One of the most important plumbing devices in your home is the Pressure Regulator, or Pressure Relief Valve. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t recognize how essential it actually is to keeping your home plumbing in working order.
I’d recommend you ask your plumber, upon every visit, to check the pressure the valve is outputting.
In short, your home’s Pressure Regulator helps stabilize the high pressure of city waterlines to be usable by your home’s plumbing network. The valve, using an internal diaphragm, increases or decreases the incoming pressure to an acceptable output, in our case, the valve is ranged between 25 to 75 PSI.
This valve can most commonly be found by your water main shutoff.
Note: You can adjust the pressure coming into your home using a simple screw, usually located on top of the regulator. Use this to increase or decrease the pressure within your regulators range.
How do I know if my Pressure Regulator is malfunctioning? Many common plumbing failures can be attributed to a failing regulator; particularly issues related too excess or lack of water pressure.
For example, if a faucet is leaking water that may be a sign of too much pressure coming into your home. An extreme example may be your shower no longer spraying water, likely caused by low pressure (or no pressure at all). Usually, the symptoms of a failing regulator will appear in multiple areas of your home, since the entire pressure system would be affected.
Fortunately, testing your home water pressure regulator is usually as simple as using a standard plumbing pressure gauge. This gauge can be affixed to any valve on your home’s plumbing network, but be sure the valve you are gauging is actually a part of the home’s pressure system (as an example, your home irrigation may be on a separate pressure system).
A good rule of thumb is to use your water heater valve to gauge the pressure of the home. As long as the measured pressure is within your valve’s range, your home’s pressure regulator is operating as expected.
What might cause the valve to stop working?Regulator issues can be caused by a number of things, but for simplicity we will outline 3 common problems.
Pressure Set Too Low:Since your regulator operates in a range you can set manually, it may be too low to begin with. This problem could become worse depending on how you use water in your home. If you feel your pressure is constantly limited across the home, consider that the regulator may simply be set too low.
Blockages:As with any pipe or regulator in your home’s plumbing, blockages may arise. As you can see in our video, the regulator is usually fairly small so a blockage could occur fairly easily. If you’ve noticed a sudden change in your home’s pressure, I’d suggest considering blockage as the cause.
Short Cycling:If your regulator or portions of your plumbing pump turn off and on at unpredictable intervals, it may be short cycling. This problem would present itself as pressure ‘flickering’, or random changes in pressure from low to high and high to low.
Having problems with your regulator?Fortunately, CRC Plumbing has years of experience in serving Thousand Oaks residents with regulator repair and diagnostics. It’s one of the many services we’re proud to offer.
We’re happy to help with your troubles, so please feel free to contact us.