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Ken's Plumbing | Blog

The Importance of Water Pressure Reducing Valves

Posted by Ken Flournoy on Jun 14, 2018 9:27:00 AM

Water Pressure Reducing ValveIt might come as a surprise that we’re writing about reducing your water pressure. Most of the time when people have a complaint about their water pressure, it’s because the water isn’t coming out of the faucet strong enough for them. While having a nice hot shower with just the right water pressure is a pleasure that’s tough to beat, there is a certain point where your water pressure can be too high and actually cause damage to the internal workings of your plumbing.

Let’s take a look at what causes high water pressure, some of the damaging effects it can have, and how you can use a pressure reducing valve to solve these problems.

What Causes High Water Pressure?

The number one reason for having water pressure that is too high is the municipal water supplier. Depending on the area where you live, the city or company that controls the water pressure doesn’t necessarily have you in mind. They’re making sure that the water pressure is strong enough to reach every level of tall buildings, buildings that are on high elevation, and things like fire hydrants and water towers, etc.

In order to get water to these locations the water pressure can often be set anywhere from 100 to over 200 psi. To give you an idea of how high that is, recommended water pressure for residential buildings is 50 psi, with 80 psi being the maximum! To test your home’s water pressure, you can either call a local professional plumber, or purchase a water pressure gauge.

Why is High Water Pressure Bad?

When it comes to your water pressure, there are several reasons why you should make sure it’s not too high. The first reason is that high water pressure can cause damage to your plumbing system and water-dependent appliances. Appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine aren’t cheap and the last thing you want is for a washing machine hose to break or put too much stress on the appliances themselves and reduce the lifespan of your expensive machines.

Another reason that high water pressure can be a problem is your monthly water bill. When water pressure is high, there is a lot more water flowing through your fixtures that gets unused. In the same amount of time it takes for water at 50 psi to accumulate to 30 gallons, water flowing at 150 psi builds up to 56 gallons. If you hate math, that’s 26 gallons of wasted water that will show up on your water bill at the end of the month. Not only will reducing your water pressure save you money every month, it’s also better for the environment. Check out these other ways to save money on your monthly water bill!

How to Fix High Water Pressure

Now that you know what causes water pressure to be too high and why it can be bad for you and your home, how can you take care of this problem? We recommend a water pressure reducing valve. A water pressure reducing valve is essentially an attachment to your water pipes that is installed directly after the water meter in your home. The pressure reducing valve looks similar to small bell and is able to control the pressure coming from the water mains and into your home’s plumbing with the turn of a screwdriver.

While it is possible to install a pressure reducing valve on your own, knowing what type to purchase, exactly where to install it, and the process itself can tend to be a little complicated, so working with a professional plumber may be your best bet. You can check out this video to see an install in action.

Need help with your water pressure?

If you'd like to find out if your water pressure is too high or you know you need to install a pressure reducing valve, the expert plumbers at Ken's Plumbing would love to help you out! Give us a call at (864) 397-8473 or contact us online—and remember, we’re available 24/7 for you!

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Topics: Plumbing, Water, Pipes