In the world of plumbing, the importance of maintaining the right water pressure cannot be stressed enough. Ever been startled by a sudden burst of water from your tap?
A water pressure regulator — often crafted from durable metals like brass or nickel bronze — is a small device with a crucial role. It ensures that the water entering your property does so at a consistent and safe pressure.
Types and Materials: Choices Abound!
There’s a multitude of choices when it comes to regulators. They come in different sizes to accommodate various pipe dimensions and flow rates. The most common materials include:
- Brass: Renowned for its durability and resistance to corrosion.
- Bronze: Chosen for its resilience, especially in challenging water conditions.
Applications: Where Might You Find Them?
These regulators are indispensable across various settings:
Household: To ensure that showers, faucets, and appliances receive water at the right pressure.
Commercial: In businesses, especially those reliant on water-intensive processes.
Industrial: In factories and manufacturing units where consistent water pressure is critical to operations.
What Is a Water Pressure Regulator?
The adjustable water pressure regulator is a plumbing valve, also known as a pressure-reducing valve (PRV). It is designed to reduce or regulate the water pressure coming from the mainline. However, the ultimate purpose is to protect the plumbing property from excessive water pressure… and get a decent water supply rate. It is primarily suitable for the RVs and the home water supply line.
How Does a Water Pressure Regulator Work?
- Basic Mechanics:
- The regulator is typically installed at the point where the main water line enters the property.
- Inside the device is a spring-loaded diaphragm or piston. This diaphragm responds to changes in the pressure of the outgoing water and adjusts accordingly to maintain a set pressure.
- Adjusting Pressure:
- As water enters the regulator from the main supply, it encounters a valve seat, a physical barrier.
- Based on the set desired pressure, the diaphragm or piston adjusts, allowing more water to flow through the valve seat or restricting the flow.
- The more the diaphragm or piston compresses the spring, the more the water flow is restricted, and vice versa.
- Setting the Pressure:
- Most residential pressure regulators come pre-set to a standard safe level (often around 50-70 psi). However, they often have a screw or bolt that can be adjusted to increase or decrease the set pressure level.
- A water pressure gauge should measure the current pressure level before making adjustments.
Importance Of Water Pressure Regulators
The municipal water line pumps the water to the homes at a rate of maybe 130psi. This big pressure rate can easily damage the home plumbing or cause problems… such as leaks, pipe bursts, water hammers, and more. Also, the faucets, dishwashers, showerheads, and other home appliances… need to maintain their standard pressure level to avoid damage.
An adjustable water pressure regulator will allow you to reduce and maintain a standard rate between 50 -80psi. Thus, all your plumbing and RV will remain safe from those problems. Also, you will save a good amount from the utility bills. So, having an adjustable water pressure regulator is mandatory.
Parts of Adjustable PRVs
The adjustable water pressure regulator consists of two main sections: the Cartridge and the flow meter or gauge. You’ll see two horns on the valve body; one is the gauge, and the other is the cartridge section.
At the top of the cartridge section, there’s a screw head that allows setting up the pressure rate. This screw connects with the adjusting mechanism and the spring inside the valve. Further, these are covered with a cap and attached to the valve body. There’s the Cartridge, followed by a diaphragm underneath the spring (inside the valve). In addition, you’ll see a stainless steel strainer screen with a cartridge that filters the water for you. However, some PRVs also have a dual-layer screen at the inlet.
Above all, a water pressure gauge is available right after the cartridge part. It gives the perfect pressure level readings. Lastly, two ports are open to let the water in and out. Remember that the cartridge-sided port is the inlet port, and the opposite one is the outlet.
How An Adjustable PRV Works
An adjustable water pressure regulator aims to prevent high-pressure water from entering your home or RV plumbing. It receives incoming water of high pressure and reduces the pressure when the water passes through it. Here’s how:
Let’s assume you’ve set the pressure at 60psi in the valve, and the incoming water has a pressure of 80psi. So, when the 80psi water enters the valve, the spring will force back and reduce the pressure to 60psi. Therefore, the water will flow from the outlet at a pressure rate of 60psi. Meanwhile, the strainer screen will filter the water and prevent dirt particles from proceeding.
How To Adjust Or Set The Pressure Level
Setting up or adjusting the pressure level in a PRV is very simple. You’ll need a flathead screwdriver to do that.
Take a look at the top of the cartridge part of the valve. As we’ve told you, there is a metal screw head and a partially rounded arrow sign with a (+) and a (-) mark. Rotating the screw clockwise to the (+) mark will increase the pressure level. And rotating it counterclockwise to the (-) impact will do the reverse. Also, while turning the screw, the needle of the gauge will give a perfect reading.
You can easily adjust or set the pressure rate in an adjustable PRV. But don’t forget to measure the pressure from the faucets and verify with the gauge.
Important Note: Most RV plumbing is usually rated at 100-125psi. But there’s no need for that much,So that you can set it at 60-70psi. Similarly, 45-60psi is a good enough pressure for faucets, showerheads, and other appliances in your home.]
To use an adjustable water pressure regulator efficiently, you’ll need to keep in mind these things:
Install the valve right after your main water line shuts off.
If you see any water pressure fluctuations, it needs a cleanout. However, cleaning the strainer screen at least once a month is a good practice.
· For the leaking problem needs repair. But if you notice signs like water hammer, hammering noise in the pipes, and banging. Then, you’ll have to proceed with the replacement.
How To Clean A PRV
After a specific time, the strainer screen becomes jammed with dirt that needs cleaning. Here’s how you can do it:
1. Shut off the main line of the water supply and leave the faucets open for some time to release the pressure.
2. You’ll see a hexagonal nut shape at the cartridge cap. Use an adjustable plier or spanner to remove the cap by rotating it counterclockwise.
3. Now, pull off the Cartridge from inside the valve body and take off the strainer screen from the Cartridge.
4. Clean the Cartridge along with the screen properly. Moreover, if you notice anything wrong with the strainer or Cartridge, replacing that would be the wiser choice.
5. After that, reattach the screen to the Cartridge and place everything as before.
6. Finally, set your desired pressure, open the water supply, and verify the pressure with the faucets.
There are many different specifications available for adjustable water pressure regulators. Such as:
Various brass (CW617N, H58-3, Lead-free, and bronze) and stainless steel are used for the valve body. However, lead-free brass is strongly recommended if you consider using the PRV for a potable water line. Stainless steel is the best material for the screen and the gauge.
Finishes available in sandblasted, nickel-plated, chrome-plated, gold-plated, raw finish, and more.
Available sizes range from 1/2″ to 2″.
Most of them have female threads with BSP and NPT connection types.
Pressure endurance up to 160psi.
You can customize any of these specifications according to your requirements to get a best-fit PRV for your application. Moreover, please have a look at our ready water pressure regulators. We, Plumberstar, can serve you both ready-made and customized ones. But to get them and get in touch with us. We are waiting for your response.