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Thread: High Water Pressure

  1. #1

    Question High Water Pressure

    My neighborhood has relatively high water pressure. The pressure comming into my house averages 76 PSI per the water company. The pressure varies widely depending on the time of day and the surrounding usage. A realtor told me that home inspectors are sometimes recommending that buyers request water pressure valves be installed prior to closing on a home in this area. A few neighbors have experienced broken fittings [ such as toilet ] that they feel may be attributed to high pressure. The house is 2 years old and the builder says it meets all codes and pressure should not be a problem.

    Should I have a water pressure valve installed? If so how does it work?
    Today my pressure is good - for example, if the washer or other appliances are working the pressure at the shower is still good. Will the pressure at all the outlets in the house be the same after installation? Or will the pressue in the shower deminish when other appliances are on?

    Thanks , Joe

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The key thing they said is that the AVERAGE pressure is 78 pounds. At times it could be much higher. I would feel better with a pressure regulator valve. Note, this modifies your water system, and will create another situation that needs protection - if there is not an expansion tank on the inlet to the hot water tank, then one of those would need to be installed at the same time.

    A prv makes your water system "closed". ANy water that comes into the house cannot go back out. Now, you'd ask why should I care. Two reasons, it keeps any potential polution you might create (hose in a puddle and the system hiccups sucking in some water) and the hot water heater. WHen you run hot water, it gets replaced with denser cold water from the town supply. A PRV blocks water from expanding back out to the street. It has to go somewhere. Since water doesn't compress much of any, it will spike the pressure and often dump a little bit out of the T&P valve (temperature and pressure) on the water heater. This valve is just doint its job...keeping the pressure from getting too high for the device, but is very annoying. The expansion tank gives the system room to expand when required, keeping the pressure in check.

    The prv has springs and seals in it. It acts sort of like an automatic valve to adjust the pressure on the inside of the house.

    You can set the prv to whatever pressure you want, unless you have pipe sizing or restrictions, you should get essentially the same flow as you have now. I'd probably set it to say 60 pounds. Many people with pumps live with much lower pressure.
    Last edited by jadnashua; 07-29-2006 at 03:31 PM.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Inspectors need to recommend something to make the buyer, who usually pays their fee, believe they are getting something for their money.

    You should find out how the pressure is controlled. If the water supplier uses a water tower, there is a limit to what the pressure can be. There can be significant variation if your supply is off the line that they use to fill the tower. If that is the case, you will have higher pressure when they are filling and lower pressure when withdrawing.

    If you are not connected to the fill line, then your maximum pressure is limited by the maximum height of the tower.

    You should get a pressure gauge to learn what your pressure is and how it varies.

    High pressure will not break a toilet or fixture. Fixture controls and faucets control the pressure.

    Pressure control valves will reduce pressure but they are not trouble-free. They will cause some pressure loss when the flow is high. Also, you need an expansion tank to prevent excess pressure when the water heater heats a large batch of cold water.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking 78 lbs pressure

    For our city INDY , 76 lbs ....that is not too high at all.......

    I have 105 lbs comming into my house and I got it kicked down

    to 70... In other parts of our town have gone as high as 135.....

    near one water station on the north side they read 150.. in mid afternoon

    now that is HIGH!!!

    you flush your toilet and it sounds like a 747 jet takeing off

    the washing machine hoses break all the time up in that area and

    flood out houses left and right.....

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So 76 lbs isnt too bad at all... actually I think its mild........

    so its sbasically something the insepctor is just noteing for you

    to make it feel like you are getting yor moneys worth for the price

    of the inspection

    if you want to kick it down to 65 lbs, get the pressure reduceing valve

    dont fret too much about it
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 07-30-2006 at 10:27 AM.

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