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Thread: Water pressure regulator problem pressure increases overnight

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member igornys's Avatar
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    Default Water pressure regulator problem pressure increases overnight

    I recently discovered that water pressure in my house it too high and tried to adjust it on the water pressure regulator.

    The problem is that the pressure that I set at 50psi increases to about 80 if I check it as the first thing in the morning. I assume that there is a ‘leak’ inside the regulator and pressure rises when there is no water drain/consumption inside the house.

    As the outside pressure in our area reaches 180psi, I am considering fixing or replacing regulator to be on the safe side.

    - Would you recommend to try fixing it?
    - I see very similar looking Watts units, would you recommend using it as a replacement?





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    Last edited by igornys; 10-09-2013 at 11:29 AM.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    The majority of opinions on this forum about faulty PRVs is to replace them. Judging by the rust, yours appears to be quite old, and while repairs might be possible, I doubt if it would be worth the time and parts to do it. You have a Watts, and that is a reliable brand.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Another thing to look carefully at: the maximum pressure differential allowed on the PRV. Dropping from 180 to 50 means a differential of 130#. You may need TWO PRV's, plumbed in series to reliably reduce that pressure. Read the specs very carefully.

    With a PRV in the system, your house is what's considered a closed system, and must have an expansion tank in it. If you don't have one OR the one you have has failed, the pressure in the house will rise after any significant hot water usage when the water heater reheats all that cold water and it expands.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    You need a small expansion tank to give water a place to go when it expands due to heat. There are several threads you might find on the topic.

    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...sure-Regulator
    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...k-Installation
    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/show...m-San-Diego%29
    Last edited by Reach4; 10-09-2013 at 02:04 PM.

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    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    Another vote to replace it.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Whether you replace the valve or not, you need the expansion tank. A regulator/PRV with "Thermal Expansion Bypass Technology" is not going to change that since you have unusually high input pressure.

    I suggest you crack open a faucet a tiny bit. If the pressure drops to what the regulator is supposed to be adjusted to, I think it is very likely that the regulator is fine.

    I vote to just add the expansion tank until there is a symptom that a regulator might cause. Nobody is going to vote that you not add an expansion tank.

  7. #7
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    As I said, if you don't have an ET - OR the one you have has failed, you should add one and this may solve your problem. With that high of an incoming water pressure, the PRV may not work, or work very long with that large of a pressure differential, which is why, in some cases, you need two, each one dropping the pressure part way to achieve a stable value and not wear out or fail quickly. The seals and springs in the thing have limits...you may be exceeding them.

    Also note that it is not uncommon for the system supply pressure to rise at late night when they are refilling reservoirs and towers. That, combined with little use, can mean the pressure at late night is quite a bit higher, stressing the PRV even more.
    Last edited by jadnashua; 10-09-2013 at 03:29 PM.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member igornys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by igornys View Post
    As for the tank itself, the previous one was installed ~1 month ago by a plumber who replaced the old water heater and the original Amtrol tank. Not pre-charged + almost 90 psi water pressure made it failed soon (the tank installed was not Amtrol, but some noname ).

    This is why I started looking on-line to better understand what was done wrong. I hope I did it right now, also pre-charged and lowered the water pressure.

    ... my journey started in a different thread some time ago – now I do have a working expansion tank.

    It is good to know that there is a maximum pressure differential allowed on the PRV. It looks like this LF25AUB-Z3 Watts units will perfectly handle it.

    Now another question – the regulator is installed in a place that is difficult to access. I am now considering calling a professional plumber or using a push-in fitting like “sharkbite”.

    What would you recommend?
    Last edited by igornys; 10-09-2013 at 07:53 PM.

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Sharkbites work if you prep the pipe properly (i.e., a square clean cut and deburr the edge). This is important, or you may damage the O-ring, which is what creates the seal. Soldering things in is more robust, as things won't rotate with a soldered connection, while they can with a Sharkbite. You can't solder if there's still water in the pipes, so that can make the push-on fitting quicker and easier, but they are more expensive than a conventional fitting.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  10. #10
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I would not use a Sharkbite for this. Maybe they would work and be dependable, but I'd sure want a sure solid connection. Sharkbites are designed for DIY. I doubt if a real plumber would even consider their use. The PRVs I am familiar with have a union fitting on one end, and I'd install a new PRV using at least one union.

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    DIY Junior Member igornys's Avatar
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    I would also prefer to solder, however, as I mention before the PVR is mounted the way that it is very difficult to access/solder. In this case I will not trust myself to do it as DIY job unless I use “sharkbite” or similar (even if it would be possible to re-use the existing union on one side).

    As for the price for “sharkbite” – in my case price for the two connectors (I guess about $30), will be still much less than calling a plumber (I guess, $100+)
    Last edited by igornys; 10-10-2013 at 03:20 AM.

  12. #12
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I have no experience with these, but Sharkbite does have a PRV in various sizes. They do not (or I didn't find it) have a full spec sheet on it, you may need to call them... http://www.sharkbite.com/product/eb4...e-connections/
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member igornys's Avatar
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    I would rather consider Watts PRV + SharkBite connector on one side (I will be probably able to re-use existing union on another side).

    Do you know if Sharkbyte are permitted for that kind of work?

  14. #14
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Even new PRV's have what is called "creep". If they sit long enough, some of the high pressure on the inlet side will "creep" through the seat and increase the pressure on the discharge side. Without an expansion tank it only has to "creep" through about a thimble full of water to greatly increase the pressure. The expansion tank should hold 1/2 gallon, and prevent the pressure increase from "creep" and from thermal expansion.

  15. #15
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; I suggest you crack open a faucet a tiny bit. If the pressure drops to what the regulator is supposed to be adjusted to, I think it is very likely that the regulator is fine.

    That is the test for a FAUTLY regulator to see how quickly the pressure increases, BUT, a faulty regulator would normally keep rising until the pressure was equal to the upstream side, although it may NOT be as high as you stated.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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