 PSI. The red is around 90. I can leave it on overnight to see what happens.
The red needle is the "bump needle". (Just what I call it.)
An analog recorder if you will.

The black needle is the live pressure.
So if pressure rises it should go around and bump the red needle to whatever the highest pressure is between readings.

So you want to set the red needle with the center brass dial a few pounds above the black needle then leave overnight.
ncook303
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by ncook303 »

You're fine at 72PSI. The regulator can be adjusted if you want it back to 60psi. Google is your friend.
twh
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by twh »

TnGuy wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 5:17 pm When we first purchased our home the incoming pressure was 160 PSI (we live halfway down a hill that has a water tower not too far away). The pressure was so high (though we didn't realize at the time) that it blew out our dishwasher. I installed a PRV and set it at 60 PSI. It ended up that the PRVs lasted on average about 2 years, since the incoming pressure was so high.

David
Your situation is where you need to put in two PRV's in series...the first one knocks it down part way and the second knocks it down to the working level. This isn't all that uncommon a setup.
Topic Author
catchinup
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by catchinup »

So this morning the static black needle on pressure gauge was still at 72 and the red needle was around 90. If I were to adjust the regulator down to 60 PSI static I am not sure if that means that the spike pressure would also reduce?
twh
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by twh »

catchinup wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 10:23 am So this morning the static black needle on pressure gauge was still at 72 and the red needle was around 90. If I were to adjust the regulator down to 60 PSI static I am not sure if that means that the spike pressure would also reduce?
If the pressure is getting up to 90 psi and it is set for 60, I would say the PRV isn't working right anymore.
hoofaman
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by hoofaman »

We had a PRV (Pressure Regulator Valve) fail, and in our case water pressure would slowly rise to street pressure which was about 100 PSI overtime. You could see this with a pressure gauge, but it would take about 10 minutes after using water, and even a slightly dripping faucet would mask the issue

We have a phyn device which monitors pressure and initially alerted me, then I left a mechanical gauge on the hose which was slightly more downstream but matched the phyn measurements pretty closely

In our case, the plumber thought the reason our PRV valve failed prematurely was because we didn't have an expansion tank (we have a tankless water heater), I guess this could have caused added ware on the PRV, we replaced PRV and added expansion tank and haven't had any issues since
Last edited by hoofaman on Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
PoorPlumber
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by PoorPlumber »

catchinup wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 10:23 am So this morning the static black needle on pressure gauge was still at 72 and the red needle was around 90. If I were to adjust the regulator down to 60 PSI static I am not sure if that means that the spike pressure would also reduce?
Did you set it as I instructed earlier?
twh
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by twh »

hoofaman wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:04 am We had a PRV (Pressure Regulator Valve) fail, and in our case water pressure would slowly rise to street pressure which was about 100 PSI overtime. You could see this with a pressure gauge, but it would take about 10 minutes after using water, and even a slightly dripping faucet would mask the issue

We have a phyn device which monitors pressure and initially alerted me, then I left a mechanical gauge on the hose which was slightly more downstream but matched the phyn measurements pretty closely

In our case, the plumber thought the reason our PRV valve failed prematurely was because we didn't have an expansion tank (we have a tankless water heater), I guess this could have caused added ware on the PRV, we replaced PRV and added expansion tank and haven't had any issues since
If there is an expansion tank, it is probably set around 60 psi. A non-functioning PRV that lets the pressure get to 90 psi isn't the best for the life of the expansion tank either.
Topic Author
catchinup
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by catchinup »

PoorPlumber wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:12 am
catchinup wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 10:23 am So this morning the static black needle on pressure gauge was still at 72 and the red needle was around 90. If I were to adjust the regulator down to 60 PSI static I am not sure if that means that the spike pressure would also reduce?
Did you set it as I instructed earlier?
Yes, I did thanks!
Topic Author
catchinup
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by catchinup »

twh wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:16 am
hoofaman wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:04 am We had a PRV (Pressure Regulator Valve) fail, and in our case water pressure would slowly rise to street pressure which was about 100 PSI overtime. You could see this with a pressure gauge, but it would take about 10 minutes after using water, and even a slightly dripping faucet would mask the issue

We have a phyn device which monitors pressure and initially alerted me, then I left a mechanical gauge on the hose which was slightly more downstream but matched the phyn measurements pretty closely

In our case, the plumber thought the reason our PRV valve failed prematurely was because we didn't have an expansion tank (we have a tankless water heater), I guess this could have caused added ware on the PRV, we replaced PRV and added expansion tank and haven't had any issues since
If there is an expansion tank, it is probably set around 60 psi. A non-functioning PRV that lets the pressure get to 90 psi isn't the best for the life of the expansion tank either.
There is no expansion tank, actually. I have a tankless gas water heater inside the house. Is an expansion tank needed in that case?
PoorPlumber
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by PoorPlumber »

catchinup wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:17 pm
PoorPlumber wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:12 am
catchinup wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 10:23 am So this morning the static black needle on pressure gauge was still at 72 and the red needle was around 90. If I were to adjust the regulator down to 60 PSI static I am not sure if that means that the spike pressure would also reduce?
Did you set it as I instructed earlier?
Yes, I did thanks!
Then this confirms the regulator is allowing "creep" past setpoint.
Water heater could also be contributing depending on arrangement.
Recommended Opinion:
Replace PRV.
Put in expansion tank and set to PRV pressure.
Topic Author
catchinup
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by catchinup »

