Water Pressure Regulator

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by steveg91, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. steveg91

    steveg91 New Member

    Aug 14, 2006
    Hey folks, Couple of questions.........
    1. I'm going to install a ball valve and water pressure regulator outside in the front of the house. The 3/4" supply line is 24" between ground and 90 degree fitting going into wall, it runs vertically.
    I've done a fair amount of sweating on 1/2" pipe, still I'm a little leary of sweating these cuz I don't want to damage anything inside the valve or especially the WPR. Is this a valid concern?
    It seems that an alternative is to go with threaded WPR ( Watts N55B-M1 ) http://www.watts.com/pro/_productsFull_tree.asp?catId=64&parCat=285&pid=3431&ref=2
    and use a 2" brass nipple between the pieces. To connect to supply line ( on each side ), pre-sweat a screw fitting to about a 5" length of pipe, screw that into threads, wrap it with wet rags and on other end using no stop coupling to sweat into supply line.
    Is this a good way to go??? The question is will the screwed in connection hold as will the wet rag trick work and do screwed in connections hold in the long term, ( this is in San Francisco Bay Area, not too cold )----also this may look a little too hoky, or do I just sweat and be careful not to get it too hot??? If I sweat what spacing ( between both parts and between conections to supply lines ) should I use given entire length I have to work with is 24".

    Thanks so much everyone,

    ps, yes, I'll install an expansion tank at water heater.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2007
  2. GoTanklessToday

    GoTanklessToday In the Trades

    Jan 11, 2007
    Renton, WA
    Sweating isn't too difficult, but it does take a "knack" to know when the parts are just hot enough to get a good joint. A seasond plumber can do all the sweating without damaging the parts, but someone who hasn't figured out the "knack" may have problems. The rag trick can work, but not always. You're probably best off to hire this work done by a professional if you are not 100% comfortable with how to make these connections. If you do decide to proceed yourself, then I would recommend threaded valves. Use copper male adapters that have been prefab'd to 4-6 inch lengths of pipe. After they cool, tape and dope those parts and screw them into the valves. Use sweat couplings to make the connections away from the valves. Use your wet rags just in case.

    You may want to practice first on a handful of joints. Make sure you clean both fittings to be joined with grit cloth, and flux both pieces too, but use just enough to put an even coat on the fitting or pipe. Apply your heat to the fitting. A 3/4 inch joint required 3/4 inches of solder, and so on. Some guys think its necessary to feed 10 inches of solder to each joint. If the joint is clean, fluxed properly, and heated just right, it will take the solder easily, and if you are paying attention to the amount, you'll see what I mean about how little it takes to make a perfect joint. Practice a bit before hand and you'll get the knack. If your joint is all black and blue when you are done, you probably got the fitting too hot. WIPE YOUR JOINTS with wet rag after they have set up, but before they cool off too much.

    Horizontal joints are a piece of cake, its the vertical ones that you'll have the most trouble with.
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  4. norcal1

    norcal1 Plumber/Owner

    Jan 24, 2005
    Tip: If you only want to use 3/4" of solder, bend the wire 90 degrees at that distance from the end of the wire. That way you'll know how much solder has been used.

    Good luck.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    Not exactly to your question, but do you know that with a pressure regulator you will need an expansion tank? This has be discussed at length many times on this forum, so I'll try to summarize. When your water heater heats water, the water expands. Without a pressure regulator, this expansion is handled by the water supply line with no problem. A regulator has a check valve that prevents this expansion from being absorbed by the water main. The result is the pressure in the water heater builds very rapidly and very high. The T/P valve on the tank is tripped to relieve this pressure. An expansion tank installed between the regulator and water heater gives this expansion somewhere to go. They cost around $50 and are easy to install.
  6. steveg91

    steveg91 New Member

    Aug 14, 2006
    Thanks, I'm still decidin which way to go. Yes Gary, definitely I'll install an expansion tank, thanks for the tip and explanation.

  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Solder pressure regulators usually come with 2 union nuts, and if not should have them added, so you do not solder to the valve. Screw type usually only have one union, and the codes for installation REQUIRE one union on the outlet side as a minimum, although I install unions on both sides to make installation and replacement easier.
  8. steveg91

    steveg91 New Member

    Aug 14, 2006
    Thanks hj, I saw those on the website and was wondering about that, I think I'll go that route. It looks like I want this one


    is that right?; forgive my, but what is the difference between union and double union??

    As for the ball valve, what type connection would you suggest? I'm not new to sweating, but obviously not a seasoned pro either...........

    THanks so much,
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2007
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