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Old 11-01-2010, 06:40 AM   #1
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Leaking water line needs new water regulator?


Dear all,

Please help me with my new mystery!

I have lived in this house for five years. Just recently, the water lines (hot and cold) keep leaking. I fixed them (copper pipe welding) whenever it happened. Last week, I noticed that water dripping out from the outside water faucet where I connect to a hose to water grass or to wash the cars.

Yesterday, a plumber coming to fix a gas line. He detected that the hot water dripping to the outside from the water heater. He said the TNP valve and the water regulator went wrong. TNP is Temperature and Pressure valve as he told me. This one is attached to the water heater. He charged me $180 for installing the TNP valve and $280 for the water regulator. I let him work on the TNP valve as it is related to the water heater. I will try to replace the water regulator today as I do not need a licensed plumber; I think I can legally do it. After he replaced the TNP valve, water still dripped to the outside from the water heater.

I will call the plumber to see what he says about the water dripping from the water heater.

My question: With the new TNP valved installed, water still dripping; does that mean the water regulator is bad? If it is bad, I assume that the water pressure is high in the lines, then why water coming out quite weak at the inside faucets (sink, shower heads...)?

Thank you in advance for all your comments and suggestions!

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Old 11-01-2010, 07:02 AM   #2
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Leaking water line needs new water regulator?


From your explanations and questions, I would recommend a plumber. First, you need to get a water pressure gauge. They connect to any hose bib, like the outside spigot. The pressure should be about 45-60lbs. Any higher any you get the problems you describe. The T&P valve is most likely responding to too high pressure, and probably did not need to be replaced. The leaking hose bib may just need a new washer, not necessarily the same problem.

Pressure regulators are adjustable. There is a bolt or screw sticking out of the regulator, that is the adjustment. Screw it in to reduce the pressure. Open a faucet to balance pressure. If nothing happens, you probably do need a new one.

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Old 11-01-2010, 07:27 AM   #3
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Leaking water line needs new water regulator?


Thank you very much, Bill!

I just found out that the line was leaking at another place (right after the water regulator). I do think that this is because of the high water pressure. I turned it down and wait to see.

I will also get a water pressure gauge so that from now on, I can check the pressure.

Can I just install the water regulator and pressure gauge myself? The service cost is high.
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:01 AM   #4
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Leaking water line needs new water regulator?


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Thank you very much, Bill!

I just found out that the line was leaking at another place (right after the water regulator). I do think that this is because of the high water pressure. I turned it down and wait to see.

I will also get a water pressure gauge so that from now on, I can check the pressure.

Can I just install the water regulator and pressure gauge myself? The service cost is high.

Only you know your skill level if you can install regulator yourself. As for the pressure gauge. It just screws on like A garden hose.. Install it on your water heater drain valve. Open the drain valve to check the pressure. If you don't have an expansion tank. You might consider installing 1
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:30 AM   #5
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Leaking water line needs new water regulator?


Huynh,

Have you had any work done in relation to water prior to the leaks starting? Like having a water sprinkler or drip irrigation system installed? Or anything at all?
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Old 11-01-2010, 11:36 AM   #6
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Leaking water line needs new water regulator?


Homerepairguy,

I have not done anything. Two weeks ago, the hot water line was leaking. I fixed that. Then, it leaked somewhere else a few days later. Yesterday, I found one more (will fix today). This morning, I found another!!! I also noticed that water kept running in the toilet tank beside it dripped on the outside spigot.

I am thinking that the plumber did not do it correctly. He should have fixed the water pressure regulator before fixing the TPR (T&P valve), as JustBill said that the T&P was responding to high pressure in the lines.

Kenmac, I think I can do that. I will also install a water pressure gauge to see how high it is.

Thank you all!
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:39 PM   #7
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Leaking water line needs new water regulator?


I just checked the water pressure. It was 160 PSI!!! Gosh!

