View Full Version : Water Pressure

09-15-2005, 09:40 AM
I live in a 3 yr old home in OK. At first, no problems with water pipes. Then, we started noticing some "knocking" or "pulsing" going on with the water pipes throughout the house. This coincided with new construction in our development. The knocking has intensified recently - loud enough to wake someone up. It seems to occur when the washer is running and/or when the toilet is flushed. I hear the knocking at the kitchen sink, behind the refrigerator, and behind a wall in the master bedroom. When I turn the sink on, the water seems to pulse (like there are pressure changes back and forth) along with the knocking, if that makes sense. I called a local plumber out. He put a gauge on an outdoor faucet, closest to the city's main line. The pressure would change dramatically from around 80 to 140 to 200. He says he has never seen pressure that high. He checked 4 houses around our home and they were all a constant 80. The plumber also said that the gauge on the city line was spinning and to him that looked like the problem. Not sure if there is a regulator there that is not working. He says we should call the city immediately b/c we may experience a busted pipe with the kind of pressure. The city (some lady on the phone probably reading a computer screen) told us that it is not their problem - for some reason I wasn't surprised. We have large arrestors at the hot water tank and the home passed inspection. The plumber thinks the problem is not in the house. Any ideas on what I should do next?

09-15-2005, 09:41 AM
Not sure if the 200 psi was measured with or without banging. My wife has been dealing with this issue since I have been busy at work. We called the city out per plumber's instructions. The first time they blew us off. We called back the next day and they sent someone out. He checked the gauge out by the street, replaced it and he but the high pressure remained. He then suggested there is nothing else he can do. He told my wife something about checking the regulator inside the house and maybe adjusting it. There is a shut off valve in the closet of one of the bedrooms. Not sure if this is where the regulator he is referring to is located. We called the plumber again. He said he doesn't know what the city guy is talking about in terms of a regulator inside the house (I don't either). The plumbers says he can install a regulator outside by the gauge at the street. Cost would be $400-500. Before I spend this much, is there anything else I can try? Should I call the city back again and try to talk with someone higher up the ladder? At this point I feel like we're going in circles and at the same time the cost is increasing.

09-15-2005, 09:42 AM
One more thing. My wife is not sure if the plumber checked a regulator the first time. She knows he checked something around the hot water tank where we have a couple of big ass arrestors. City guy said there is a screw on the regulator inside the house (would this regulator be by the hot water tank or by the shutoff valve inside the closet) that can be adjusted to decrease the water pressure. Does this sound right?

Gary Slusser
09-15-2005, 10:22 AM
When you say gauge out at the street, there is no gauge out there so do you mean the meter or the curb stop shut off valve, or a pressure regulator valve?

The water company guys are talking about a pressure regulator in the house to control the pressure to a maxium of say 80 psi. And the plumber should know what a pressure regulator is so I don't understand the confusion. If you don't have a PR (pressure regulator) then you need one now BUT... the up to 200 psi water pressure is definitely a water company problem, but with the other houses being max 80.... maybe because their PR valve is working; and if you have one, it isn't.

IMO, you better get this fixed ASAP or shut off the water to your house (at the street) except when running water. Otherwise you'll have a water leak flooding your house costing many multiples of the $500 cost for whatever it is the plumber wants to install out at the street. You need a pressure regulator valve, and I'd want it at the street if it's true the water company is delivering up to 200 psi to the service line underground to your house. In many cases, you are responsible for the service line maintenance; and ALL water use past their meter.

Rereading what was said... I believe the thing that was spinning is the meter, the water company guy replaced it. The plumber wants to install a PR valve at the street, your "big ass" water hammer arrestors could possibly be causing the increased pressure, and they are not IMO, the right choice to control hammer, the velocity of the water should be controlled. That would be done by a PR valve.

Quality Water Associates

09-15-2005, 10:38 AM
If city water pressure is 200psi then Pressure Regulator is a MUST.
I just installed one myself to reduce supply water pressure from
90psi down to 50psi. Regulator itself is about $35-$45 and
half hour (no more then one hour) should be enough to install it.
$450 per hour for the job? I wish, I should be a plumber instead of
electronic design engineer.

- Vitaliy

If you are going to install PR don’t forget to install “expansion
tank” too at the same time.

Gary Slusser
09-15-2005, 11:24 AM
AH but... To install his at the curb requires excavation; which we have no idea how deep. That requires more time and expense plus there is much more potential liability in digging where undeground water lines are than simply cutting a pipe that you can see. So IMO, the proposed price is a fair price and if I did excavation at all, I'd be charging the same.

Quality Water Associates

09-15-2005, 11:52 AM
I have never sold a good regulator for anywhere near $50.00, and there have been many which took more than an hour to install, plus a bunch of fittings. It depends on how much space was left where it has to go.

09-15-2005, 12:12 PM
I meant the meter. Sorry. Arrestors were installed during initial construction. Not sure if that matters.

Plumber came back out and located the regulator. It was inside the house in the bedroom closet as the water company stated. He was probably expecting it out at the street, maybe that's why he wasn't sure what the water company was saying (and maybe my wife was unable to communicate to the plumber in correct technical terms). Like Gary, plumber says he would rather see the regulator out at the street and suggests I should consider installing one outside so I have less chance of coming home to a house underwater. He told my wife there is a rubber piece on the inside of the PR that can wear b/c of the pressure over time.

Anyway, plumber adjusted the PR and says the pressure is fine now. He turned on the washer and other running water - no more knocking. Pressure is at 85. Only problem is that my PR is inside, not outside. I am willing to bite the bullet and pay him the $435 to do this if it means less chance of a flooded home. Please advise.

P.S. Thanks. You guys are great. By the way, I was referred by someone from the john bridge tile forum. He was right, you guys are extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

09-15-2005, 12:45 PM
If city water pressure is really around 200psi (your house
must be next to the water treatment plant) I will definitely
install another PR outside the house.

I agree, in some cases PR installation could be very
complicated and time consuming.

As far as price goes, HJ I can find exactly the same things
priced very differently. For instance (talking about regulators
but this happens left and right for everything), I saw price for
Watts N35BDUS regulator as low as $30 and as high as $150.
Sure, I paid for my $30.

- Vitaliy

I am never hunting for the chipset things but from the other
side I am not paying highest price for the exactly the same
things (unless higher price also includes something really