How a Water Pressure Regulator Works

Let’s talk about Water Pressure

A water pressure regulator (sometimes called a pressure-reducing valve, or PRV) is a specialized plumbing valve that reduces the water pressure coming into the home through the main water line.  This valve brings down the pressure to a safe level before the water reaches any plumbing fixtures inside the home.  Too much water pressure can cause many plumbing problems, so it is very important to keep the water pressure under control.  Although it is not necessary for every plumbing installation, a water pressure regulator can be essential in situations where the municipal water supply enters the home at a very high pressure, or where water pressure is irregular.

Most plumbing fixtures are designed to work best at a pressure of about 50 psi (pounds per square inch), but it is not uncommon for municipal water supplies to enter the home with pressure as high as 150 or 200 psi.  If such high pressures are present on a regular basis, the strain can eventually cause joints to fail, faucets and other fixtures to leak, and appliances to break down.  Clothes washers, dishwashers, and some other household appliances have built-in pressure regulators, but a whole house water pressure regulator still offers protection to those appliances, and it also serves to protect all the pipes and fixtures throughout the house.

Remember that too much water pressure will put extra strain on the home’s plumbing systems and can cause toilets to run, faucets to drip, water hammer to occur in the walls, and it can even cause burst pipes that can flood your house.

Do you need a pressure regulator valve?

A massive stream of water might seem like a great thing in your home – but not only is that high-pressure wasteful, it could be costing you money, too.  Think about water pressure in your home the same way you think about your blood pressure.  The higher the pressure, the higher the chances of problems down the line.

So, what are the benefits of getting your water pressure in check?

  1.  A pressure regulator valve may be needed to save water.  If the water pressure level coming into your home from the city exceeds 80 psi, you need a water pressure regulator.  Reducing the system pressure 10 to 20 psi can save thousands of gallons a year in the typical home. 
  2. Better for fixtures and appliances.  High water pressure puts a strain on every part of the appliance that delivers water.  The steady, regulated stream of water will prolong the life of your appliances and allow them to work at their best.
  3. Saves money. The installation might seem like an extra cost, but it’s one that will quickly pay off.  Your water bill will reduce, and you can even see a decrease in your energy usage, with fewer repairs on your appliances, too. 
  4. Stabilizes pressure. With steady pressure, you can have a more relaxing shower experience and will not have to worry about soaking yourself while washing the dishes.  A pressure regulator valve can accomplish this controlling the amount of pressure in coming into the home.
  5. Reduces risk of leaks. Unnecessary high pressure is not suitable for your pipes; the heavy flow can cause hairline cracks and leaks, eventually leading to a big pipe blow out.  Water leaks will do extreme damage to your home, often requiring major construction restoration to damaged floors, cabinets, drywall and surrounding areas – not to mention mold.  To reduce your chance of having a major plumbing disaster – you’ll want to get your water pressure regulated fast.