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Water pressure

ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
Hi all,

I've been doing some work on the house and decided to buy one of these $12 gauges and was surprised to find apparently my water pressure is on the high side.

It's been this way for who knows how's long, the house got city water in 1881 and it claimed it was 80 psi even then.

I need to get the galv main replaced as well but that's not even close to in the cards at this time.

Should I add a PRV or leave things alone?
Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
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Comments

  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,113
    An invaluable tool. Usually use it to show a customer they need a domestic expansion tank.
    Try cycling your faucet hard and see if it spikes.
    If you do put a prv, (and especially with a back flow preventer) you should add a domestic exp tank.
    steve
    ChrisJIntplm.delta T
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    > @STEVEusaPA said:
    > An invaluable tool. Usually use it to show a customer they need a domestic expansion tank.
    > Try cycling your faucet hard and see if it spikes.
    > If you do put a prv, (and especially with a back flow preventer) you should add a domestic exp tank.

    I knew it was needed with a back flow preventer but wasn't sure with the prv. Do you feel those gauges are fairly accurate?

    That's the other issue. Which prv do I want if any?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,797
    With pipe that old, it is possible the volume is decreased.
    What pressure shows with major flow......bathtub.....hose bib etc.
    That static might fall on it's face with flow.
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    > @JUGHNE said:
    > With pipe that old, it is possible the volume is decreased.
    > What pressure shows with major flow......bathtub.....hose bib etc.
    > That static might fall on it's face with flow.

    The galv pipe isn't from 1881, not sure how old it is but old enough.

    The pressure drops with use. Flush a toilet and it drops to 50 psi. My thoughts were a prv would help that as well at least for now. Hellp meaning keep it lower and more constant.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,113
    I think despite what 'they' tell you, in one town I service, they ran a new main thru the town, no piping changed at peoples houses streets, just the main that served the entire town. Overall the water pressure went up into and over 100 psi. People were having all kinds of problems especially water heater T&P's releasing.
    Just like that gas issue up in NE (although not as serious) you never know when they may spike the pressure. I'd put one on. Can't tell you if you need a tank, but you'll know soon enough.
    I like the Caleffi's.
    steve
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    > @STEVEusaPA said:
    > I think despite what 'they' tell you, in one town I service, they ran a new main thru the town, no piping changed at peoples houses streets, just the main that served the entire town. Overall the water pressure went up into and over 100 psi. People were having all kinds of problems especially water heater T&P's releasing.
    > Just like that gas issue up in NE (although not as serious) you never know when they may spike the pressure. I'd put one on. Can't tell you if you need a tank, but you'll know soon enough.
    > I like the Caleffi's.

    Something like this guy?

    https://www.supplyhouse.com/Caleffi-535951HA-3-4-Sweat-Pressure-Reducing-Valve-w-Gauge-Low-Lead-Pre-adjustable
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,113
    That's the one. I'd put a shut-off on either side for maintenance. Caleffi's instructions recommends an exp tank.
    steve
    ChrisJ
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 12,720
    A PRV acts as an expensive and not very good check valve, in addition to reducing the pressure. If you put one on, you have to have an expansion tank on the house side of the valve. Not optional.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
    mattmia2
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    > @Jamie Hall said:
    > A PRV acts as an expensive and not very good check valve, in addition to reducing the pressure. If you put one on, you have to have an expansion tank on the house side of the valve. Not optional.

    What expansion tank should be used? Do I basically size it for the water heater? I assume that's where the main issue is.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 12,720
    Yes, the water heater -- and that is where the main issue is.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 1,393
    Is a PRV Required in your area?

    If not then just a regulating valve. 40 - 60 PSIG is more then enough.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 6,947
    They make special expansion tanks for potable water. If you have to cut it in the galv I wouldn't touch it until you replace the pipe.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    > @pecmsg said:
    > Is a PRV Required in your area?
    >
    > If not then just a regulating valve. 40 - 60 PSIG is more then enough.

