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Does My Home Need a Water Pressure Regulator?

does my home need a water pressure regulator?

Water pressure regulators, also known as a pressure-reducing valve, are important pieces of specialized plumbing that are important in many cases. The purpose of this valve is to reduce the pressure of water that comes into your house from a municipal source.

High pressure levels in your main water line can lead to issues with your plumbing fixtures such as stress leaks, joint failure, and more. Determining whether or not your home needs a regulator will depend on the pressure your main water line is entering the home at.

When To Add A Regulator

When it comes to water pressure, the measurement is done in pounds per square inch, or psi. When your water comes from a municipal source, it’s not uncommon for pressures to reach 200 psi.

If this pressure is allowed into your home, over time it can cause issues with your plumbing such as broken pipes or joints, damaged fixtures, and more. While most appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers have built-in pressure regulators, having a regulator for the main water line can add an extra layer of protection to your plumbing.

Installing a Regulator

The best place to install a regulator is at the main water line that enters your home, right after the main shutoff valve. This location ensures the regulator is able to protect all of the smaller lines within your home, and placing it just after the main shutoff valve makes it much easier for you to stop water flow when changing or performing maintenance on your regulator.

If you are replacing an existing regulator, this should be a very simple and straightforward project you can do yourself. However, if you are installing a regulator where there has not been one previously, a plumber may be required unless you are experienced in plumbing repair.

After replacing or installing the regulator, be sure to test the water pressure and adjust the regulator as needed. Keeping the pressure between 50 and 80 psi is usually a good range to keep your water within.

Maintaining a Regulator

Once installed, your regulator will need maintenance just like other plumbing fixtures in your home. A water regulator that is not maintained properly can fail, leading to further issues with your entire plumbing system.

Annual inspections of the water pressure is important to be sure the regulator does not need readjusting. Over time, the adjustment knob on a regulator may become loose and need adjusting to remain fully effective.

If annual checks are not done, the regulator can fail to do its job of restricting the psi to your home. This can lead to high pressures of water causing damage to plumbing and joints around your toilet, faucets, and more.

If you just moved into a new  home and aren’t sure how to check your existing regulator or if your water heater is malfunctioning, contacting a plumber should be your first step. It’s a very simple inspection that can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs later.