Pressure-reducing valves are an important element of plumbing – but how much do you really know about them?
To help you out, we have put together everything you need to know about adjusting a pressure-reducing valve, and keeping your home comfortable, safe and secure.
Table of Contents
What Is A Pressure Reducing Valve?
A pressure-reducing valve is used in the water supply system to reduce the pressure of the incoming water before it enters your house.
This reduces the amount of energy required to move the water through pipes, which can save money on your monthly utility bill.
It also helps prevent damage to pipes and fixtures from excessive water flow.
The most common type of pressure-reducing valve (PRV) installed in homes today is called a “pressure regulator”.
These devices work by regulating the pressure of the water entering your home.
They are designed so that they will let more or less water into your home depending on the pressure of the water coming into your home.
As the water pressure increases, the PRV lets more water in. As the water pressure decreases, the PRV lets less water in.
How Do Pressure Reducing Valves Work?
Pressure-reducing valves regulate the water pressure entering your home using two main components.
First, there is a diaphragm inside the PRV. When water flows into the PRV, it pushes against the diaphragm, causing it to expand.
This causes a small hole in the center of the diaphragm to open up, allowing some of the water to enter the PRV.
Once the water has entered the PRV, the diaphragm closes off this opening again.
This prevents too much water from flowing into the PRV.
Second, there is a spring inside the PRV. As the water pressure changes, the spring contracts and expands.
This action opens and closes the shut-off valve inside the PRV.
The spring keeps the shut-off valve closed until the water pressure reaches a certain point.
At that point, the spring forces the shut-off valve open, letting some of the water into the PRV.
Once this happens, the spring returns to its normal position, closing off the shut-off valve.
Why Should I Have My Pressure Regulator Serviced?
Your pressure regulator should be serviced every year at least.
If you don’t have regular maintenance done on your pressure regulator, it could fail sooner than expected.
In addition, if you notice any unusual noises when the water is running or any leaks around the PRV, then you should contact us immediately.
How Long Does It Take To Install A Pressure Reducing Valve?
It usually takes one person about 30 minutes to install a pressure-reducing valve.
However, if your home does not have access to power, or if you have a very old house with damaged pipes, then installation may take longer.
We recommend that you hire a professional plumber for larger jobs like installing a new PRV.
Should You Adjust The Pressure?
If you live in an area where the water pressure is low, then you might want to adjust the pressure of the water going into your home.
By adjusting the pressure of the water, you can lower the amount of force needed to push the water through your pipes.
If you live in an area with high water pressure, then you probably do not need to adjust the pressure of your water.
Most people who live in areas with high water pressure already have their water pressure set correctly.
What Is The Difference Between A Pressure Reducing Valve And A Water Softener?
A pressure-reducing valve is used to reduce the pressure of incoming water. A water softener works differently.
Instead of reducing the pressure of incoming water, a water softener adds minerals to the water.
The added minerals make the water softer, which makes it easier to use in showers, sinks, washing machines, etc.
What Are Some Of The Different Types Of Pressure Reducing Valves Available Today?
There are many different types of pressure-reducing valves available today. These include:
1) Manual – These are the most common type of pressure-reducing valve. They are easy to operate and require no electricity.
However, they cannot automatically turn off after a period of time.
2) Electric – These are similar to manual valves, but they have automatic timers that allow them to shut off after a specified period of time.
3) Electronic – These are also called “smart” valves because they contain electronics that help control the flow of water.
They can automatically turn off after a specified period.
4) Automatic – These valves automatically turn off after a specific period of time.
5) Programmable – These valves are programmable so that you can change the settings from day to night, or week to weekend.
6) Dual Stage – These valves work similarly to electronic valves, except that they can be adjusted manually as well.
7) Single Stage – These valves only let water enter the house once the pressure has reached a certain level.
This means that there will never be too much water coming out of the faucet.
8) Variable Flow Rate – These valves have adjustable flow rates. This allows you to control
how fast the water flows out of the faucets.
9) Low-Flow – These valves have a low flow rate. This means that less water comes out of the faucet than other valves.
10) High-Flow – These valves come with higher flow rates than standard valves.
11) Temperature Sensitive – These valves sense when the temperature of the water changes.
For example, if the water gets cold, then these valves will slow down the flow of water.
12) Anti-Backflow Device (ABD) – These valves prevent the backflow of water.