    As far as I know, no. I don't know of anyone here with a prv. That being said, what's the difference between a prv and a regulating valve?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 1,393
    PRV contains a check valve. Pressure regulators don’t.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 13,205
    80 psi is the max pressure allowed by code, also the max pressure for faucets and toilet ballcocks.
    The Caleffi has very low fall off pressure, 7.5 psi at listed gpm. Super easy to disassemble and clean. Large area screen inside and simple cartridge rebuild. Get the model with the downstream gauge.

    It’s the most recognized PRV in the world, sold in 72 countries😉
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
    STEVEusaPA
  • Intplm.Intplm. Member Posts: 1,135
    I have to say.......Why? Why bother? If I had that kind of pressure I wouldn't do anything.
    If your galvanized pipes are ok, leave well enough alone and enjoy it. "Aint broke, don't fix it ."
  • woodrowwoodrow Member Posts: 32
    Did you leave the gauge on over night to see if it spikes higher i would make sure the washing machine valve shut off if you can install it in a copper section i would but wouldnt in the galvanized and yes install a st 12 expansion tank
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    edited April 11
    The only galvanized is the water main. I replaced everything else a long time ago.

    All of it was copper but I'm swapping a huge amount over to Uponor Propex
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Shane_2Shane_2 Member Posts: 133
    If it were my house, I would install the Caleffi PRV with the gauge, and a PLT-12 or ST-12 (4.5 gallon) potable water expansion tank. Even without a check valve,. the expansion tank will take some stress off the water heater.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    Left the gauge hooked up all day and did laundry etc which is the only thing I can find that actually hammers.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Intplm.Intplm. Member Posts: 1,135
    @ChrisJ , If the Washing machine is the only thing that hammers, then that's good news.
    They make point of use water hammer arrestors for washing machines. They are easy to install and work quite well.
    Look at Watts or Suex Chief companies. There are other brands too.
  • clammyclammy Member Posts: 2,496
    In my area we have extremely hi water pressure late nite I ve had it over 150 psi no kidding. Every one has a pressure reducing valve and a portable expansion tank . Usually I will leave a tee before the valve for sprinkler systems ,as with my own house I had to add a second prv just for my sprinkler system due to the hi pressure just could not get the spray adjust down low enough due to the high pressure . Usually set them to about 60 to 70 psi that it out wise you will shorten the life span of fluid master and fixtures . With out the prv and unless u only have a 1/2 water your ok but a new water service will require one for sure .As for a galv main get rid of that thing before it fails and possibly floods your basement been there seen it and it sucked . Over the last few years or so I ve seen them use pex I was amazed usually where using 3/4 L or k copper but w over 3.5 bath better run a1 inch service a few of the towns are requiring it to the first fixture even w all the low flow fixtures. I ve been using Honeywell Braukmann prv and have better luck then the Watts au models plus I believe they have a higher inlet pressure allotment ,they all fail sooner or later but I ve had the least needing to replace being the Honeywell ,over 20 years I think I be replaced 2 both in my neighborhood one being mine . Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    clammy said:

    In my area we have extremely hi water pressure late nite I ve had it over 150 psi no kidding. Every one has a pressure reducing valve and a portable expansion tank . Usually I will leave a tee before the valve for sprinkler systems ,as with my own house I had to add a second prv just for my sprinkler system due to the hi pressure just could not get the spray adjust down low enough due to the high pressure . Usually set them to about 60 to 70 psi that it out wise you will shorten the life span of fluid master and fixtures . With out the prv and unless u only have a 1/2 water your ok but a new water service will require one for sure .As for a galv main get rid of that thing before it fails and possibly floods your basement been there seen it and it sucked . Over the last few years or so I ve seen them use pex I was amazed usually where using 3/4 L or k copper but w over 3.5 bath better run a1 inch service a few of the towns are requiring it to the first fixture even w all the low flow fixtures. I ve been using Honeywell Braukmann prv and have better luck then the Watts au models plus I believe they have a higher inlet pressure allotment ,they all fail sooner or later but I ve had the least needing to replace being the Honeywell ,over 20 years I think I be replaced 2 both in my neighborhood one being mine . Peace and good luck clammy

    Would love to.
    Unfortunately we're in a recession right now and I don't see it happening for a long time.

