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What Is a Water Pressure Regulator?

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Just about anyone knows that water can’t flow uphill. That’s why valleys and areas at the base of a mountain are generally the most prone to flooding when heavy rains fall. So if that’s the case how does water get to all of the various faucets and fixtures around your home, including the ones upstairs? The answer: the water in your plumbing lines is under pressure. Water pressure comes from the supply and carries through the water main network all throughout your community. That means the water which enters your home is under pressure as well, and this is what pushes water everywhere it needs to be.

However, too much pressure is not a good thing. What happens when you blow up a balloon too much? It pops. Too much air pressure inside the balloon caused it to burst, and the same thing can happen to your plumbing lines. So to counteract this and prevent too much pressure from damaging your home’s plumbing, your home is outfitted with a pressure regulator valve located near your water meter.

How a Pressure Regulator Works

A water pressure regulator is pretty simple as far as plumbing devices go. Essentially, the regulator consists of a spring-loaded diaphragm which reduces the pressure of the water entering your home down to a more reasonable and consistent level. This also make your water pressure even and consistent as well—whereas an unregulated plumbing line could experience wild fluctuations in water pressure, a regulated line should always have close to the same pressure at all times. Likewise, it’s also worth noting that your water pressure regulator cannot boost your water pressure, only reduces it.

What’s a “reasonable” water pressure level, you might ask? While the answer varies from home to home, generally a number between 40 and 60 pounds per square-inch (PSI) is an ideal level. However, some water supplies around LA County have to boost their pressure as high as 100 PSI or more in order to supply water to the furthest reaches of their lines. And the problem only continues to grow as more and more construction adds more and more need for water over a wider geographic area.

What High Water Pressure Can Do to Your Home?

Is high water pressure really that big of a deal? Believe it or not, yes. It very much is. While we’ve already discussed the idea that too much water pressure can cause your pipes to burst, the truth is you’re probably going to see other, smaller problems far more frequently. Too much water pressure can cause things like dripping or leaking faucets, leaking toilets, or leaks in hoses leading to appliances like your water heater, washing machine, or dishwasher. It can even shorten the life of these appliances as well, leading to considerable extra expense replacing them more often than normal!

Likewise, while we’ve discussed burst pipes before, the truth is too much pressure usually creates problems that start small, such as minor leaks. These leaks are pesky, but if they seem to continually be coming back, then there’s a good chance too much pressure may be to blame.

If your water pressure regulator has worn out or needs replaced, call the experienced Los Angeles plumbers from Moe Plumbing Services at (818) 396-8002 today!

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