A Working Water Pressure Regulator Valve is Critical

When we visit a customer for any plumbing issue, the first thing we do is to check the water pressure regulator valve. (It’s also called the pressure reducing valve.) Why? Often, we find it’s no longer working. And when it stops working, you can get all sorts of plumbing problems.

Purpose of Water Pressure Regulator Valve (PRV)

It’s easy to guess it’s purpose just by knowing what it’s called. It reduces and regulates the pressure of water coming from your water utility company before feeding it into your home or irrigation system.

That’s important because excessively high water pressure inside a home’s plumbing can cause water pipes to burst. High water pressure also shortens the life of water appliances. In turn, that means by having a functional water pressure regulator, you have fewer repair bills and lower water bills.

Plus, if the street pressure coming in from your water utility company is above 80 psi, building code requires you to have a functioning water reducing valve.

Benefits of Pressure Reducing/Regulator Valve

Aside from meeting code requirements, you get a number of benefits from a water pressure regulator. For example, you will:

  • conserve water. On average, you can reduce your water consumption by about 33%. That’s assuming you reduce your water pressure from 100 psi to 50 psi. That lowers your water bill and also potentially your sewer bill too.
  • conserve energy. When less water is needed to be pumped through the utility’s distribution system, we’re doing our part to conserve energy.
  • extend life of pipes, faucets and all water appliances. High water pressure increases stress and wear and tear on all water system components. Long-term high pressure even bursts pipes, causing flooding and water damage.

Before All Plumbing Services, We Check The Home’s Pressure Regulator Valve – Here’s Why

High pressure can be the problem or cause of just about any plumbing issue. So we always check your pressure regulator valve before we begin any plumbing repair in your home.

How Long Does a Home’s PRV Last?

Pressure regulators have about the same life as a tank water heater, around ten years. So it’s always a good idea to consider replacing it when installing a new water heater.

High water pressure and age are the main reasons a water heater fails. Keep in mind that when a water heater’s pressure relief valve is old, it will leak and usually need replacing as well.

So we usually recommend and install a Zurn Wilkins double union regulator whenever we change one out. Wilkins has been manufacturing pressure reducing valves for over one hundred years. The company has earned a reputation for high quality and good customer service.

Owner Dale Anderson Replaces Water Pressure Regulator
Owner Plumber Dale replaces an old pressure regulator with a new one.

This homeowner was experiencing a leaky pressure relief valve on their water heater. The home’s old PRV had failed, causing water pressure to build up in the water heater.

So the water heater’s temperature & pressure (T&P) relief valve was actually doing its job by relieving the excessive pressure caused by the home’s non-functioning PRV. Nothing wrong with the water heater!

Why We Recommend and Install Zurn Wilkins PRVs

Wilkins Water Regulator Installed on Fallbrook Home

How a Zurn Wilkins PRV Works

Internal diagram of pressure regulator by Zurn Wilking
Adaptation from Zurn Wilkins PRV Booklet

Features/Benefits of Zurn Wilkins PRVs

– Lead-Free Bronze & Composite Construction = reduces corrosion to last longer

Threaded Bell = eliminates screws that can corrode & enables easy access to service spring, diaphragm, screen or plunger

Hex on Bell = enables access without special tools

Stainless Steel Screen = eliminates debris, durable & resists corrosion

Nylon Reinforced Buna-N Diaphragm = superior strength

Stainless Steel or Composite Seat = durable and resists corrosion

Patented O-ring bypass = prevents pressure buildup from thermal expansion

Variety of Union & Solderless Connections Available = greater installation versatility

Rigorous Hydrostatic Tests at Factory = trusted reliability

Orient in Any Position = versatile positioning


Pre-Loaded Spring

Valve remains in open position until downstream pressure forces plunger onto seat.



When pressure forces plunger onto seat, valve closes.


Valve Closes

The reduced water pressure pushes on the wetted side of the diaphragm, countering the force of the spring.


Integral By-pass

All Zurn Wilkins PRVs have integral bypasses that operate by using an O-Ring in a conic O-Ring gland. Under normal conditions, incoming pressure pushes the the O-ring into the narrow section of the gland and seals tight. If pressure on the downstream side of the regulator becomes equal to the incoming pressure, the O-ring slides to the wide section of the gland, unseals it, opening the bypass.



Once the valve is pressurized, it remains closed until water is demanded, eg: turning on a faucet. The outlet pressure drops and decreases the force on the wetted side of the diaphragm, opening the valve spring. It modulates open until faucet is turned off.

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Fallbrook Plumber Dale Anderson provides a Ten-Year Warranty on Workmanship
Fallbrook Plumber Dale Anderson says, “We stand behind our work. While others offer only warranties on their products, we also include a ten-year warranty on our labor.” Products carry the specific manufacturer’s warranty.
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