Water pressure regulator question?


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Old 03-13-06, 02:43 PM
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Water pressure regulator question?

Hello to all:

I recently bought a water pressure guage and found out that my pressure is over 80 psi. I have a pressure regulator installed in the crawl space on my main line coming in from the meter. It is the type with a screw protruding from the top (I don't know if there are any other types). I assume that I can tighten the screw in order to reduce water pressure, but I didn't know if this is something I can do myself or whether I need to call a plumber. If it is something that I can handle, how far do I need to tighten the screw to obtain proper pressure and should the water be shut off at the meter and lines drained before tightening? Finally, what is the proper pressure. I have seen some posts that say 80 psi is safe, while other state that 50 psi is recommended.

Thanks in advance for any replies.
 
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Old 03-13-06, 04:57 PM
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> I didn't know if this is something I can do myself or whether I need to call a plumber.
The problem is that you don't even know whether the device is working.
It sounds like it is not. You didn't state what the pressure is.

You need to state the pressure with the cold water running at a sink and with nothing running at all.

> should the water be shut off at the meter and lines drained before tightening?
No. You need the water running in order to adjust it.

Put the gauge an a garden hose and open it wide open.
There must not be any leaks.
Turn on cold water in a sink.
Take the hose and gauge into the crawlspace.
Adujust the pressure to suit.


> I have seen some posts that say 80 psi is safe, while other state that
> 50 psi is recommended.

Use the lowest that you are happy with.
Or use 5 psi over the lowest that you are happy with.
It's your plumbing.

Over 80 psi is nasty, kind of explosive.
There is nothing wrong with 40 psi if you get the flow you want.
 
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Old 03-14-06, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bolide
> I didn't know if this is something I can do myself or whether I need to call a plumber.
The problem is that you don't even know whether the device is working.
It sounds like it is not. You didn't state what the pressure is.

You need to state the pressure with the cold water running at a sink and with nothing running at all.
Bolide,

Thank you for the reply...I guess that it's not hard to see that I am clueless when it comes to plumbing matters. I understand your reply except for the last sentence above. I attached the pressure gauge to a hose bib in the garage, which is the first branch off the water line coming into the house. Are you saying to turn on the cold water at a sink faucet, attach the pressure gauge to the hose bib, then turn the water on at the hose bib to measure the pressure? Also, I assume that your statement "with nothing running at all" means to shut the incoming valve to my hot water tank.

Lastly, the pressure gauge is made by Watts. When I connected it to the hose bib the red arrow immediately shot to about 93psi, but the black arrow stayed just above the 80 psi mark. I should note though that I only left the pressure gauge on for about 5 minutes.

Again, thanks for the reply and I'm looking forward to any other information that you can provide regading the proper procedure for determining the existing water pressure.
 
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Old 03-15-06, 01:19 AM
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> I attached the pressure gauge to a hose bib in the garage

That's fine getting started. But I bet you can't see it from your crawl space.


> Are you saying to turn on the cold water at a sink faucet,
> attach the pressure gauge to the hose bib

- to a garden hose to make it portable. Of course, don't jump on the hose or kink it.


> then turn the water on at the hose bib to measure the pressure?

The hose bib must be turned on at all times while the gauge is in use.


> Also, I assume that your statement "with nothing running at all"
> means to shut the incoming valve to my hot water tank.

No reason to do so unless it has a bad leak.
In this context, "running" means "flowing" - that the water is going somewhere other than where it is right now.


> When I connected to the hose bib the red arrow immediately
> shot to about 93psi, but the black arrow stayed just above
> the 80 psi mark.
> I should note though that I only left the pressure gauge on for about 5 minutes.

We're looking for two readings from the black needle.

* You take one reading with all taps shut - this means static pressure when the water is not running anywhere.

* You take another reading with cold water running in one sink -- doesn't even have to be full blast -- this is the running pressure, the one that you adjust.

You will have two readings. We need those numbers.
 

Last edited by bolide; 03-15-06 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 03-15-06, 05:34 AM
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Thanks for the explanation Bolide...I will obtain the readings either tonight or tomorrow night and posts the results. I truly appreciate the help.
 
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Old 03-15-06, 09:07 AM
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Some facts on Pressure Reducing Valves (PRV). These are typically factory preset at 50psi. You adjust the pressure setting by loosening the locknut and turning the adjusting bolt clockwise to increase pressure and counter clockwise to decrease pressure. These valves are also notorious for malfunctioning or freezing up. I mention this because your house has over 80psi and you have a PRV installed. The manufactures of these valves have rebuild kits available. You may very well need to rebuild your unit.
 
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Old 03-16-06, 05:04 AM
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Bolide:

Took the readings last night, and here is what I found: Static pressure was approx. 82 psi, running pressure was approx 78 psi. Now...what does this mean?
 
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Old 03-16-06, 07:16 AM
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> Now...what does this mean?

Either that the supply pressure is 82 psi or that your PRV is working.

The next step is to cut the running pressure back to 60 psi or whatever you want.
If the static pressure holds at 60-something psi, your PRV is good and you get the reduced pressure.

I'd cut it to 60 psi and try that. You can always adjust it again later.
 
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Old 03-16-06, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bolide
I'd cut it to 60 psi and try that. You can always adjust it again later.

Do I accomplish this by following the procedure you suggested with the water hose (i.e. connect hose to bib, gauge to other end of hose, open water supply to hose, turn on cold water in kitchen sink, go into crawl space with hose and tighten screw on top of regulator until gauge shows running pressure of approx 60 psi)???

If so, I assume that turning the screw clockwise should reduce pressure if the PRV is working properly.

BTW...I know I've said this sever times, but thanks again for all of your advice on the topic, it is greatly appreciated. This is my first home and after putting in a new heat pump and hot water heater within the last year, I need to learn how to do some of these things myself and save some money.
 
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Old 03-16-06, 11:20 AM
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Your procedure is correct except you need to turn the adjustment bolt counterclockwise (out of bell housing) to lower the pressure. If you see no change in pressure you will need to install a new cartridge assembly into the PRV (rebuild kit). Good Luck with your project.
 
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Old 03-16-06, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Rainbird
Your procedure is correct except you need to turn the adjustment bolt counterclockwise (out of bell housing) to lower the pressure.
Thanks for the heads up Rainbird...that could've gotten ugly. How difficult is the rebuild for a novice, just in case it comes to that.
 
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Old 03-16-06, 03:35 PM
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After you've installed a PRV, keep an eye on the TPR (relief valve) on the water heater. If it starts to drip, you'll have to add an expansion tank.
 
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Old 03-16-06, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by aballard
Thanks for the heads up Rainbird...that could've gotten ugly.
You check the gauge every few turns.
If it's going the wrong way, you need to turn the other way.
No harm done.

> How difficult is the rebuild for a novice

Can you assemble a bicycle? I'd rather do a PRV.
 
 

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