    Such is life. Hopefully it won't fail.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • clammyclammy Member Posts: 2,496
    New services aren’t to bad in my younger and not so younger days we would hand dig them . Worse case drill a hole and bang in a sleeve ,dig out to your curb box and flare her in ,word of advise have your water company shut the curb key being if it breaks you will be on the hook to replace the curb box or at a mim pay suiza water . Have you looked into sewer And water service insurance I know the late Hackensack water co and then Souza used to offer it but they may have changed there tune being they got beat up in the older section of Bergen county plus everybody who got into teaming up w them got beat and got out of doing it being they paid nothing to after the first year or so and realized they where screwed so they passed it on to the contractors who at first saw it as excellent money but changed there tune but quick when they lowered the rates to where no one could make a penny . Be happy it’s not a lead main but w a good pentina it won’t rust and clog like galv . Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    ChrisJ
  • clammyclammy Member Posts: 2,496
    Ps I would have left the copper over pex even though it’s approved and used for like ever . For myself I would rather have sweat copper over press and pex but thank god your using uponor in my option the best connection system next in line would be press shelve not the biggest fan of rings but that’s me the odd fit peace and good luck clammy
    Ps no need to tell me bout belt tightening my phone has been silent for bout 3 weeks but I’m old school so there’s absolutely no living beyond the means ain’t no one I’m impressing except my wife and dog .learned from mom and dad to live w in not past and save for Rainey day which thank god I ve always done and it’s paying off now its the way those of the greatest generation thought need not want not and impress no one outside your loved ones and always stay true to yourself and your upbringing .
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    edited April 13
    clammy said:

    Ps I would have left the copper over pex even though it’s approved and used for like ever . For myself I would rather have sweat copper over press and pex but thank god your using uponor in my option the best connection system next in line would be press shelve not the biggest fan of rings but that’s me the odd fit peace and good luck clammy
    Ps no need to tell me bout belt tightening my phone has been silent for bout 3 weeks but I’m old school so there’s absolutely no living beyond the means ain’t no one I’m impressing except my wife and dog .learned from mom and dad to live w in not past and save for Rainey day which thank god I ve always done and it’s paying off now its the way those of the greatest generation thought need not want not and impress no one outside your loved ones and always stay true to yourself and your upbringing .

    The pex is a set of new runs to our bathrooms.
    Currently there's 1/2" copper that if I were to guess I'd say is from the 1950s or older. At least one joint is leaking and they're just too small to feed two bathrooms. The pex is run an entirely different route and I have a return line for recirculating HW. All of the type L 3/4" copper I did in 2011 is staying.

    The water main seems to be beyond my capabilities. The curb box is between the curb and sidewalk and has maybe 15" of space between the two. The run from that to the house isn't far but goes under the porch. Maybe a total of 10 feet from curb box to foundation. My guess is the sidewalk needs to be...........messed with.

    Aside from it breaking, it's definitely restricted.
    I bet a nice new 3/4" run with that pressure would be a beautiful thing.

    All well.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,797
    Has your curb stop been operated lately?

    Out here most are not visible and need to be located.
    Some will not operate once found.

    It might to be wise to know it works and even have your own curb stop tool on hand to cover Murphy's Law.
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    JUGHNE said:

    Has your curb stop been operated lately?

    Out here most are not visible and need to be located.
    Some will not operate once found.

    It might to be wise to know it works and even have your own curb stop tool on hand to cover Murphy's Law.

    No idea.
    I wanted to get a tool but I've had multiple plumbers tell me not to touch it because it'll likely break and it'll be my problem.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,797
    I guess IIWM, I would try it now rather than have a possible double whammy of the Murphy and his other brother.
    The old ones I have dealt with give the "feeling" warning of that "twist off/stripping" sensation.

