Re: Pressure Reducing Valves ...
Posted by Don on March 04, 2004 at 19:05:13:
Dear Posters and Plumbers,

I live in a four story wood framed building in Vancouver, BC. The builing is about 10 years old and houses
41 suites. I am a member of the strata council and have asked two seperated plumbing contractors to investigate
a problem with our pressure reducing valve (PRV). As far as I can tell, it has never been serviced. It is
badly corroded on the exterior. And our building has experienced several problems with leaking copper pipes
and water flow noises in the walls over the past few years.

On either side of the PRV there are two gauges. The city water supply, which stays relatively constant at
100 PSI, and the down-stream side for the building which stays at 60 PSI when the system is static. We are
experiencing fluctuations of a maximum of 30 PSI during peak load periods. (i.e) in the morning hours
and the dinner hours between 0500PM and 0700PM. I have witnessed this myself by observing the gauges.

It was suggested to me by both contactors that clearly there is a problem with the PRV, and it is due for
a check up. Fluctuations in building pressure should be kept to a minimum to reduce stress on water
consuming appliances ( such as toilets and in suite washing machine hoses, etc) Fluctuations should be
no more than 5 to 10 PSI.

Unfortunately alot of the contracting work on condomiums in the Vancouver area during the eighties
and through the nineties was shoddy to say the least.

If you are a condo owner, and an active member of coucil, you might want to make sure your
PRV is being monitored for normal activity. This is usually performed by a contrated maintenance company
which should be doing quarterly inspections of the buildings heating, plumbing and ventalation systems
AND, submitting their reports to council for review.

To date I have spoken with the company that performs regular maintenance on our building, as well as
another contractor. They both agreed that this fluctuation in pressure should be corrected.

Hmmm....thinking about changing maintenance companies.

Hope this helps anyone on the board that is having similar problems. I don't claim to be an expert on
PRV's, but I did learn a few things.

Comments welcome.


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