PoorPlumber wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:23 pm
catchinup wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:17 pm
PoorPlumber wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:12 am
catchinup wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 10:23 am So this morning the static black needle on pressure gauge was still at 72 and the red needle was around 90. If I were to adjust the regulator down to 60 PSI static I am not sure if that means that the spike pressure would also reduce?
Did you set it as I instructed earlier?
Yes, I did thanks!
Then this confirms the regulator is allowing "creep" past setpoint.
Water heater could also be contributing depending on arrangement.
Recommended Opinion:
Replace PRV.
Put in expansion tank and set to PRV pressure.
Thanks for the advice.
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CalPoppy
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by CalPoppy »

catchinup wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 10:30 pm
PoorPlumber wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:23 pm
catchinup wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:17 pm
PoorPlumber wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:12 am
catchinup wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 10:23 am So this morning the static black needle on pressure gauge was still at 72 and the red needle was around 90. If I were to adjust the regulator down to 60 PSI static I am not sure if that means that the spike pressure would also reduce?
Did you set it as I instructed earlier?
Yes, I did thanks!
Then this confirms the regulator is allowing "creep" past setpoint.
Water heater could also be contributing depending on arrangement.
Recommended Opinion:
Replace PRV.
Put in expansion tank and set to PRV pressure.
Thanks for the advice.
Adding an expansion tank fixed our issue. Our pressure was fine unless we ran hot water then closed all faucets, etc. Given hot water expands, the hot water in the pipes caused the pressure to spike.

On a related note, this issue surfaced after we installed a smart auto shutoff/monitoring device (ours is made by Phyn). First, Phyn detected several very small leaks that we fixed. That made the plumbing system tight, and therefore hot water in the system would cause the pressure to build. Turns out even a dripping faucet is enough to prevent the pressure to build.
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WoodSpinner
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by WoodSpinner »

catchinup wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:57 pm Thanks for all the responses.

I purchased this test gauge at my local Home Depot.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Watts-3-4-i ... /100175467

Around 15 minutes ago, attached it to a spigot in the rear of the house. Not sure it matters that I didn't attach it near the regulator in the front of the house? I can always test a second spigot if so.

The black needle is reading around 72 PSI. The red is around 90. I can leave it on overnight to see what happens.
Just finished battling this issue ….

What confused us ll was the Water company changes the pressure at different (and somewhat random) times of the day. We did replace my regulator (hard water area) after about 8 years. It solved the issue (caused intermittent pinging in a Tankless Water Heater) and has stabilized pressure when measured at multiple times of the day over a week.

FWIW, our highest pressures seem to occur in the morning (at least in the winter when we were testing.

WoodSpinner
WoodSpinner
Topic Author
catchinup
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by catchinup »

CalPoppy wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 12:41 am
catchinup wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 10:30 pm
PoorPlumber wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:23 pm
catchinup wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:17 pm
PoorPlumber wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:12 am
Did you set it as I instructed earlier?
Yes, I did thanks!
Then this confirms the regulator is allowing "creep" past setpoint.
Water heater could also be contributing depending on arrangement.
Recommended Opinion:
Replace PRV.
Put in expansion tank and set to PRV pressure.
Thanks for the advice.
Adding an expansion tank fixed our issue. Our pressure was fine unless we ran hot water then closed all faucets, etc. Given hot water expands, the hot water in the pipes caused the pressure to spike.

On a related note, this issue surfaced after we installed a smart auto shutoff/monitoring device (ours is made by Phyn). First, Phyn detected several very small leaks that we fixed. That made the plumbing system tight, and therefore hot water in the system would cause the pressure to build. Turns out even a dripping faucet is enough to prevent the pressure to build.
PoorPlumber suggested an expansion tank for my home. Assuming it should be located near my indoor tankless water heater, I don't have a discrete place to put it.
bombcar
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by bombcar »

Amusingly enough the regulator may be causing the need for the expansion tank, because if water can't "push back" on the city supply lines, it has to get more pressure.

It should be able to go basically anywhere that the pipes reach.
trinc
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by trinc »

bombcar wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 4:55 pm Amusingly enough the regulator may be causing the need for the expansion tank, because if water can't "push back" on the city supply lines, it has to get more pressure.

It should be able to go basically anywhere that the pipes reach.
Adding a PRV creates a 'closed' system which requires an expansion tank.

Tim
RetiredAL
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Re: Water Pressure Regulator

Post by RetiredAL »

trinc wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 6:13 pm
bombcar wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 4:55 pm Amusingly enough the regulator may be causing the need for the expansion tank, because if water can't "push back" on the city supply lines, it has to get more pressure.

It should be able to go basically anywhere after the PRV that the pipes reach.
Adding a PRV creates a 'closed' system which requires an expansion tank.

Tim
"after the PRV" added by me. It is normally on a cold line, but that can be on a hot line.

The other important function that an expansion tank does it that is minimizes/eliminates the slamming of the PRV shut when water flow at a faucet is quickly turned off. Slamming shortens the life of the PRV.
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