    A bad day would be when the house stop valve breaks out of the pipe threads in your basement....then you find out your curb stop doesn't work. >:)

    Just some things to think about for a Monday morning.

    Just happened to a neighbor, put her old oil furnace (last one in town) and gas water heater under a couple feet of water.
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    JUGHNE said:

    I guess IIWM, I would try it now rather than have a possible double whammy of the Murphy and his other brother.
    The old ones I have dealt with give the "feeling" warning of that "twist off/stripping" sensation.

    A bad day would be when the house stop valve breaks out of the pipe threads in your basement....then you find out your curb stop doesn't work. >:)

    Just some things to think about for a Monday morning.

    Just happened to a neighbor, put her old oil furnace (last one in town) and gas water heater under a couple feet of water.

    Luckily I do have a sump pump I put in just after Irene so it would cause a very bad mess, but not several feet. Hopefully.

    The problem is I've never felt a curb stop before so the chances of me being able to tell what it's doing are slim to none. I'll have no idea what it's doing. Someone did install a new ball valve shutoff so I'd guess it was turned off for that but who knows how long ago. At least before 2011 and that valve didn't look new even then.

    Hopefully down the road I can hire someone to do it properly.
    I've seen things about PEX being used. Copper vs PEX for buried lines? Or is that just best left up to the guy doing the work?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,797
    Would your water company shut it off for you?
    They do these every day. Anytime I shut one off for any reason, I exercise it open and closed several times. Once loose they are good to go for quite a while.

    The copper or PEX could be determined by your water quality.
    If aggressive to copper then most use PEX.
    Here we have no water quality problems but cost usually decides that PEX goes in. Minimum size is 1", sometimes 1 1/4" as we have only 30-40 PSI and the service line could be 100'.
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    > @JUGHNE said:
    > Would your water company shut it off for you?
    > They do these every day. Anytime I shut one off for any reason, I exercise it open and closed several times. Once loose they are good to go for quite a while.
    >
    > The copper or PEX could be determined by your water quality.
    > If aggressive to copper then most use PEX.
    > Here we have no water quality problems but cost usually decides that PEX goes in. Minimum size is 1", sometimes 1 1/4" as we have only 30-40 PSI and the service line could be 100'.

    It sounds like my boss may help me attempt to change it. I do have a few concerns though.

    I'll need to talk to the building department and get whatever permits that are required. But also the easiest route may be to use the old pipe to pull pex into the house. My concerns are would that be too risky due to rocks etc. Then again, the OD of 1" pex may not work out with 3/4 galv making it's hole.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    Working on getting the permit to change the service line.

    The water company has been less than great.
    Someone on the phone told me a BFP was required in my area but couldn't tell me what kind. Now I'm wondering if it's actually required in my situation or not so I'm trying to contact someone else there.

    It's been fun.....
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 13,205
    Do you supply the PRV or them? Either way I would imagine you would want to put in a testable, rebuildable RPZ type.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,797
    Bob, in your state who tests the testable RPZ's and who pays for the test? And how often?
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    > @hot_rod said:
    > Do you supply the PRV or them? Either way I would imagine you would want to put in a testable, rebuildable RPZ type.

    All of the double check assemblies I've seen like the Watts 007 is both testable and rebuildable.

    As far as I know I'd be paying for both it and the test.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    @clammy Who can I get my actual local plumbing code from? I've had very little luck at it. We use state inspectors.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 13,205
    What code are you under? UPC? You can find sections online, or buy the entire code book.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
    ChrisJ
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 13,205
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJChrisJ Member Posts: 10,870
    > @hot_rod said:
    > What code are you under? UPC? You can find sections online, or buy the entire code book.

    I'm looking for the local codes specific to my area. Would the town provide them even though we use state inspectors? Or would the building department for the state?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
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