Low water pressure. Suspect regulator.


Old 06-25-03, 07:47 AM
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Low water pressure. Suspect regulator.

Our 20 year old house has weak water pressure. There is an adjustable pressure regulator on the main line coming into the house, on the house side of the water meter in the basement.

After a year of thinking that our neighborhood pressure is low, I now think the cause is elsewhere. My neighbors garden lines have strong water pressure when watering the lawns. Ours does not. So I turned the pressure regulator valve in and then out, to determine if that was the cause. What I learned was, that if I turn the screw most the way out, (about 6 full turns) then the water pressure go up a little. Now (turned out 6 threads), a kitchen water glass (12 oz) will fill up in 7 seconds instead of 9 seconds. This is still much too weak.

I had always learned that when a pressure regulator goes bad, that it will automatically revert to the outside highest water pressure feeding the house. But now it 'appears' to me that the regulator is bad (just guessing) and is keeping the pressure at a low pressure. I would guess that the pressure is around 20 psi. I further think that that (20 psi) 'may have' been the setting that the previous owner kept it at for many years, resulting in a 'sticking' condition.

Otherwise the house plumbing is copper, has no leaks, and is the original plumbing, with a 3/4" main coming out of the water meter and out of the regulator. All the branch circuits are 1/2", except the 3/4" going to the hot water heater. It all looks industry standard to me. The city water tower is one mile away as the crow flys, and we do not live on a hill that would give cause to low pressure.

Is the regulator suspect or not?
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Old 06-25-03, 01:41 PM
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I would first buy a pressure gauge (very innexpensive) and test the actual water pressure. Generally you'd want the outside spigots to be connected prior to the PRV.
Old 06-25-03, 07:35 PM
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I would follow trinitro advice and buy a pressure gauge.If you turn a P.R.V.screw in you'r pressure should increase if you screw it out you'r pressure should decrease.They work opposite than you would think.If you get more pressure when you screw it out then there is a problem with the vavle.
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