Pressure reducing valve problem?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by AU_Prospector, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. Feb 25, 2013 #1

    AU_Prospector

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    I believe I may have a pressure reducing valve problem. I have attached a picture.

    Symptoms: About 4-5 months ago I noticed increased pressure and force out of the shower heads. Also about 4 weeks ago I noticed some water hammering in the upstairs bathroom fixtures which is not present on the lower level.
    My home (and hence this valve) is approximately 10 years old on city water.
    Water supply comes from below and travels up, the main shut off is just below this picture.

    1) Is the attached picture one of a pressure reducing valve?
    2) Is the valve in my picture sweated in, or can I remove and replace it by using those brass nuts?
    3) Assuming no sweat, is this a DIY quick fix for the uneducated?
    4) Will replacing this address the water hammer?
    5) There are no markings visible on this valve, something I would find at Lowes or a local hardware store? There looks to be an adjustment screw, is that something I play with first?

    A colleague at work mentioned these things need to be replaced every 7-12 years.

    Thanks!
    Matt

    DSC_0855.jpg
     
  2. Feb 25, 2013 #2

    nealtw

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    Check the pressure first. I would check it at the washer as the outside taps may bi-pass that valve

    water pressure.png
     
  3. Feb 25, 2013 #3

    AU_Prospector

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    I dont have a pressure reader like you have, but can go to a hardware store tomorrow and get one put together. What should my pressure read normally given city water.
     
  4. Feb 25, 2013 #4

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Not sure but I think somewhere around 65 is ok. Some one will come a long and correct me I'm sure.
     
  5. Feb 25, 2013 #5

    Fireguy5674

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    The nuts above and below the valve are for removing the valve. I agree with Neal that 65 PSI should be adequate. I am on a pump from a well and my pump cycles on at 30 and off at 50. Sometimes it would be nice to have a little more pressure.
     
  6. Feb 25, 2013 #6

    inspectorD

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    Domestic water pressure should not be over 85 psi.
     
  7. Feb 26, 2013 #7

    Speedbump

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    If you have a submersible pump, you should be able to get 40 - 60 or 50 - 70 with no trouble. Just bump up the pressure switch. If you have a bladder tank, be sure to air it up accordingly.
     
  8. Feb 26, 2013 #8

    Fireguy5674

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    I am using a 1/2 HP shallow well jet pump. I have other issues I need to get fixed before trying to bump pressure. The old 3/4" galvanized suction line to the well must have rusted through. Someone pushed a 1/2" copper line through it and that is my suction side pickup. :eek: I need to get that replaced before changing the pump press sw. Just another project to get to.

    Remind me, 2 PSI above minimum press for bladder?
     
  9. Feb 26, 2013 #9

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    Wow... 1/2" suction line. That's not good. Your poor pump is being starved to death.

    On the bladder tank. Two pounds less than where the pump turns on. Like 30 - 50 set the tank at 20 psi.
     
  10. Feb 26, 2013 #10

    AU_Prospector

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    Okay back to the OP.

    My pressure reads about 65 psi, maybe a couple psi more.
    I went upstairs to check the water hammer and it is still there, but not quite as loud right now.

    I assume municipal water can fluctuate pressure, right?

    I looked at a couple of pressure valves at the hardware store, they all said 30-70 psi adjustable preset at 45psi.

    Is 65psi good or a bit too high? Could that be the source of the water hammer, which is a relatively new problem? Does a bad pressure regulator work sometimes and sometimes not?
     
  11. Feb 26, 2013 #11

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    If you can adjust yours, I would bring it down to around forty, everything should still work. And if that dosn't help you know your looking in the wrong direction.
     
  12. Feb 26, 2013 #12

    AU_Prospector

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    Okay good idea. Looking at my picture, how might I adjust the valve? There are no markings on mine.
     
  13. Feb 26, 2013 #13

    AU_Prospector

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    Is that an adjustment screw with a locking nut? Maybe unlock the nut and turn clockwise? What do I have to lose?
     
  14. Feb 26, 2013 #14

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    It would be better is someone that knows about that valve, gave you advice, how to deal with it. When you say nothing to lose, a few things come to mind. I did an image search and didn't come up with one that looks like yours.
     
  15. Feb 26, 2013 #15

    Blue Jay

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    Every regulator I have been around wants to be turned COUNTER CLOCKWISE to reduce pressure. Clockwise increases pressure.
     
  16. Feb 28, 2013 #16

    Puddlesx5

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    First I would call your Municipality to see if you need a pressure reducing valve. if they require one then they probably have ones that are approved for the city. I would start their first and then go from if it's broken or not.
     
  17. Mar 1, 2013 #17

    AU_Prospector

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    Unlocked that nut in the picture and turned the screw a bit counterclockwise. Didnt notice any difference. Ended up backing it out a full 2 turns and if it reduced the pressure by 3 pounds if at all. Might be at 59 now instead of 62. Pipes up stairs still hammer, pipes downstairs do not.

    I want to say the hammering is new and seems isolated to the shower mixing valve area. Turn on and off shower and that area is noisy. Turn on and off adjacent sink faucets and the shower mixing area is still loud but not as loud. I depressurized the whole system and drained water from upstairs then re pressurized system and it now seems to be louder.
     
  18. Mar 1, 2013 #18

    nealtw

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    Pipe do move a little as they heat up and cool off, maybe a pipe clamp let go. If you have access to the wall behind the shower you could remove some drywall and see whats going on.
     
  19. Mar 1, 2013 #19

    Speedbump

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    I'm not a plumber, but I assume you have an expansion tank near your water heater... Right? If so, check it to see if it's waterlogged. That may be part of your water hammer problem.
     
  20. Mar 11, 2013 #20

    AU_Prospector

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    UPDATE~ Fixed it myself!

    Purchased a 3/4 water pressure reducing valve at Home Boy $32. WATTS brand
    Managed to wrangle the old one off, was a bit worried as one brass nut was tight and I thought I might twist the copper pipe.
    Put the new one on and tightened everything up checking for leaks.
    Turned on the water and bled the air out of the fixtures.
    Measured 42psi at the spigot closest to the main line which is a drop of over 20psi.
    The package says the valve is factory set at 50psi, in a couple days I may go back and up the pressure a few psi closer to 50.

    For now there is NO water hammering sound in upstairs lines. YAY!
    Took about an hour mostly because I was worried the old valve was on too tight.
     

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