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Thread: Water Pressure issues

  1. #1

    Default Water Pressure issues

    I need help. My water pressure stinks, always has in this house. I am pretty sure it is not the piping, I had all of the polybutene removed and copper replaced when I had a house fire in 2003.

    I think I need to play with the the pressure regulator and see if that makes a difference. I only have a couple of problems:

    1: I need to know where to look for it
    2: I need to know how to measure the current pressure
    3: I need to know how to adjust it if it IS low
    4: I need to make sure I don't make my pipes explode as I tend to get carried away, especially when I have been deprived of a high pressure shower for so long.

    If this is not the best approach please let me know, as I have very little plumbing knowledge. Please help.

  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    The pressure regulator for city water is anywhere from the water meter to just inside the house. If you have your own well, it is the pressure switch that controls the well pump.

    You need to get a pressure gauge that screws on an outside faucet. The check both the static water pressure, no water running, and the dynamic pressure, when you are running water. Then you adjust the pressure regulator or switch (and captive air pressure in the pressure tank). A regulator usually has a bolt with a lock nut on it, you loosen the nut and tighten or loosen the bolt. I don't know which rises or lowers the pressure.

    Don't go above 65 psi for either city or a well system.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  3. #3
    Engineer Furd's Avatar
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    This is a common water pressure regulating valve, also known as a PRV.

    Sometimes the outside hose faucets are connected BEFORE the PRV and if this is the case in your house connecting the pressure gauge here will give you the pressure from the city and not the pressure inside the house.

    You can connect the gauge to the drain on the water heater and slightly open that drain to read the pressure. A better place (in my opinion) is to temporarily connect to one of the washing machine hose connections.

    The screw (it may be a bolt) in the top of the PRV is the adjustment. First loosen the locknut and then turn the screw clockwise (while looking down on the top of the PRV) to increase the pressure and turn it counter-clockwise to lower the pressure. After setting the pressure tighten the locknut while keeping the adjustment screw from turning.
    Last edited by Terry; 10-20-2009 at 04:14 PM.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Marlin336's Avatar
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    Pressure valves are not not always used, they are only installed when their is too much pressure coming from the street. If you have one it should be right where the water comes into the house, usually they have a gauge on them or attached right after them. If you don't have one check your pressure at a hose bib and see what you have.
    What kind of line do you have coming into the house? And is your main an older gate valve?

  5. #5

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    Marlin

    You got a little too technical in your language there for a layman like me.

    I will give you what I know about my house and hopefully you can make some deductions from the data.

    House was built in 88 and I am on city water. Not sure what is coming into the house or what valve I have.

    I am plumbing challenged, so you may need to "dumbify" it for me

  6. #6
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    I just went through the same thing as you, so here is what I did. Go to Lowes, HD, any old hardware store and buy a pressure gauge that screws on to a hose bib. Maybe $9 tops, but I got one on clearance at Lowes for $4.50. Hook it up to the outside hose bib closest to your meter and check. Should read somewhere between 35 and 60 psi. Mine read 50psi. Now turn on an inside faucet and check again. This will give you the pressure drop. Probably 15psi to 30 psi difference.

    Now, if you can, check your neighbors hose bib for comparison. My neighbor had 48 psi so I knew that I was getting about the same.

    If your readings are under 50 psi or so, you can call the water company and have them check it. I did that and they found that I did not have a pressure regulator as our area does not produce enough pressure to need them. The tech actually went around and cleaned all of the faucet strainers/airators and it did help some, but I am destined to have crappy pressure unless I install a pump and expansion tank, which according to lots of folks, is just asking for trouble.

    Another issue could be the meter it self. We just got a new one installed for free and it seemed to help some. The water company here said that they last about 15-20 years tops and they want to make sure they get to charge you as much as possible. Mine was replaced last in 1986 when we bought the house so it's was about the same age as yours.

    Good luck and hope this helps.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member Marlin336's Avatar
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    The reason I asked about the type of service from the street is often older galvanized lines clog up. You should have copper which doesn't have that problem though.

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    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marlin336
    The reason I asked about the type of service from the street is often older galvanized lines clog up. You should have copper which doesn't have that problem though.

    My thoughts as well.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  9. #9
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I suggest 160 or 200 psi rated PE pipe.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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