Water Pressure Regulators
Water pressure regulators are an essential component of almost every building on the public water supply. There are many different types of water pressure regulators to consider, each one made for different applications. Pressure regulators are mounted inline on the incoming water supply and can be exposed or buried. Water pressure regulators control both the water pressure and the flow rate of the incoming water supply. A damaged or worn out pressure regulator can result in destructively high water pressure in the building.
The most common indicators of a malfunctioning water pressure regulator are:
- high/low water pressure
- high/low water flow
- surging water
- banging pipes
- vibrating pipes
- leaking toilet fill valves
- leaking hot water relief valves
- broken pipes and leaking faucets
You may or may not notice the symptoms listed and these symptoms may be related to other plumbing system problems.Recommended water pressure in a home is 55 PSI; the California Plumbing Code lists the maximum safe allowable pressure at 80 PSI in any building. Most faucet, toilet and water heater manufacturers void their warranties when water pressure exceeds 80 PSI,…and if you have a home warranty, some warranty companies void your coverage if your home has excessive pressure.
The life expectancy of a water pressure regulator is most commonly in the range of 10 to 15 years. However, you will see a regulator malfunction at 3 years and you will see a regulator still working at 20 years old. Most manufacturers recommend swapping the valve every 5 years and most plumbing contractors would suggest you change the valve every 10 years. The operation of a regulator is basically the action of a spring and rubber gasket. After open and closing thousands of times, it will eventually wear out like any other moving part. The following pictures are some of the most common types of water pressure regulators valves.