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Old 01-22-2012, 10:32 PM   #1
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Water Pressure Reducer


We've not (yet) had any plumbing problems in our house, but I decided to purchase a pressure valve and check it. It read 90 psi, which I know is definitely on the high side.

The pressure reducer is a Watts N35B (13 years old, assuming it's original to the house). The metal tag says it's rated for 35-70 psi. Does the fact that it reads above its rating automatically mean that the valve is faulty, and needs to be replaced? (or at minimum gunked up?)

Also, I've not tried turning the adjusting screw...is there any reason why not to at least try to adjust it first before I replace it? It's the reverse of a hose spigot....counterclockwise to decrease pressure, correct?

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Old 01-22-2012, 10:48 PM   #2
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Water Pressure Reducer


Yep, time for a new one. Sounds like you're at street pressure.

And you're correct with the adjustment screw. Tightening the screw increases the pressure.

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Old 01-23-2012, 08:12 AM   #3
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Water Pressure Reducer


Couple of minor details. First off, you did measure the pressure downstream of the pressure reducer? I assume so, you should check the gage accuracy before assuming the pressure reducer is defective. Also, the newer Watts pressure reducers have a cleanout, after a while they get gunked up and need to be cleaned, at least that is what the one for my boiler says. Seems easy enough, although yours may be old enough that it does not have a cleanout. When I replaced my old one, it lacked a cleanout, and was so full of debris and corrosion it could not possibly have operated.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
Couple of minor details. First off, you did measure the pressure downstream of the pressure reducer? I assume so, you should check the gage accuracy before assuming the pressure reducer is defective. Also, the newer Watts pressure reducers have a cleanout, after a while they get gunked up and need to be cleaned, at least that is what the one for my boiler says. Seems easy enough, although yours may be old enough that it does not have a cleanout. When I replaced my old one, it lacked a cleanout, and was so full of debris and corrosion it could not possibly have operated.
Yes, definitely taken after the reducer, with a brand-spanking new pressure gauge.

What I'm thinking of doing is leaving the old PRV in place, and installing a second Shark-Bite pressure reducer a bit further upstream, where I installed some Pex tubing to fix a small leak last year. (I'm a big fan of SharkBites and Pex tubing...plumbing in minutes.) Next question: this second location would be after the two hose bibs, so they would be getting the full 90psi, while the rest of the house would get reduced to 50 or 60. Can hose bibs with copper pipes generally handle 90psi? I'd prefer to have the higher pressure for the outdoor hoses anyways. Plus, this makes this into a very quick job, with an easy backout procedure in case something goes wrong. And I can always cut out the old PRV and move the new one into it's old location in the future.
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:34 PM   #5
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Water Pressure Reducer


My thoughts: I think 90 psi is right on the fence of needing a prv.

Also, Don't forget about thermal expansion: Cold water coming in to your water heater at 60 psi, then getting heated up and expanding and giving you a higher reading. I have a prv set at 80 psi, and in the winter after I have taken a shower and go to the basement, I have seen the guage at over 100 psi.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
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My thoughts: I think 90 psi is right on the fence of needing a prv.

Also, Don't forget about thermal expansion: Cold water coming in to your water heater at 60 psi, then getting heated up and expanding and giving you a higher reading. I have a prv set at 80 psi, and in the winter after I have taken a shower and go to the basement, I have seen the guage at over 100 psi.
I do have an expansion tank, and had just run the hose outside before attaching the gauge, so I'm guessing it would have been at a steady state pressure. But good point. I actually have a second ball valve to shut off the indoor plumbing but keep the hose bibs active (i.e. when out of town, but still want neighbors to water the outdoor plants). I'll close that valve to isolate everything in the house, including the water heater and expansion tank, to make I'm getting an accurate reading at the hose.

I also was able to find an identical "form factor" PRV at Lowes, and I've worked out how I think I can install it without too much fuss.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:54 PM   #7
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Water Pressure Reducer


It sounds like you have done your homework. Good Luck
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:54 PM   #8
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Water Pressure Reducer


time to replace it....

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