Reducing water pressure without a pressure valve

Old 03-21-19, 11:56 AM
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Reducing water pressure without a pressure valve

Hello everyone

We live in rural Peru and have recently moved to our new (but only half-finished) house. We knew water pressure was high but didn't think it would cause problems but since we've moved in we are constantly patching leaks in the pipes around the house. Some of them were caused by incompetent workers who installed the piping (hard to find someone who really knows what they're doing around here) but I'm suspecting part of the problem remains the high water pressure.

We were advised to simply partly close off the main water entrance so less water would flow. That doesn't reduce the pressure once the pipes are full I believe. Turning off the water when we don't use it might be an option but not a very comfortable one. Plus, we are about to install a thermal boiler so I think we should take a closer look at water pressure.

In our region, we cannot buy pressure valves to regulate the water pressure. At least, in all the hardware stores we asked, they didn't have them or didn't know what they were. My questions is, is there a way to reduce the water pressure without a valve?

One idea we had was to run all our water through our water tank (about 7m above the house) but we're not sure if 1) that would really lower the pressure and 2) what would happen once the tank is full (i.e. would the automatic closing mechanism resist the high water pressure).

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Old 03-21-19, 12:15 PM
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You can let the high pressure water fill your tank. When the tank is full the filling valve closes (you will need a valve capable of handling the pressure). Then let the tank supply the water pressure via gravity to your home. Basically the tank serves to separate you from the pressurized water. It would be best if the tank has a vent or is somehow open to allow it to overflow if the valve on the high pressure infeed water fails.

Pressure reducing valves do exist and in a country like Peru with so much elevation I would think they exist there as well. You might not be able to find them in your town but you can probably get one in Lima, Cusco or other large city.

A last resort is to ask on airline and travel forums for people traveling to Peru. Someone could bring a pressure reducing valve to Peru. They will likely be visiting one of the tourist areas so you may have to meet them where they will be staying to pick it up.
Old 03-22-19, 06:15 AM
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Does your water tank already have a fill valve?

A rooftop storage tank will not work efficiently without one.

If you said that the plumbers made all kinds of mistakes then they might not have installed the storage tank correctly.

You would need a separate outlet pipe from the storage tank down to the rest of the cold water plumbing (excluding the incoming feed). If you don't have a another port on the bottom of the tank then you will need to use the existing bottom port as the outlet and install another pipe for the upcoming fresh water. The latter can enter the tank at the top to reduce compromising the tank body/structure. Re-mount the fill valve to this.
Old 03-22-19, 11:46 AM
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An elevated tank would work if you only have a simple system that relies on very low a single tap for drinking.
The pressure of water in an elevated system is about .5 psi/foot of elevation.
A tank at 7 meters plus about 3 meters to ground level woud be 10 meters or about 32 feet which works out to about 15 psi or 1 bar at ground level,.
This is not enough pressure except for a simple bucket filling tap or to feed a pressure pump set at the pressure you need.
You could operate a boiler and appliances at 30 psi or 2 bar in a pinch but an elevated tank won't do it.
Do people in your area have tanks at 10m/30' !

You need a pressure regulator but a hardware store is not the place to buy one.
You need to find a plumbing supply store or a quaified plumber who can supply one.

Make sure that if you buy a pressure regulator that it is big enough for the flow rate your house requires.
I am not sure what units you use for flow but in North America 10 gals/min would be the minimum rating for a pressure regulator.
Old 03-25-19, 08:05 PM
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When you call the 'real' plumbing suppliers, ask them to recommend a plumber. I find it hard to believe that there isn't a good plumber in Peru -- there must be a few that are smart enough to install a PRV. It's not rocket surgery.
Old 03-26-19, 12:22 PM
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Thanks everyone for your replies. At the moment we fill our tank (about 10m above house level) and then close the pipe and use the tank water. This is a temporary solution though.
My husband will be in Lima next week and will search for a PRV in the plumbing stores there. Where we live (near the border to Ecuador) there really isn't much selection. That should do the trick and I'm sure we'll find someone to install it.

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