PRV questions

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MrFloratam

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Small house, 1 full bathroom, 1 kitchen (no dishwasher), washer/dryer, 1 outdoor spigot. City water, no well.

I've been having water pressure issues since I moved into this house. Water pressure is noticeably strong everywhere in the house. I've had to replace 2 water hoses and 1 sink sprayer - both split from pressure. When the washer is running, the pipes knock/shake. The toilet refills very quickly and the bidet sprayer is harsh. Clearly, my water pressure is very high and I'd like to reduce it to preserve the aforementioned things.

I put a gauge on the outdoor spigot and it's reading 75 psi. The city water is always strong but some times of the day stronger than others. This week I will be taking more readings throughout the day to find the range. Today the water pressure seemed on the "normal" end of these fluctuations but still at 75psi. I'm assuming it will only be higher at some point.

That being said, I'd like to install a PRV and have landed on the Watts LF25AUB. In the basement, it's a 3/4" line from the city going into the meter and a 1/2" copper line feeding the house. I'm familiar with plumbing (sweating, fitting, etc.) and have always done my own work. Just had a few questions before I begin:

1.) The outdoor spigot anti-siphon and frost-free. After I connect the pressure gauge and turn on the spigot, does the inevitable pocket of air affect the accuracy of the reading on the gauge? (Since air compresses, and water doesn't) I could mitigate this by turning on the water a tiny bit and connecting the gauge while it sprays out, theoretically purging the air.

2.) I want to use a 1/2" inlet/outlet PRV, but if I can only source a 3/4" inlet/outlet PRV, is it ok to use reducing fittings to install this on a 1/2" line? Any reason not to do this?

3.) Installing a pressure gauge on the primary side and also on the secondary side of the PRV is nice - is it totally necessary?

4.) From my research, it seems I should be within 50-60psi. If I were to bring it down to 55, would the 20psi reduction be worth it? At this point, I'm already out $60+ in things destroyed by water pressure, I'm assuming the washing machine valves will be next. If I can mitigate this and prevent future issues, I'm down to spend the money and do it the right way. I'd rather get ahead of this than deal with a flood/leak.
 

Reach4

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1. Don't worry about an air pocket. It does not hurt the pressure gauge reading. But on the topic of spigots, you may want to supply the spigots with water from before the PRV.

2. Half inch is smaller than normal. While doing the job with your new PRV, you might consider going to 3/4 to the point where the hot water tees off.

3. You don't need a pressure gauge fitting, but a boiler drain will let you hook up a garden hose thread pressure gauge when you feel like it. Being able to measure the pressure before the PRV will be an item of interest. The PRV that you selected has a "bypass" feature. So you may or may not need a thermal expansion tank. Normally you need one, even with no PRV, because cities are often installing check valves at the meter. If you don't have a thermal expansion tank, read up on it or ask.

4. Worth it? I don't know. I will say that 40 PSI is generally sufficient in a house, with many people with wells having the pressure go between 30 psi and 50 psi or 40 psi and 60 psi.
 

MrFloratam

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1. Don't worry about an air pocket. It does not hurt the pressure gauge reading. But on the topic of spigots, you may want to supply the spigots with water from before the PRV.

2. Half inch is smaller than normal. While doing the job with your new PRV, you might consider going to 3/4 to the point where the hot water tees off.

3. You don't need a pressure gauge fitting, but a boiler drain will let you hook up a garden hose thread pressure gauge when you feel like it. Being able to measure the pressure before the PRV will be an item of interest. The PRV that you selected has a "bypass" feature. So you may or may not need a thermal expansion tank. Normally you need one, even with no PRV, because cities are often installing check valves at the meter. If you don't have a thermal expansion tank, read up on it or ask.

4. Worth it? I don't know. I will say that 40 PSI is generally sufficient in a house, with many people with wells having the pressure go between 30 psi and 50 psi or 40 psi and 60 psi.

1. The spigot is on the opposite side of the house so it would require a fair amount of piping to reach it (see #2 below). Also, the water hose is ridiculously powerful (I've already had several bursts/leaks in the hose) and I wouldn't mind a reduction in pressure - all I use it for is watering the garden and washing the car.

