What is this- check valve? Pressure Regulator?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by buckyswider, Jul 12, 2021.

  1. buckyswider

    buckyswider Member

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    Nov 22, 2016
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    So now that the well is working, there is a small leak. Not a huge deal, since it's an outdoor well, but would like to get it repaired. It's in the location where one is supposed to (based on my 10 minutes of research!) find a check valve, but it more looks like a PRV, based on the spring, outlet, and adjustment bolt. But I can't find anything matching it on any PRV search (nor even any PRV with a female connection). In the pic, the flow is from right to left- that plastic pipe connecting to the mystery valve is directly from the pump side. Any clues? Thanks!
     

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  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Pressure relief valve. The purpose is to limit the pressure if the pressure switch fails closed.

    The "PRV" term is usually used to stand for pressure reducing valve.
     
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  4. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Tighten the adjustment bolt until it stop leaking.
     
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  5. buckyswider

    buckyswider Member

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    thanks! and I think I knew that about "PRV"- just had a brain fart. Happens too much these days :(
     
  6. buckyswider

    buckyswider Member

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    Thanks! I was tweaking the "adjustment bolt", thinking that it's that small bolt on the top. But I took that full run both ways, and it comes off fully, and seems to just be a cap of some sorts. is the larger hext bolt on top of the body how this thing is adjusted???
     
  7. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

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  8. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Like worth says, if tightening the adjustment bolt doesn't help, the PRV is just worn out.
     
  9. buckyswider

    buckyswider Member

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    Pennsylvania
    Thanks guys. So that acorn bolt on top is *not* the adjustment bolt I assume? Thinking that may just be some sort of keeper for the actual adjustment bolt on top of the body? I don't want to put a wrench on that and attempt to turn it if that's not really it. Could end poorly!!

    As far as a replacement goes: I was trying to figure out the thread size for a replacement. Had yet another brain fart- instead of using my caliper, I wrapped a piece of string around it in the threads, measure that, then divided by 3.14, and came up with 1.035 inches. So I figured it was a 1". Then upon further review, I noted that it seemed much smaller than the two in-line connections, which are known to be 1". Then I found a chart that tells me that the OD of 3/4" NPT is 1.050". Close enough for me!

    But I digress...my question about the replacement: Not that I'm wanting to cheap out, but there's fixed 75PSI valves for under ten bucks ( https://www.supplyhouse.com/Bluefin-RFV075-75-3-4-Brass-Relief-Valve-75-PSI-Non-Adjustable-Lead-Free) . What is a good/proper setting for a setup where the system pressure is 50PSI? (pump turns on at 40, off at 50).

    Thanks again!
     
  10. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    3/4" is the most common size of PRV. 75 PSI is exactly what you need with a 40/60 switch. But even that one is adjustable by removing the cap and turning the adjustment bolt.
     
  11. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    A pressure switch is typically setup with a 20 psi differential (ie: 40/60).

    If your pressure gauge is indicating 50 psi, suggest replacing the gauge as it appears to be not in the best condition.
     
  12. buckyswider

    buckyswider Member

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    Those settings are confirmed by the current owner* of the well who was involved with the install back in 2004. He recalled what the settings were and the gauge proves him out.


    *- long story- there's a 2 acre parcel directly behind my barn (and the two properties on either side of me) where the well sits. The well is actually is 30' behind my barn. It was owned by the neighbor to my right. He and neighbor on the left were best friends. They installed the hobby well together (along with a well drilling company). Neighbor on right unfortunately passed away about 8 years ago. Neighbor on left bought the parcel from the heirs. House on right was sold- power for the well came from that house, so the well wasn't used for a bunch of years until last year I brought an electrician in to tie it to my barn's service. Now we're in the process of getting things running again. Neighbor on left is a hardcore engineer who built municipal sewage plants in his day. He's 83 and retired now with a really bad back. He remembers most everything about the install, but had no recollection of the pressure relief valve. So we're working together to get things back up and running, with me being the eyes and ears most of the time since his mobility is limited (he is waiting on a golf cart to make getting around the properties easier!). We have a verbal agreement in place for me to purchase the land & well eventually, just waiting on me to collect sufficient funds. We are also going to plumb the well to my property for irrigation this summer (he still owns a backhoe and can operate it with the best!).
     
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  13. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Not everybody, including me, has a pressure relief valve. If the current one leaks, then a new cheap one should be fine.

    I think a 75 psi relief valve with a 30/50 psi system is probably OK. Some may worry that your pump could not top 75 psi if the pressure switch failed. A problem in that case could be that the motor could get hot due to lack of water flow and melt the pvc casing. Or you over-stretch your pressure tank diaphragm. I think pressure tank diaphragms would generally survive that one-time stretch.

    You can run a pipe from the 3/4 FIP output of the valve to a place where you would rather have the water.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2021
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    Not sure what you think is the adjuster. Post a closeup of what is revealed when the cap is removed. My guess is the adjuster is under the cap and not that large hex plug into which the cap screws.

    My guess is the seal is failing and that it is not an adjustment issue. The clue would be if it still leaks as the pressure drops closer to the pump start pressure.
     
  15. buckyswider

    buckyswider Member

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    Nov 22, 2016
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks, good call. There's a slot on top of the threaded rod that the acorn nut covers. That's the adjustment. Was able to back it out to find approximately where 50lb was. But it still leaked when turned all the way in at the highest setting. So yep, needs replacement.
     
  16. buckyswider

    buckyswider Member

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    Nov 22, 2016
    Location:
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    Great, thanks! Will talk it over with the neighbor and order something soon.

    Was thinking about running a pipe/house to/through the outer wall and hooking up a water gong, if I can procure one at a reasonable cost (being in the fire service may make that easier!). That would be pretty funny. Especially considering when they built the little structure they designed it to look like an outhouse- complete with a half-moon on the door!! :D
     
  17. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Nice!
    Potential freezing problem?
    Maybe tee off one to the water gong (never heard of that before), and have a higher pressure unit send the water back down the well if the well house is over the well. If the well house is not over the well, maybe send the higher pressure overflow out the side of the building up several feet. That won't freeze up since the water will be above freezing.

    I suspect it is unlikely that the over-pressure will happen, but my experience is very limited.
     
  18. buckyswider

    buckyswider Member

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    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks! The well house is not over the well. No freezing problems (well, assuming protocols are followed!) as this is set up to be shut down and drained in the winter months. Yeah, I guess the overpressure is not a likely scenario (i guess those pressure switches don't fail that much?) but since it's there...

    Now when I took a picture to figure out the connections to the plastic HDPE, it sure looks to me that the tee below the pressure valve is cracked too :(. Doesn't look like it's leaking just yet, but I guess it should be replaced. (Zoom in to the left side if this interface allows).
     

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  19. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I think they don't fail "on" much.

    I think your "crack" might be a spider web etc.
     
  20. buckyswider

    buckyswider Member

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    ;);););):eek::oops:o_O:oops::(:p

    It sure was! Went out and brushed it off and the "crack" is gone!!

    Now I know why orthopods insist on clinical exams to corroborate finding in images!!!
     
  21. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
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    Lubbock, Texas
    Pressure switches do fail in the on position. It only takes once to burn up your pump. The pressure relief valve is there not so much to limit the pressure on the plumbing as to release some water to keep the pump cool in the case the switch sticks in the on position.
     
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