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Water Pressure Regulator

Water Pressure Regulator

A water pressure regulator or pressure reducing valve (PRV) is installed in the main water line to the house, usually as the main water comes into the house. It’s purpose is to reduce the water pressure from the city. The city of San Diego keeps the water pressure high because it has to pump water to all the neighborhoods from its various stations which are usually far away. Because this water pressure can be so high coming directly from the city, a pressure reducing valve is installed to regulate the water pressure.

What would happen if you don’t have a water pressure regulator installed and you allow the straight city pressure to come into your home? Well, pipes can burst and faucets can leak.

The maximum water pressure allowed by code is 80 psi. As professional plumbers, we like to see the water pressure closer to 55-60 psi. Typically pressure regulators have a maximum setting of 75 psi. So if you get a reading over that, you know that your regulator has failed. The average life of a regulator is 5-10 years.

How To Check Your Water Pressure

You can call us and we will come by at no charge to check your pressure.


You can buy a water pressure gauge at Home Depot and check it yourself. Simply hook it up to an outside faucet by screwing it on, and see what the reading is. Make sure the outside faucet you are checking is connected to the plumbing system after the pressure regulator. If you are checking it on a faucet connected to the sprinkler system, typically they are tied in before the water pressure regulator and it can give you a reading from the city, not from after the regulator

Locations And Types Of Regulators

Typically the pressure regulator is located inside the garage of homes in San Diego. Look for a copper pipe about knee high with a bell shaped valve

plastic water pressure regulator

water pressure regulator

As you can see above, the first valve is the main shut off valve to the house, and the second valve is the pressure regulator.

Noice the first water pressure regulator. Do you see how much smaller it is compared to the second unit. Also, do you notice that the bell is made of plastic?

The first unit is one that we replaced and installed with an all metal, double strainer (much larger unit) than the first one. The second unit which we installed will last significantly longer than the original unit. If you are in the market for a new water pressure regulator, make sure to get one that is all metal and includes no plastic

If you would like to schedule a free estimate call us at (619) 838-1322

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