main water line has two pressure regulators???

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by tikicarver, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. tikicarver

    tikicarver New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Tehachapi, CA
    I found out I have two pressure regulators installed on the main water line, I'm guessing this is not normal.
    Is there a reason to do this?

    He is what I have, water meter, gate valve, pressure regulator, 100ft of 1 1/4 PVC, then at entrance of house, 1" copper, gate valve, pressure regulator.

    I have to replace the main PVC line because it has a leak. Where is the pressure regulator normally located?

    Also, I measured the pressure after the second regulator and is is 90 PSI.
    That seems a little high to me.
    what should it be?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,245
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Two regulators are normally used when the initial pressure is extremely high. If the house is much higher than the meter, the regulator should go at the house to avoid losing pressure due to elevation. A regulator at the house is also, usually, easier to adjust, maintain, and replace.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Norm is 40 to 80....90 is a tad too high. As mentioned by the Oracle from Sedona....it is preferred to NOT step down nearly the full range of a reducing valve in one step. If your street pressure is over 200, that would be reason to use two. They would normally NOT be the same model #
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    If you read the specs on most PRV's, they have a limit on the max pressure drop that they can achieve. So, with high pressure, it may be necessary to do it in steps.
  5. tikicarver

    tikicarver New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Tehachapi, CA
    At my house the water meter is up a hill and is actually higher than my roof line.
    I measured right after the meter and it was 90 PSI, then meassured after the regulator at the
    entrance of the house and it was 90 PSI, so looks like they are both set at 90 PSI.
    I also measured at the opposite end of the house at a hose bib and it was about 80 PSI.

    So if I adjust them, what should I do,
    Lower both or just lower the one at the house.
    There is 100ft between the meter and the house.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,245
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    A regulator at the meter protects the house line from high pressures if you have a pipe that could be affected by them then that is where to put it. Otherwise, you will get the best service from one at the house, and for your situation, if you have described it properly, you only need one of them. Both of yours are probably broken.
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,298
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Many folks think high pressure is good, but this is not true. Pressure that is too high damages things like toilet and washer valves. There is no hard rule about what pressure should be, but somewhere around 60 psi is plenty, but a bit higher or lower is OK, too. I believe HJ has many the correct call as usual. You need a new PRV at the house and get rid of the one at the meter.
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    It's possible one or both are working. You might want to call the utility company and ask them what the street pressure range usually is in your area. Also, you could check with a neighbor. But, they both could be toast. Anything above 80psi should be regulated to a max of 80.
  9. tikicarver

    tikicarver New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Tehachapi, CA
    I seem to remember checking the pressure when I moved in 3 years ago and it was not at 90psi.
    I'm guessing the one at the meter failed recently and that is why I developed a leak right after the regulator where the pipe switched to PVC.
    One of the joints was leaking. So i fixed that and the next day i came back to check if everything was still good and I noticed the little triangle on the
    meter was moving very slow. Long story short, I have a 6 gal/hr leak in the PVC line that goes to the house. No visible wet spots, and to make things more fun it
    runs down a steep hill, under a retaining wall and a side walk. Had a phone quote of approx $3000 to do a trenchless replacement.
    Can't afford that so i decided to run a new line.

    From what I gather from the above posts, I can install a new regulator right after the meter and get rid of the one at the entrance to the house.
    I like that idea because the one at the house is installed outside above ground. I live in the mountains and we get snow here. Last year the regulator froze
    I had to heat it up to get water to flow and then I wrapped it with insulation, but not a great solution.
    the other thing I'm guessing is not right, the regulator at the meter was just buried in the dirt. I didn't even know it was there til I started clearing the dirt around the meter box to find the leak.
    meter pipe.jpg house pipe.jpg
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