WATER PRESSURE REDUCING VALVE (PRV)
Pressure-reducing valves provide a steady pressure into a part of the system that operates at a pressure lower that normal system pressure. A reducing valve can normally be set for any desired downstream pressure within its design limits. Once the valve is set, the reduced pressure will be maintained regardless of changes in the supply pressure and system load variations.
There are various designs and types of pressure-regulating valves. The spring-loaded reducer and the pilot-controlled valve are the most common.
High water pressure assumes a gauge reading of 80 psi or higher, compared to the ideal pressure of 50-60 psi. PSI refers to pound per square inch, a pressure measurement from a push of one pound-force applied to an area of one square inch. Higher pressure in plumbing means more force. Home appliances and fixtures can handle up to 80 psi, after which point they are at risk of failure of bursting pipes. High water pressure makes water pour out of a faucet or showerhead at an exceedingly fast rate.
Typical dangers associated with high water pressure:
- Water hammering is the sound water pressure makes while surging through pipes. Pipes can also creak and groan, which is not only annoying but hazardous if the pipes are pushed until they burst.
- Water heater breakage. Excessive pressure places strain on water heaters due to thermal expansion. Hot water heaters expand as they heat (as does any other material), and the extra pressure can cause them to break at the seams. Talk to an experienced plumber about installing pressure relief valves, which will eliminate the risk of this problem.
- Water waste. Higher pressure means that water is coming out of the tap or showerhead at higher-than-necessary speed. Reducing the pressure to acceptable levels saves water and lessens the likelihood of overtaxed, leaky faucets. When pressure is too high, faucets, hose connections, and showers can drip because water pressure forces the water out even when the faucet is turned off.
While you can’t control the water supply from the city, you could install regulators and pressure relief valves to help manage the pressure. So, if you have low or high water pressure, call the expert plumbers at SMART Plumbing