Where to Find Your Water Pressure Regulator

You can find your home’s water pressure regulator where the main water line comes into your home by the main shut off valve. Look at the photo below at the magnified area. It’s typical of most installations. We installed this one on a Fallbrook home. The old one had stopped working and eventually caused the water heater to need replacement before its time.

water pressure regulator valve on main water line

Now that You’ve Found Your Water Pressure Regulator Valve (PRV), What Does it Do?

Your home needs a water pressure regulator (also called a “pressure reducer valve” (PRV)) to keep the water pressure throughout your home at a safe level.

Do You Really Need a PRV?

If you live in our service area of Fallbrook, Bonsall, Vista, Temecula or Oceanside and receive water from a public utility, yes you do need a PRV. (If you have a well, you may not need a regulator if your water pressure is less than 80 psi.)

California Plumbing Code Requirements for PRV

A water utility company cannot deliver water to customers at a constant, safe pressure. And in California, the plumbing code requires a PRV if pressure entering the home exceeds 80 psi.

According to the California Plumbing Code “Water pressure at the point of use must be no less than 15 psi and no more than 80 psi. If the pressure exceeds 80 psi, a pressure regulator is required.”

Signs of a Faulty PRV

You can’t usually diagnose a faulty PRV just by looking at the valve itself. But here are a few hints it’s no longer doing its job. And you may notice only one of these signs, or none at all … at first:

  • shower pressure is suddenly more powerful
  • banging sounds within walls coming from water pipes
  • low or no water pressure
  • leaking PRV
  • leaking temperature & pressure (T&P) valve on tank water heater
Faulty water pressure regulator can cause pipe leaks

And worst case sign your PRV has stopped working? A water pipe leaks or bursts.

Yes, it can happen, especially if your water pipes are old or portions of it have been replaced. And even more so if your PRV has malfunctioned for a prolonged time. The constant pressure on pipes can cause pinhole leaks to burst.

(But if a water pipe does leak or burst, call us. We repair or replace water pipes too!)

You Don’t Always Notice When a PRV Fails

However, sometimes when PRVs stop working, you don’t always notice. In fact, you may be pleased your time in the shower feels more invigorating with stronger water pressure. But your mind is most likely on other things while you’re showering. You’re not thinking about WHY your shower pressure feels stronger.

However, your plumbing pipes and plumbing appliances will eventually get your attention, and not in a good way.

Plumbing Problems Occur When PRVs Stop Working

In addition water leaks, you’re also risking higher repair bills or early replacements on all your water appliances when a PRV fails. For example, your water heater’s temperature and pressure relief valve may start leaking even if it’s relatively new. The water heater’s T&P valve is doing its job, keeping pressure from building up within the tank. But the more theT&P valve has to work, the shorter the life of the water heater.

Read about more benefits of a PRV and the brand we usually install and recommend.

How to Test Your Water Pressure

We always test your home’s water pressure before any plumbing service. That’s because it may be the problem or contribute to many plumbing problems.

You can test your water pressure too. And it’s a good idea to test your pressure a couple of times a year.

Testing your water pressure is fairly easy. You just need a water pressure gauge (available on line or in hardware stores).

water pressure gauge to measure water pressure within home
  • Go to either an outside hose bib or your washing machine’s hose bib.
  • Turn off the water to the (cold) hose and unscrew it.
  • Screw on the water pressure gauge
  • Turn the faucet all the way on and look at the gauge

The pressure should range between 40 and 50 psi. It should NOT exceed 60 psi. If it does, your PRV is most likely not working properly.

Here’s a Few Reasons Why You’ll Want to Call us!

  1. We’re the Lowest-Cost for Highest-Quality Plumbing in the Area
  2. Customer Rating is All Five-Star Satisfaction
  3. We Guarantee Your Satisfaction Too
  4. You Get Ten-Year Warranty on our Workmanship (products carry their own warranties)
  5. We’re Locally Owned and Operated so you know who will show up at your door.

Here’s where you can find other reasons to make us your plumber to call.

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