Whole House Pressure Control & Monitoring


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Old 01-12-20, 03:31 PM
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Whole House Pressure Control & Monitoring

House was built in 2000 and we are the original owners. We have struggled with water hammer and hot water heaters that last an average of 7-8 years. I believe the pressure coming into the house is too high. I have a gauge on he water heater and it routinely shows pressure spikes to 110-120 PSI (and higher). The Township acknowledges the high pressure but tell me that is a "good problem to have". I do have a recirculating hot water line which works well. On hot water heater #2, it was blowing the TPI relief valve regularly until I increased the size of the expansion tank.

I want to invest in some whole house pressure control and monitoring technology (as I am into gadgets, etc.). The Moen FLO product looks interesting for starters. I was wondering if there is an automated pressure regulator valve but that might be "over the top". Basically, my requirements are:

1. Control water pressure coming into the house (remotely if possible).
2. Monitor home water pressure and track over time.
3. Monitor water usage, monitor for leaks, etc. (i.e. what the FLO product does).

I am wondering what the experts here think about this. What would you recommend? I am not that worried about cost but of course I do not want a $5000 solution.

Thoughts?
 
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Old 01-12-20, 03:50 PM
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Does your house have a pressure reducing valve (PRV)? It is required by code in many areas and it limits the pressure of water entering your home from the city. They are relatively inexpensive and available at any home center or plumbing supplier.
 
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Old 01-12-20, 04:00 PM
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The Township acknowledges the high pressure but tell me that is a "good problem to have"
It's a better problem to have than a low pressure problem but it's still a problem.

You don't need anything fancy. A pressure reducing valve and two gauges.
One gauge for incoming water pressure and one for regulated pressure.
 
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Old 01-12-20, 04:26 PM
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Thanks. Yes I think I need a PRV. At a minimum I am fine with that, but am wondering if there are any recommendations for fancier gadgets, etc.
 
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Old 01-12-20, 04:55 PM
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Nothing fancier that I know of.
I like to install gauges to know at a glance if the reducer is set right and working.
 
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Old 01-13-20, 04:43 AM
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You can go as fancy as you want with monitoring. There are no "happy homeowner" packaged sets you can buy but there are numerous industrial sensors you could use to monitor your water and you can get as fancy as you want. You could monitor pressure, temperature and even some basic water chemistry if you wish. You will have to do the engineering for anything you choose however. Personally I'd just run with a mechanical pressure gauge on the downstream side of your PRV. If you want to get fancy you could get one that records the highest pressure and if you want to get really fancy you can put a second gauge on the upstream side so you can see the incoming pressure from the city.

The root problem though, high pressure, can be handled with a simple PRV. It's a mechanical device so there isn't anything high tech you can do with it. And as for controlling the pressure. Why in the world would you want to do that? You just need to get it into an appropriate 60-80 psi range and leave it.
 
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Old 01-14-20, 05:58 PM
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You just need to get it into an appropriate 60-80 psi range and leave it.
I typically leave mine set at 50 psi.
 
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Old 05-18-20, 12:56 PM
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Pressure Reducing Valve

Well since I started this chain back in January we've been through a virus and the world has changed. I saw a post asking about quarantine projects so I better dust this one off and get on with it.

I am looking to purchase a Caleffi 535351HA pressure reducing valve. The plan would be to install it downstream of the meter and the main shutoff. A plumber friend of mine recommends a valve on each side of it. Thoughts?

In the Caleffi spec sheet, I found this:
Water Hammer is one of the main causes of faults in pressure reducing valves. It is best to fit special devices to absorb water hammer when installing pressure reducers in at-risk systems.

Should I be worried about this? I figure I would get the pressure down and if I still had water hammer, address that separately.

I am not a master plumber by any stretch, but I have sweated copper and I think I could do this job unless someone thinks this is too ambitious. My last job was replacing the backflow preventer on our outside sprinkler system. The risk there was no irrigation ... but now the risk is no water at all!

Thanks everyone!
 
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Old 05-18-20, 07:05 PM
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A valve on both sides is an excellent idea.
With those two valves..... you could shut them off and easily add a hammer arrester tank in the future.

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Old 05-19-20, 06:01 AM
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Yes, a valve on both sides of the pressure reducing valve is a good idea. I never install them though. The water can be turned off at the meter and then you bleed off the water pressure in the house. With valves you have to be concerned that the valves will actually work 10 years from now. Having never been opened or closed they often freeze in place.

Water hammer is primarily a problem at the source of the problem. Valves that are quickly opened and closed where the water slams to a stop. It's not much an issue as you move further upstream where it's far removed from the actual hammer action.
 
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Old 05-19-20, 10:15 AM
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I saw a setup like this a while back and I think it's the 'top of the line' installation that I'd do. My only addition would be to add a second valve on the right side.

I wouldn't go with anything too complicated though - once it's installed and set, you won't look at it again for another 10-15 years, except maybe to admire it.

 
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Old 05-19-20, 10:40 AM
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The water heater can cause seemingly unusual pressure changes if the expansion tank is worn out (bladder burst) or not prepressurized quite right or you don't have one.

Every new tankful of water expands a little when heated and without an air pocket in the system or ability to push backwards into the city water main, you get a noticeable pressure rise.

If after no water has been used for awhile and you measure or observe overpressure you draw about a quart of hot water and the pressure goes down and stays down chances are the water heater caused the overpressure.
 
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Old 05-19-20, 10:48 AM
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Whole House Pressure Control & Monitoring

Thank you everyone.

So the pressure gauge on the Caleffi is measuring the downstream "reduced" pressure ... so if I want to see what's coming in from the city, I need to add one after the meter but before the PRV.

BTW ... I do have an expansion tank immediately after the hot water heater output. That is there because I have a recirculating hot water pump installed. Originally the expansion tank was undersized and I kept tripping the TPR valve on the heater ... but that got resolved with a bigger tank.

Thank you again everyone. My confidence is growing!

 
 

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