Finding and adjusting water pressure regulator

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by CDS, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. CDS

    CDS New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Hi all, new to the forum, hoping to get some expert advice.

    Have lived in my house for a little over a year. Water pressure seemed too high (have replaced a number of faucets/valves, water sprays out hard), so I bought a gauge to test. Sure enough, it is reading ~84 psi. So I went looking for my pressure regulator. Between the house and the meter, I found a 4 inch piece of vertical PVC in the ground. I removed the plastic cover, and about 12 inches down, there is a red handle, like for an outdoor spigot. This is inline with the supply coming into the house. I have looked in my crawlspace, and have not seen the any other valves/regulators in the line.

    Is this the pressure regulator? It doesn't look like what I have seen online. If it is, is it still clockwise to increase, counter to decrease?

    Any thoughts are appreciated.
  2. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,217
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    That sounds like a water shut-off valve to me.

    You may not even have a regulator. Your Building permit may have that info at the courthouse.

    If you add one, then you should make it so it has easy access.


    Good Luck.
  3. dj2

    dj2 Member

    Messages:
    418
    Location:
    California
    We install our pressure reducers outdoor (no fear of freezing), on the main line as it enters the house, but in your area you may need to install it indoors. Check with a local plumber.

    The instructions have details about reducing or increasing the out coming pressure, but these reducers come calibrated to around 50 psi.

    Regarding what you found: if it's a shut off valve, what good is it buried a foot deep? Also: do you know for sure if this is your main line?
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,059
    Location:
    New England
    If you do install a PRV, also install an expansion tank on the cold water line or your WH will likely start to weep water after any large hot water usage. The PRV makes the system 'closed', and when the WH warms the water, it expands, which will increase the pressure, often enough to open the safety T&P valve on the WH to keep it below 150psi...and, yes, a closed system with no other leaks can easily get enough pressure to open up that safety valve. BTW, those valves are NOT designed for regular openings, and may fail, leading to some really nasty results.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,351
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    It is my opinion that the PRV should be located inside where it is easily accessed for repair and/or adjusting. I would suggest you install a pressure gauge in the line after the PRV so you can easily see that it is still operating at the pressure you desire and adjusting is easy. A gauge is only about $15 so it is not a major expense. You can adjust the air in the expansion tank using a tire pressure gauge, but be careful adding air as the tank hold only a small volume of air and it would be easy to rupture the bladder with too much air.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I would NOT install a PRV if your pressure is only 85 psi. That is only 10 psi above what I set my PRVs when I install them. If you are replacing ANYTHING because of 85 psi pressure, you have inferior items, because they should have a working pressure of 150 psi.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,059
    Location:
    New England
    FWIW, plumbing code says household WP (in the USA) should be limited to a maximum of 80psi, so you're close. Where I grew up, before we added a PRV, the water pressure was so high it could knock the glass out of your hand if you weren't ready for it! No idea how high it was, but it was high! But, also note that water pressure can vary, sometimes quite a bit from daytime to night-time values, and your night-time reading may be considerably higher when nobody's using water and the local water company may be trying to refill any water towers around. They do sell WP gauges with a second, tattle-tale hand that records peak pressure...you might want to pick up one of those and leave it for say 24-hours or more to see what your peak is.
  8. CDS

    CDS New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Appreciate everyone's input. I will do a 24 hr test to see what the max pressure is.
  9. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,217
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    May be a bit off of topic.

    I have been looking for a PRV that you can put 30psi into and get 60 psi out.

    I Have not found one yet.

    LOL
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,059
    Location:
    New England
    They call that a pump...seriously, if, and only if, it's strictly a pressure problem, and not a volume thing, they make inline pumps with a small storage tank so the pump doesn't have to come on each time you open a faucet. They installed one on This Olde House one time, and you can probably watch the video online.
  11. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,217
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I was playing a bit Jim.

    I wanted a passive device that did not require external power to operate.

    I was wanting to get something for nothing.


    Have a Great Day.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If you can figure out how to get more pressure out of something without using power, you will be richer than the guy who invents the perpetual motion machine.
  13. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,217
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    That is very true.

    I thought I had it figured out once, Using a squirrel cage and a generator.

    After finishing my test the squirrel wanted something to eat and drink.
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