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Pressure Reducing Valve

Have you ever thought, “I wish my water pressure wasn’t so high?high?high? Probably not. No one wants a low-pressure shower. As a homeowner, you probably have the last thing on your mind when it comes to reducing water pressure. Sometimes, however, the water coming into our homes is under so much pressure that it puts our plumbing systems at risk. Excessive water pressure can result in leaks, floods, and damaged appliances. Your home’s entire water system is also shortened by high water pressure – from pipes and water heaters to dishwashers and showerheads. Having too much pressure will inevitably cost you money. It is possible to prevent costly repairs and damages by controlling the pressure in your home with a pressure reducing valve.

In this guide, you’ll discover how pressure reducing valves work and why they’re so important.

What is a Pressure Reducing Valve?

A pressure reducing valve’s genius is that it regulates the flow of water according to a specific pressure. If your area’s municipal water pressure spikes suddenly, the diaphragm and spring in the valve will tighten, and you’ll still have a consistent amount of pressure in your home.

Most municipal water mains pump water at extremely high pressures – sometimes over 100 psi. It is common for local water companies to increase their pressure in order to supply water to hard-to-reach places, such as high-rise buildings and high-altitude neighborhoods.

Over time, however, water pressure above 80 psi can damage your pipes, fixtures, and appliances.

The pressure reducing valve is usually already installed in homes built after the 1980s. These valves aren’t indestructible, though. Over ten years old pressure reducing valves should be replaced.

What is the cost of a pressure reducing valve?

Valve pressure reducers start at around $50. A professional plumber will probably charge you around $350 to install a pressure reducing valve. You can purchase one and install it yourself if you’re the hands-on type. The process is quite involved and often requires cutting out a section of your main water line and soldering on the valve.

How to Check Your Home’s Water Pressure

An accurate reading of your water pressure can be obtained using a pressure gauge if you suspect there might be a problem at home. It’s easy to install a pressure gauge – just screw it onto one of your outdoor spigots. You can check your home’s water pressure by opening the spigot. Many hardware and home improvement stores carry gauges.

Smart water security systems, such as Aira Euro Automation, monitor your home’s water pressure in real-time, detecting even the slightest fluctuations with daily automatic health tests. Smart Water Shutoff can even detect leaks as small as one drop per minute, allowing you to prevent even the smallest drips from turning into big problems. In addition, fixtures in your home are also monitored for water usage, which is extremely useful for identifying leaks and their sources.

The importance of pressure

All fixtures, appliances, and pipes in your home were built to withstand a certain amount of water pressure, typically 60-80 psi. If high pressures are constantly applied to showerheads, toilets, faucets, appliances, water heaters, and pipe joints, they will wear out and eventually malfunction.

Is there a bottom line? It’s expensive to use high pressure. Not only do you have to worry about replacing fixtures and appliances more frequently, but you also run the risk of small leaks forming in hard-to-detect places. Small leaks can cause structural water damage and black mold.

Conversely, if a pipe bursts or your washing machine hose rips, you could end up with a massive leak. This might happen shortly after you leave for work or during the weekend.

Aside from catastrophic events, high water pressure is just expensive in general. When water pressure in your home is consistently high, you use more water for every day-to-day water-related function. Showers and toilet flushes use more water than necessary, which increases your water bill and harms the environment.

See how high water pressure affects different areas of your home:

Water expands when it heats up. Under normal conditions, a water heater can deal with this expansion. There is even an expansion tank on most water heaters that handles the expansion of the water during heating.

There may be too much water in the tank if your water pressure is too high. When that water starts heating up and expanding, and there’s nowhere to go, you can probably guess what happens next.

The result may be a leak or, even worse, a burst water tank. It is not uncommon for a burst water tank in your basement to result in thousands of dollars in water damage repairs, not to mention the cost of replacing the tank.

Machines and other appliances for washing

The inlet hoses are the most vulnerable part of these appliances. These hoses can crack under too much pressure and suddenly become separated from the appliance, resulting in leaks and floods.

Furthermore, high water pressure puts extra strain on your washing machine and dishwasher. Even if you don’t have a hose rupture, your appliances won’t last as long if they’re constantly stressed. Water-using home appliances are usually designed to withstand water pressures of no more than 80 psi.

Fixtures and toilets

Toilets and other plumbing fixtures are designed to handle pressures of around 80 psi, like your appliances.

Your toilet may run constantly due to high water pressure, wasting thousands of gallons of water each year. High water pressure can also damage the flushing mechanisms in your toilet tank.

When under pressure, fixtures like faucets and showerheads can leak. These fixtures were not designed to handle high water pressure since their cartridges weren’t built to do so. The sounds of leaking, spitting, and banging (water hammer) when you turn off the fixtures are all symptoms of high water pressure.

Leaks and bursts in pipelines

Our pipes are great at telling us if our water pressure is too high. Have you ever heard a loud banging noise coming from your pipes when you shut off the water? Water hammer occurs when fast-moving water suddenly stops in your plumbing system. This does not happen under normal pressure.

Your pipe joints are particularly susceptible to stress from high pressure running through them. Your pipe might have a small leak that goes undetected for a long time. Invisible leaks can compromise your home’s structural integrity and encourage the growth of toxic black mold.

Also Read Understanding the forms of shower valves

Water Detectors with Smart Technology

In the event of leaks within your home. Whether they come from your washing machine or your sink, leak-detection devices. That alerts you as soon as moisture detects. So you can prevent costly and harmful water damage. As part of the Aira Euro Automation system, Smart Water Detectors are separate from the Shutoff, but still, alert your smartphone and set off an audible alarm from the device if they detect moisture or changes in humidity. Furthermore, if you have a Shutoff, it will even work with it to automatically shut off your home’s water to prevent serious damage. 

Conclusion

Normal water pressure is vital to maintaining a healthy plumbing system in your home, just like healthy blood pressure is vital to your health. When left unchecked, high water pressure will wear out just about everything in your plumbing system. I hope you have clear the importance of this pressure reducing valve. It is very under rating by common men.

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