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Water Pressure Reducing Valves are used in commercial, industrial, and residential applications to reduce incoming water pressure for protection of plumbing system components and to reduce water consumption.
What is a water pressure regulator?
Also called water pressure reducing valves, they are compact, inexpensive devices that perform two functions:
(1) they automatically reduce the high incoming water pressure from the city mains to provide a lower, more functional pressure for distribution in the home.
(2) they "regulate" by maintaining a set pressure in the home usually 50 psi -- thereby insuring that the home piping and appliances operate under a safe, more moderate, but satisfactory pressure.
What is a water pressure?
When a fixture in a home is opened and water flows from it, it is because the water is "pushed." This "push" is pressure. The speed at which water flows from the opened outlet depends on the amount of "push" or pressure which exists at that time in the system. In short, the higher the pressure, the stronger the "push" behind the water.
What is wrong with high water pressure?
High water pressure, which is generally considered anything above 60 lbs., has some advantage, such as in firefighting systems. However, in the home plumbing system, it can be damaging because water, with a strong "push" behind it, can erode or wear away many materials and cause water heaters to leak, banging water pipes, dripping faucets, excessive dishwasher and clothes washer noise and breakdown, and leaking water pipes. Therefore, water flowing at a rate in excess of that necessary to satisfy normal fixture or appliance demands becomes damaging, wasteful and reduces the life expectancy of equipment in the system. But, most important to the average homeowner is that high water pressure can add to the cost of water, energy and waste water bills.
Does high water pressure cause "water hammer"?
Yes. Water hammer is simply the noise generated by the shocks of high-speed water flowing in a pipe when a fixture is suddenly closed. This abrupt stoppage causes a “bounceback” of the water and is called water hammer, causing banging pipes, noisy systems and damage to appliances. It might be compared to driving your car at slow speed into a wall where the effect is negligible. However, if you drove the car at a much higher speed, the impact would be greater and, consequently, so would the bounceback or shock. Another description of the water hammer effect of high water pressure can be easily demonstrated.
First, walk around a sharp corner and then run around the same corner. We can equate walking around the corner to a lower, more functional, controlled water pressure. However, when you run around the corner, the momentum forces your body to swing in a wider, uncontrolled arc. This principles based on the fact that moving objects, and this includes water, tend to move in a straight line. They resist changes in direction. Therefore, in a home where the piping has many changes in direction, water hammer shock can be limited by reducing the water pressure.
What is the difference in water flow from a fixture when the pressure is at 100 psi vs. a pressure of 50 psi?
Reducing the pressure from 100 psi to 50 psi will result in a saving of approximately 1/3 because 1/3 less water flows at this lower pressure. Remember, there is more "push" behind the water at 100 psi than at 50 psi and most of this water is wasted. Note the illustration where almost twice as much water flows at 150 psi than 50 psi, most of which is wasted. A moderate savings would result if your supply pressure was reduced to 65 psi However, even at this lower pressure, savings with a regulator would be 20%.