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Old 04-14-2012, 01:58 PM   #1
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Part2-Rumbling pipes and leaking pressure relief valve


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Originally Posted by rogerwright View Post
I put the gauge on the back spicket, and turned it on, the red needle did not move off zero. I turned off the water and unattached it, then reattached it. The readings are now about the same as the front spicket. You said something about setting the red needle on the black. I did not manually adjust a starting point for the needles, do I need to do that? There definitely is a pressure reducing valve on my cold water line coming into the water heater. I guess that it needs adjusting or is not working?
(Continued from another thread with the same subject line)

The red needle needs to be reset every time you use the pressure gauge. The procedure is:

1. Open and then close any faucet to release any built up pressure in the plumbing.
2. Attach the gauge to the hose bib and get the current pressure reading on the black needle.
3. "Gently" turn the center knob counter-clockwise which will turn the red needle counter-clockwise. "Gently" butt the red needle against the black needle. The red needle is now reset.

Here's how you use the gauge:
After the red needle is reset as above, you could go to sleep. The next morning say you flushed the toilet. That would release any built up pressure in the plumbing. Now if you looked at the pressure gauge, the black needle would indicate the current "lower" pressure since any high pressure was released when you flushed the toilet. But the red needle remembers the "highest" pressure reading that occurred while you were sleeping.

The pressure reducing valve (PRV) should not be on the cold water line going into your heater. It should be on the main line that feeds your entire home. That way every fixture in your home will receive the reduced pressure. Are you sure that the item on the cold water line feeding your heater is a PRV?

HRG

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Last edited by Homerepairguy; 04-14-2012 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:02 PM   #2
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Part2-Rumbling pipes and leaking pressure relief valve


no, that was a mistake, it is on the main water line coming into the house. how do you know if its working?

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Old 04-14-2012, 11:15 PM   #3
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Part2-Rumbling pipes and leaking pressure relief valve


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no, that was a mistake, it is on the main water line coming into the house. how do you know if its working?
To see if the PRV is working:

1. Open and close any faucet to release any built up water pressure in your plumbing. *** very important ***
2. Attach your water pressure gauge to a hose bib closest to your PRV.
3. Follow the instructions as shown in this Watts video on how to adjust a PRV:



The video shows using a socket and ratchet to adjust the hex head adjusting screw but some PRVs just have a slot for a flat blade screwdriver. Ignore the "upstream" pressure gauge in the video. You won't have that. The downstream pressure gauge is the one on your hose bib.

If the pressure reading changes as you adjust the PRV, then it's working. In that case adjust it for 60 psi. If the pressure reading doesn't change, the PRV is bad so replace it.

Note how much the guy in the video has to turn the adjusting screw to vary the output water pressure. That's all the turns you need to find out if your PRV is working or not. I don't know what will happen if you go to extremes in adjusting the screw so be careful in doing that.

After you get 60 psi on your pressure gauge by either adjusting or replacing your PRV, then the water pressure to your home will be correct. You can then continue to troubleshoot any problems if you still have any.

EDIT:
BTW, did you verify with your city whether they have an anti-backflow preventer check valve installed in the water line to your home? If they have one, definitely install a thermal expansion tank on your system asap. Even if they don't have an anti-backflow preventer on your water line, I recommend installing one since your city's water pressure seems to be on the high side. ***But be sure to install an expansion tank AFTER you have a working PRV and 60 psi in your system.*** A plumber who replaces the PRV (if it needs to be replaced) could install the expansion tank at the same time, saving you some money over two separate jobs.

HRG

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 04-14-2012 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Added the EDIT paragraph.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:05 AM   #4
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Part2-Rumbling pipes and leaking pressure relief valve


the city said there was a backflow preventer built into the meter going to my home. They verified that the water pressure to my hime is 150 to 190psi which is what the Watts Meter was pretty much reading. The pressure reducing valve did reduce my water pressure, but there is a little pressure build up when I first turn on a faucet after a period of time, is that normal? Do you need an expansion tank on an electric water heater or just gas?
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:57 PM   #5
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Part2-Rumbling pipes and leaking pressure relief valve


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Originally Posted by rogerwright View Post
the city said there was a backflow preventer built into the meter going to my home. They verified that the water pressure to my hime is 150 to 190psi which is what the Watts Meter was pretty much reading. The pressure reducing valve did reduce my water pressure, but there is a little pressure build up when I first turn on a faucet after a period of time, is that normal? Do you need an expansion tank on an electric water heater or just gas?
Since the city has a backflow preventer installed, it's imperative that you have a water heater expansion tank installed asap. Until you do that, I would always crack one faucet to allow a slow drip. Doesn't matter how slow the drip is as long as it drips. You will waste water but will save your plumbing system.

