a water pressure regulator with a pressure gauge connected to a water line

Water Pressure Regulator

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 2/23/2021

As a homeowner, it’s important to know a few things about how water enters your home and how it is supplied to the various faucets, fixtures, and appliances. One of the most important features along the water supply chain is the water pressure regulator, which is sometimes referred to as a pressure reducing valve (PRV). Its purpose is to control the pressure of the water coming into the home from the main external water lines. Without it, the pipes inside your home could burst, fixtures could break, and faucets will probably leak from too much water pressure.

Definition

The term water pressure regulator typically refers to a specialized water pressure The term water pressure regulator, often called a pressure reducing valve (PRV), typically refers to a specialized valve that is attached to the main water line coming into a home from the street. Its main purpose is to reduce the pressure of the water as it enters the home before it reaches any faucets, fixtures, or appliances. Water pressure regulators are easy to identify as they are commonly domed-shaped, made from brass, and attached to your main water line where it enters your home. They also usually have an adjustable screw or bolt on the top that controls the amount of pressure allowed through the valve. Some PRV valves come equipped with gauges, either analogue or digital, to monitor the amount of pressure.

What Is The Best Setting For A Residential Water Pressure Regulator?

It may be tempting to crank up your water pressure if you’re looking for a little more power to your shower. However, maintaining a suitable water pressure running through your home is essential for preventing damage to faucets and fixtures and avoiding leaks. Here’s what you need to know about adjusting your water pressure regulator:

  • Typically, a home’s water pressure should be set between 40 to 45 psi and it should almost never exceed 60 psi. However, your water pressure regulator valve may be able to achieve higher and lower rates, so be careful when you’re making adjustments.
  • With most water pressure regulators, there is a screw or a bolt on the top that can be turned to increase or decrease the water pressure allowed through the PRV. The bolt typically requires the use of a wrench to make adjustments.
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