Do I Need a Pressure Reducing Valve?

Do I Need a Pressure Reducing Valve? 

Most people share the opinion that the more water pressure, the better. A warm, cascading shower certainly feels better than a light, misty trickle, and a robust stream coming out of the sink makes life easier in countless ways. Certainly, it would be hard to immediately think of a time we've heard someone complain about having too much water pressure in their home.

Nevertheless, there are all sorts of reasons that homeowners might want to install a pressure reducing valve (PRV). What are the benefits of a pressure reducing valve, and when is the right time to put one in place for your home? Let's look at why these valves can come in handy:

High water pressure can reduce the lifespan of your appliances

If your water pressure is too high - over the ideal 50 pounds per square inch of pressure that we see in most homes - appliances can take on unneeded stress. The more stress that appliances are put under, the less longevity you will get out of them. High water pressure can reduce the efficiency and longevity of dishwashers, water heaters, water softeners - basically, anything that is connected to a water line.

If you're worried about breaking or wearing down your appliances, make it easier on your them in the long run - especially if you're considering upgrading any - by installing PRVs now.

Fixtures can be stressed from high water pressure

As we mentioned earlier, no one likes showering under a trickle of water. But the fact remains that too much pressure can cause damage to your faucets and showerheads, leading to unwanted wear and tear. A PRV is one relatively cost-effective way to strike a balance between water pressure and your budget.

Even if you reduce your high water pressure even moderately, you can save some wear and tear on your fixtures - and save some water every month, to boot. Or, to conserve water without sacrificing any pressure, why not look at upgrading to a low-flow showerhead or replacing your faucet aerator

Getting hooked up to a new water main can cause an upsurge in pressure

Some neighborhoods get hooked up to a new water main now and again, which can lead to a major change in the pressure they experience - sometimes even doubling PSI. What this could mean for your home is a sudden increase of pressure that could damage your fixtures and appliances; putting PRVs in place could help get your home prepared for the sudden upshift in pressure. It's like when you crimp up a hose while watering the lawn; once the pressure releases after building up, it comes out in the form of a massive spray.

Your home's supply lines work much the same way - and while it may be amusing to spray your buddy with a hose, it's a lot less funny when it comes to something like, say, your washing machine hose bursting.  A surge of high water pressure plus an older, weaker washing machine hose?  It could get ugly. Putting PRVs in place could help get your home prepared for the sudden upshift in pressure.

The bottom line?

If you're not sure what the condition of your water pressure is, it doesn't hurt to give a licensed plumber a call to ensure you're doing everything you can to protect your home, including having PRVs installed at different points along your plumbing system. You can attempt this project as a DIY-er - This Old House has a pretty good guide, available here - but we'd recommend bringing on a plumbing pro to make sure everything goes right.

Have any more questions about pressure reducing valves? Dealing with a lack of water or low water pressure? Whatever your needs, we'd be happy to help make sure you're living with the plumbing system of your dreams. Send us an email or give us a call today!