Then, about an hour later, it went down 40 PSI. I felt much better; then it went back up 160 PSI! What is going on? Has anyone seen this strange (at least, to me now!) problem?

The water pressure regulator is not so expensive. The old one is old anyway; so, I am going to replace it. Then, I will check the pressure again.

Should I do anything else? Please keep me on track! Thank you very much!
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:41 PM   #8
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Leaking water line needs new water regulator?


Quote:
Originally Posted by huynh View Post
I just checked the water pressure. It was 160 PSI!!! Gosh!
Quote:
Originally Posted by huynh View Post

Then, about an hour later, it went down 40 PSI. I felt much better; then it went back up 160 PSI! What is going on? Has anyone seen this strange (at least, to me now!) problem?

The water pressure regulator is not so expensive. The old one is old anyway; so, I am going to replace it. Then, I will check the pressure again.

Should I do anything else? Please keep me on track! Thank you very much!
The water pressure is increasing due to thermal expansion as the heater heats the water.

If you open a faucet, close it and then take a pressure reading, is the pressure then 40 psi? If so, then your pressure regulator is probably working. Then as the water heats up the pressure builds due to thermal expansion. If you don’t have an expansion tank, the pressure will build up to the city pressure and then any higher pressure will be bypassed back toward the city via the pressure regulator. In this case, a thermal expansion tank is needed to prevent the pressure build up. This is all assuming that your city water pressure is 160 psi.

If your city water pressure is less than 160 psi, then one of two things:

1. The bypass in your pressure regulator is not working.

2. There is a check or anti-back up valve somewhere in your system which is preventing thermal pressure build up to be bypassed back toward the city water system. This is why I asked if a sprinkler or drip irrigation system or other work on your water system had been done.

Be SURE you are aware of any check or anti-backup valves installed in your system. They can wreak havoc with thermal expansion of the hot water. In any case, it sure sounds like you need to install a thermal expansion tank on the cold water input to your water heater with no check valve between it and the heater.

My $.02,
HomeRepairGuy

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 11-02-2010 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:33 AM   #9
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Leaking water line needs new water regulator?


I replaced the water pressure regulator yesterday. The water pressure fluctuated between 50-66 PSI. I never caught 160 PSI again. Yay! However, I will check again for the next few days to see if it is stable in that range.

Thank you very much to you all. This website is awesome; you guys are wonderful! I did not know that I could learn that much from here!


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Old 11-02-2010, 10:40 AM   #10
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Leaking water line needs new water regulator?


Make sure you are taking your pressure readings with no water running in the house (static pressure). The reading will be way low if, for example, someone was taking a shower at the time of the measurement.
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:25 AM   #11
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Leaking water line needs new water regulator?


Yes, it is static pressure. Thank you.
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:44 PM   #12
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Leaking water line needs new water regulator?


I install an expansion tank on every wh I install. In most areas I work in, it's the law ! Or code as we know it
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:17 AM   #13
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Leaking water line needs new water regulator?


It only makes the water system works better. I am going to install one this weekend!
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:42 AM   #14
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Leaking water line needs new water regulator?


If you don't have a check valve or other backflow preventor between the meter and the water heater, an expansion tank won't help you. It won't hurt either.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:48 AM   #15
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Leaking water line needs new water regulator?


Hi,
My shower has never had really hard water pressure, but when I took one earlier the pressure was so hard that it could peel the meat off your back! The hot water didn't last at all...took maybe, maybe, maybe 2 minutes for it to run out. The water pressure in the rest of the house is fine. What could this be? My cousin says it sounds like the Pressure Regulator has went bad and that the shower is on a different one than the other things in the house. Could this be the problem? And how hard is it to fix? I have put a call into my landlord several times, but he's a slumlord and doesn't really care about anything. We can't even take a bath...even when running a tub bath I can get about 4 inches of water and the hot water is gone. I checked around the hot water heater and there are no leaks. What is this problem?
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