Water Pressure and the PRV
Most plumbers rarely ever hear that water pressure is too high. Complaints about water pressure usually involve water pressure that is way too low. Despite the common issues with water pressure, there are several great reasons to install a pressure reducing valve in your home or business.
What is a Pressure Reducing Valve?
These small devices are designed to offer some resistance to water coming into a home or office. These have diaphragms that are spring loaded to help with the resistance. These are usually installed near the point of entry. Most plumbers will set them to 45 pounds per square inch, but adjustable pressure reducing valves can be set anywhere between 30 and 80 pounds per square inch (psi). They are extremely affordable to install, so with the savings on your water bill, you will quickly recoup any installation expenses.
Installing a pressure reducing valve can save a serious amount of water. Families can save thousands of gallons of water each year by turning down their water pressure by 10 psi. Some communities will actually reward customers who use pressure reducing valves with rebates on water usage.
Test Your Own Water Pressure
If you are unsure of your water pressure, it is quite easy to measure it in your home. You simply need a water pressure gauge on an exterior faucet. You can check out the numbers throughout the day and week to see how consistent the pressure is. If you find that your pressure is around 100 psi, then one pressure reducing valve is needed. However, if you have extremely high water pressure, that reads around 200, then you might need two pressure reducing valves.
Care for Your Appliances
Water is expensive and is often wasted. When water pressure is too high for appliances, the lifespan of appliances can be greatly reduced. Instead of buying new appliances every few years due to high water pressure, a pressure reducing valve can help you save money on your water bills and on appliance repair or replacement expenses. Now that kitchen appliances can cost thousands of dollars, adding a pressure reducing valve can protect that investment.
Protect Your Fixtures
Not only does high water pressure affect the life of expensive kitchen appliances, but it can also wreak havoc on fixtures, too. Whether you are taking a shower or washing your hands, it is true that you need water pressure to get the soap off of your body and hands, but water pressure that is too high can also damage those fixtures. You do not need to take a trickle shower, but paying attention to the performance of your fixture is wise, especially now that fixtures cost hundreds of dollars. Now that water is in shorter supply than it has ever been before, using a little less in your shower and in your sinks does your community some good.
Install at Your Supply Lines
Since most homeowners and business owners have no idea what their supply line water pressure is, it can be useful to have it evaluated. Water that comes in from city lines can have different pressure depending on the age of the water mains, the size of the mains, and the amount of water that is pumped through them. Installing a pressure reducing valve on your supply lines is another way to reduce the water you use. Supply line pressure reducing valves tend to help families avoid the number one home water disaster: the burst washing machine hose! When water pressure is too high, these are generally the first accidents that happen and they tend to be some of the messiest, too.
Call Scott English Plumbing for more information.