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Understanding And Troubleshooting Low Water Pressure Caused By Your Pressure Regulator

If you have water pressure in your home that seems to have reduced over time, then you should investigate the issue so pressure can be returned to normal. While water pressure issues are generally considered a nuisance, the problem can lead to the poor function of appliances as well as your shower. Some water pressure issues need to be examined by a professional. However, there may be an easy fix to the solution. Keep reading to learn about how your pressure regulator might be causing the issue and also how the problem can be fixed.

Pressure Regulator Issues

Residential homes are fitted with small bell-shaped devices that are fitted close to the water main inlet. They are typically placed after your water meter so you will need to inspect both the inside and outside of your house to locate the meter. Once you locate it, look for the regulator fitted nearby. This regulator is a device that reduces the pressure of the water coming into your home so it is safe for your pipes and appliances. This is often necessary because high pressure can cause fixtures to start leaking. Your toilet is likely to run with flowing water and water hammers can build in your pipes.

To make sure that water is kept at a proper and consistent level, it is pulled into a valve in the pressure regulator. A globe valve is typically used to control the pressure of the water. This type of device features a stem connected to a disc or plug. This disc is moved up or down with the assistance of a knob that sits on top of the stem. As the knob is tightened, the plug is forced down into the body of the valve where water flows through the device. This restricts water flow and reduces pressure.

The pressure regulator valve is typically set by your local water company when water is first established in the home. This means that the device may not have been inspected in some time. Unfortunately, the valve plug can drop a small amount over time. The pressure valve can also fail completely and lower your water pressure significantly.

Fixing The Pressure Problem

To elevate your water pressure, start by locating the pressure regulator and opening the pressure valve a small amount. Turn the knob on the top of the device one-half turn counterclockwise. Go to your kitchen or bathroom sink and turn on the water to see if pressure has improved. If it has, then you will need to make sure that pressure adjustments have not increased pressure by too much. Typical home water pressure should stay between 50 and 70 PSI. You can test pressure to see if it sits within this range by buying a water pressure gauge. 

Turn off all water taps and appliances and locate an outdoor spigot or an indoor one that is located close to the water main. Screw the gauge onto the water outlet. Slowly turn on the water through the outlet. Once water is running at full capacity, turn on the gauge to see the pressure reading. If pressure is between 50 and 70 PSI, then you have successfully fixed the issue. If pressure is higher or lower than the recommended range, then make fine adjustments with the knob on top of the pressure regulator. Continue taking gauge readings until pressure is correct. 

If adjustments to the pressure regulator make no changes and water pressure remains low, then the globe valve in the regulator may have failed. When this happens, the knob and the stem will be unable to move the plug part of the device. The pressure regulator will likely need to be replaced. A professional plumber should be contacted to complete this job for you. Visit websites like http://www.alliedme.com for more information.