Every time you turn on the water in your home, water pressure is what ensures that it gets from your local water supply company to your faucets and appliances. Although this force is vital for getting your water from point A to point B, there is a level of water pressure that can cause damage to your plumbing system, as well as your home and its contents.
Water pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI) and can vary, depending on your geographic location, your neighborhood, or your home specifically. If your water pressure exceeds 80 PSI, this can cause serious plumbing issues due to extreme changes in water pressure or excessive wear and tear. This is where a water pressure regulator valve comes in.
What Is a Water Pressure Regulator Valve?
A water pressure regulator is a valve connected to your plumbing system and is typically located where the main water line enters your home. It functions to reduce your water pressure once it exceeds 60 PSI, which is the generally approved rate for residential or light commercial use. By doing so, a water pressure regulator valve brings the pressure down to a level safe enough for your piping, plumbing fixtures, and appliances.
Do I Need a Water Pressure Regulator?
Although you can monitor your water pressure at your water main, a pressure regulator makes this maintenance task automated and prevents a plumbing emergency-which you don’t want as the only alert that high pressure has been wreaking havoc on your pipes and fixtures without you even knowing it.
As with any mechanical part, however, a water pressure regulator can become inoperable and will occasionally need to be replaced. Therefore, it doesn’t hurt to check your pressure at the water main regularly or hire a plumbing service to do so, just for further backup for your plumbing components.
In addition to protecting your plumbing system, home, and belongings, a water pressure regulator helps conserve water, protecting the planet and lowering your monthly bill. It only takes 5 unnecessary drips per minute in 3 areas to lead to more than 500 gallons of wasted water each year. However, installing a pressure regulator won’t affect your lifestyle, as you will unlikely notice a difference in the function of your faucets and fixtures, even though you are using less water.
Finally, a water pressure regulator valve allows you to adjust your water pressure periodically throughout the year to compensate for fluctuations in pressure due to where you live or other reasons. There is usually a screw on the top of a regulator that you can turn to adjust your water pressure. However, a professional plumbing company can take the hassle of inspection, replacing parts, and maintenance of your plumbing components off your hands.
Whether for preventing excessive wear and tear or sudden damage causing a pipe breach, a water pressure regulator valve is your safety net when you can’t foresee potential plumbing disasters.