Backflow occurs when the water goes backward through the pipe system.
It happens when someone flushes the toilet without turning on the main water supply first.
13) Reverse Osmosis Filter – These valves remove contaminants from the water before it enters the home.
14) Rainfall Sensor – These valves sense when rain falls. When this happens, they stop the flow of water until the rain stops falling.
15) Leak Detector – These valves detect leaks in the pipes. If a leak is detected, then the valve shuts off immediately.
16) Water Softening System – These valves add minerals to the water. This helps soften the water for easier cleaning.
Why Adjust Your Pressure Reducing Valve?
The reason why you would want to adjust your pressure-reducing valve is that it may not be working properly.
There are several reasons why this could happen. These include:
• The valve may be clogged.
• The valve may need to be replaced.
• The valve could be damaged.
• You may not know what kind of valve you have.
If any of these things apply to you, then you should contact a professional plumber.
How To Adjust Your Pressure Reducing Valve
Adjusting your pressure-reducing valve does not have to be a huge challenge – there are just a few simple steps to follow.
- Turn Off The Main Water Supply
Before adjusting your pressure-reducing valve, make sure that the main water supply is turned off.
This will ensure that no water is flowing into the pipes and causing damage.
- Locate The Valve
You will need to locate where the valve is located. This is usually found near the top of the sink or bathtub (see also ‘ Why Your Bathtub Won’t Hold Water ‘).
- Remove The Handle
Next, you will need to remove the handle from the valve. This is done by unscrewing the handle from the valve body.
- Check The Position Of The Valves
Next, check which direction the handles are pointing. If both handles point towards each other, then the valve is set correctly.
If one handle points up while the other points down, then the valve needs to be adjusted using the adjustment nut.
- Replace The Handle
Once you have determined which way the handles are pointing, replace them. Make sure that the new handles match the old ones.
- Connect The New Handles
Now that you have replaced the handles, connect them to the valve. Once you do this, turn the water back on.
- Test The Functionality Of The Valve
Now that you have connected the handles to the valve, test its functionality. Turn the water on slowly and see how it works.
If the valve still doesn’t work, then you can call a professional plumber. Otherwise, you can now use the bathroom normally!
- Test Your Water Pressure
After you have finished using the bathroom, test your water pressure. If it’s too low, then you might need to increase the pressure.
How To Increase Water Pressure In Your Home
To increase your water pressure, you will first need to find out if your house has an existing water pressure problem.
If so, then you will need to contact a professional plumber to fix the issue.
If your house already has a good water pressure, then you can try increasing the pressure yourself using one of a few simple, common plumbing fixtures.
Some of the easiest ways to increase water pressure in your home include:
- Installing A Booster Pump
A booster pump increases the flow rate of water through your plumbing system.
It also allows more water to pass through your pipes at once.
- Adding More Water Pipes
Installing additional piping can help reduce the amount of time it takes for water to travel throughout your entire home, and so the more water pipes you have the better the pressure.
- Replacing Faucets With A High-Pressure Model
If you want to increase the pressure of your faucet, you can replace it with a high-pressure model.
These faucets allow for faster flow rates than standard models.
What Is A Water Pressure Regulator?
The water pressure regulator controls the flow of water through your pipes.
It helps prevent leaks and reduces the chance of bursting pipes.
Water Pressure Regulators Explained
There are many different types of water pressure regulators available.
They all serve the same purpose – they regulate the flow of water through a pipe.
There are two main types of water pressure regulators:
- Manual Water Pressure Regulators
These manual water pressure regulators are used when there is no electricity.
They consist of a lever that must be manually pulled or pushed to open or close the valve.
- Electric Water Pressure Regulators
Electric water pressure regulators are used whenever there is electricity.
They usually consist of a switch that turns the water on and off.
How Do You Know Which Type Of Water Pressure Regulator Is Right For You?
You should choose a type of water pressure regulator based on what kind of plumbing system you currently have.
If you don’t know whether you have a manual or electric water pressure regulator, then you should ask your local plumber.
Water pressure is essential for every household.
When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, having enough water pressure is just as important as having clean drinking water.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your home has sufficient water pressure, keep things running smoothly and ensure great overall plumbing health: all without worrying about excess pressure, or not having enough pressure to run your washing machine or enjoy a long, hot shower!