2. It's a rental so while I agree with you about re-piping (and would love to do it), it's just not practical to spend that kind of time and money on this house. My landlord won't do it. The PRV is a fairly simple/cheap job and I don't mind doing that myself so I don't have to keep replacing things that burst/leak.

3. This is a great idea - I've needed a garden hose in the basement before and had to drag it down from outside. The boiler drain idea would solve this also allow for attaching a gauge as you mention. After reading about thermal expansion tanks, it would seem that I still need to bring the pressure down and add a tank.

4. My last house was about 55psi and I was happy with it. If I could bring mine down from 75+ to around 55-60 I'd be happy.

Thank you so much for your detailed reply, it is very insightful.
 

Reach4

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What could it be?
Lack of a working thermal expansion tank.

Watch the water pressure rise when you take a hot shower, and then turn off all water use.
Also, look for water being discharged from the drain pipe on the water heater temperature and pressure relief valve. Put a container under it. That container should stay dry, but we suspect it will not. The T+P valve releases water if the pressure rises above 150 psi.

Maybe take a time lapse movie of your gauge with your phone..
 

GReynolds929

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Your landlord is the one who should be installing the PRV. As a tenant you could be liable for damages if you alter the plumbing. If he does not want to address the problem I would be backcharging for damaged property /possessions.
 

Jeff H Young

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What could it be?
I dont know ? so many odd details I never even heard of a basement house in florida , running 1/2 inch main , the list goes on . maybe its old galvinized pipe then youve got loose sloppy repair, or partial repiping. is it like an old teardown house ?
I dont mean to offend just trying to picture this project something, everything isnt your normal florida house. maybe its not even a house a trailer I just dont know or have answers. good luck maybe someone else is less mysified than me
 

MrFloratam

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Your landlord is the one who should be installing the PRV. As a tenant you could be liable for damages if you alter the plumbing. If he does not want to address the problem I would be backcharging for damaged property /possessions.

I agree completely. However there's not many options for rentals here so I either put up with it and continue replacing things at my cost or make him fix it and he raises the rent. If I push him he may just choose not to renew the lease. None are great options.
 

MrFloratam

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I dont know ? so many odd details I never even heard of a basement house in florida, running 1/2 inch main, the list goes on. maybe its old galvinized pipe then youve got loose sloppy repair, or partial repiping. is it like an old teardown house ?
I dont mean to offend just trying to picture this project something, everything isnt your normal florida house. maybe its not even a house a trailer I just dont know or have answers. good luck maybe someone else is less mysified than me.

I moved years ago and forgot to update my profile here to reflect that. It's an older (but otherwise in great shape) brick house with a basement in Ohio. The plumbing is all 1/2" copper, updated in probably the last 20 years. I think the old owner did most things himself. Aside from the small pipe size(and lack of PRV/expansion tank), everything was done well. I'd love to redo everything properly but that's not an option in this rental. I'm trying to do what I can, which at this point is to install a PRV and/or expansion tank if needed to alleviate this problem without risking my rent being raised or losing my lease because my landlord doesn't want to deal with it.

Also, there are plenty of houses in Florida with basements. Not common, but they do exist. There were several in my old neighborhood just 2 miles from the coast.
 

Jeff H Young

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I moved years ago and forgot to update my profile here to reflect that. It's an older (but otherwise in great shape) brick house with a basement in Ohio. The plumbing is all 1/2" copper, updated in probably the last 20 years. I think the old owner did most things himself. Aside from the small pipe size(and lack of PRV/expansion tank), everything was done well. I'd love to redo everything properly but that's not an option in this rental. I'm trying to do what I can, which at this point is to install a PRV and/or expansion tank if needed to alleviate this problem without risking my rent being raised or losing my lease because my landlord doesn't want to deal with it.

Also, there are plenty of houses in Florida with basements. Not common, but they do exist. There were several in my old neighborhood just 2 miles from the coast.
Well I just read something and it dosent add up. I lived in florida too. ok so now we know its ohio thats how slum lords work they dont raise rent but the place falls apart and tenants get a great deal that way. ok well a properly plumbed system shouldnt hammer but installing prv and a tank wont hurt go for it. my experiance 75 psi isnt causing it but heck throw one on crank it down to 50 psi
 
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