When you select an expansion tank, be sure it's rated for "potable" water use. There are tanks for non potable water use and you don't want one of those in your plumbing system. If you have a 40 to 80 gallon water heater, I would get a 4 to 5 gallon expansion tank, not a 2-3 gallon one.

It's imperative that your water pressure reducing valve (PRV) be working and that you have 60 psi in your plumbing BEFORE you install an expansion tank. The Watts DET-12 tank for example, is rated for a maximum of 150 psi. Since your city's water pressure can get up to 190 psi, you have to have the PRV installed and working first.

It doesn't matter whether the water heater is gas, electric, solar, oil or whatever. As long as there's a backflow preventer installed between the water heater and the city, and as long as water is heated, a thermal expansion tank is a must.

Don't let a hardware store seller talk you into installing a pressure relief valve instead. When I was looking for our expansion tank, the local hardware store did not carry them. The "ex-plumber" working there said "Why do you need an expansion tank? Just install a pressure relief valve instead." That is SOOOO wrong! A pressure relief valve releasing water daily will eventually clog with minerals and/or have a mechanical failure. Then the pressure will build up and the plumbing system will start leaking or in worst case with internally corroded pipes, burst a pipe and cause major flooding.

HRG

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 04-18-2012 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:55 AM   #6
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Part2-Rumbling pipes and leaking pressure relief valve


My pressure is stable at 60psi, I am going to take your advice an install an expansion tank. I do know how to solder, I had to replace my main valve 5yrs ago, and I used to do some refrigeration work, but have not done it in a while. Do expansion tanks come with compression fittings, or do they have something like sharkbite connections that you can connect without soldering. I saw something about a saddle fitting which I think punctures the line much like a refrigeration tap. What do your recommend? After I install the tank, I will replace the relief valve, any other advice on doing that?

Thanks
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:33 PM   #7
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Part2-Rumbling pipes and leaking pressure relief valve


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Originally Posted by rogerwright View Post
My pressure is stable at 60psi, I am going to take your advice an install an expansion tank. I do know how to solder, I had to replace my main valve 5yrs ago, and I used to do some refrigeration work, but have not done it in a while. Do expansion tanks come with compression fittings, or do they have something like sharkbite connections that you can connect without soldering. I saw something about a saddle fitting which I think punctures the line much like a refrigeration tap. What do your recommend? After I install the tank, I will replace the relief valve, any other advice on doing that?

Thanks
Our Watts DET-12 water heater expansion tank has a 3/4" threaded male fitting. It screws into a 3/4" female fitting. I assume you have copper pipes. IMO, never use a saddle fitting. Always do the job properly and use proper copper fittings.

I'll start a new thread on what I've learned and my views on installing water heater expansion tanks. The info might be helpful for folks who do a search on expansion tanks later on.

HRG

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 04-21-2012 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:16 AM   #8
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Part2-Rumbling pipes and leaking pressure relief valve


Turns out my water pressure was still spiking, so I replaced my water pressure regulator this weekend, and I don't believe it. After watrching it all day yesterday, my water pressure is no longer spiking, my pipes stopped rattling, and my water heater pressure relief valve stopped leaking. All my problems were being caused by the water pressure regulator being faulty. I am actually able to leave my my main water valve turned on now, what a relief. Thanks for all your help HRG!
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:25 PM   #9
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Part2-Rumbling pipes and leaking pressure relief valve


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Originally Posted by rogerwright View Post
Turns out my water pressure was still spiking, so I replaced my water pressure regulator this weekend, and I don't believe it. After watrching it all day yesterday, my water pressure is no longer spiking, my pipes stopped rattling, and my water heater pressure relief valve stopped leaking. All my problems were being caused by the water pressure regulator being faulty. I am actually able to leave my my main water valve turned on now, what a relief. Thanks for all your help HRG!
Congrats on resolving your problems!

Still suggest installing an expansion tank asap though since your city does have a backflow preventer check valve installed in the line to your home. Also suggest cracking a faucet a hair to get the minimum drips possible to relieve thermal pressure build up, until an expansion tank is installed. Especially after using a lot of hot water like taking showers, baths, running the dishwasher, using hot water to do the laundry, etc.

All the best,
HRG
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:49 AM   #10
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Part2-Rumbling pipes and leaking pressure relief valve


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I experienced the same! glad i have read all the posts! thanks!
Congrats on resolving your problem also.

Best regards,
HRG

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