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Old 12-27-2012, 09:22 AM   #1
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residential domestic water service without regulator?


Visiting some relatives (in FL, USA) from the holiday and they said they had a plumber in recently to replace a faucet and he mentioned that the water pressure was high and they think he said the utility should be contacted to adjust. I thought that was odd since where I live all resi DW service has water coming in at ~100 psi (to supply sprinklers in multi resi units) and we have on-premises regulators to step down the pressure to ~50 psi for the usual sinks, showers, etc.

So I look at their incoming water and there is just a valve. No regulator and no visible manifold as the incoming service line disappears into a finished space in the floor.

I am going to get one of those hose bib gages and check the pressure for them today. But I am wondering if this is typical (or even allowed?) to have DW service without a regulator?

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Old 12-27-2012, 09:33 AM   #2
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residential domestic water service without regulator?


Depends on what the pressure was when the house was built. Sometimes municipalities increase pressure without notifying the public in the areas that are affected. By code we are limited to 80PSI, but that doesn't mean there is someone going around checking pressure on houses all the time. Heck you could even have a regulator buried somewhere that went bad, and now all the sudden the pressure is high.

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Old 12-27-2012, 10:11 AM   #3
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residential domestic water service without regulator?


Here are some pics. I guess a regulator, if there is one, could be covered up by the drywall under the floor. But it sounds like the pressure is probably not really all that high to require action. They think the plumber said it was ~ 65 psi.

They don't have an expansion tank which is another issue... not sure what the code was here when built in 1988 and rebuilt (though most of the original plumbing was intact except the water heater and its connections) after Hurricane Ivan in 2004.




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Old 12-27-2012, 12:48 PM   #4
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residential domestic water service without regulator?


PRV's and expansion tanks are needed when the local codes ask for them or there are other situations that dictate their requirement. Sounds like neither is needed at your house.
If your pressure is over 80psi then you need both installed because the PRV will not allow the HW to expand to the city supply. Your current situation allows the expansion to happen.
Also- some water meters now have built in check valves, so expansion tanks become necessary.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:34 PM   #5
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residential domestic water service without regulator?


Thanks for the feedback eplumber. I got a hose bib gage and the pressure read 72 psi. Those gages probably aren't super accurate but the pressure doesn't seem too far out of bounds.

The issue here is that they are noticing more flow noise since the utility recently did some work to increase pressure/flow in the area since the next block down was experiencing some problems with that.

I am just not used to seeing a setup like this without a check valve and regulator on the premises.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:15 AM   #6
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residential domestic water service without regulator?


If you have a back flow preventer (check valve) on your main water line then you need an expansion tank for the water heater.

Otherwise the next tankful of water to be heated, when it expands, will need to use the water heater pressure/temperature relief valve.

Open a cold water faucet for about 15 seconds, close it, and do your pressure measurement from the hose bibb or wherever within a few minutes. (No need to run more water if you were using water; turn off all faucets before measuring.) This relieves any additional pressure caused by expansion of water being heated that would confuse your attempted reading of city water pressure.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:26 AM   #7
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residential domestic water service without regulator?


I understand that Allan. But I don't see a check valve or regulator on the premises here and I have never seen a setup like that because where I live every house has those. That is my main question here: are there places where the utlity supplies water at the working pressure without check valves and regs on premises? Or is it possible they have a hidden check valve and regulator?

I suppose I could do a test with the hose bib gage in place... run enough hot water to kick on the water heater and then observe the pressure rise, if any.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:36 AM   #8
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residential domestic water service without regulator?


It is common for utilities to supply domestic water with no check valve and no pressure regulator. As noted, if the utility believes the pressure they supply is not too high, they may not supply a check valve or pressure regulator. In some communities, the pressure regulator and check valve is installed by the homeowner. In other locations, the check valve may be built into the utility service. So in short, to answer your question, yes it is common for a utility to supply water without a backflow preventer or regulator.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:38 AM   #9
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residential domestic water service without regulator?


Other than what the plumber told you, is their any indication of a problem. The city water guy out where I live told me they only turn the main valve at the street partially open to restrict flow.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:53 AM   #10
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residential domestic water service without regulator?


No major problem. Just what I mentioned in post #5. One particularly sensitive resident says there is more flow noise since some recent outside utility work. They called the utility to come have a look next week.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:41 AM   #11
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residential domestic water service without regulator?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
PRV's and expansion tanks are needed when the local codes ask for them or there are other situations that dictate their requirement. Sounds like neither is needed at your house.
If your pressure is over 80psi then you need both installed because the PRV will not allow the HW to expand to the city supply. Your current situation allows the expansion to happen.
Also- some water meters now have built in check valves, so expansion tanks become necessary.
Our city installs check valves at the meter now. We go through a lot of expansion tanks.

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