What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

The Time Will Come To Replace The Old Pressure Reducing Valve

The time will come to replace the old Pressure Reducing Valve.

Most newer homes, 80s or later, will have pressure reducing valves as a part of the plumbing system.

They do what it sounds like they do - they reduce the water pressure coming in from the municipality to a pressure more comfortable for the home's plumbing system.  It is typically located just after the water main, and before the plumbing that begins to distribute through the house.

The public system will push water to and through the house.  To distribute water to such a large geographic area the street pressure can be quite high. 

Water pressure in the home should be in the 50 - 60 pounds per square inch (PSI) range.  Higher than that can damage the plumbing fittings, cause leaks, and damage weaker fittings such as at dishwashers and washing machines, and so forth. 

Too much pressure can cause a "water hammer," which is the banging noise heard when a faucet is turned off.  The sudden stopping of higher-pressure water causes a shock or bounce-back of the water, which can cause damage to everything in the system.

Like all plumbing fixtures, when the pressure reducing valve gets old it will show it.

Stress like slight leaking, mineral build up, or even dripping can be seen.

When that happens it is time to replace the device.

When they go, they can go big.  The worst leaks are not small - and sometimes explosive.  A basement or lower level can fill up quickly with water, especially water coming at the rate it would from a damaged pressure reducing valve.

That it's time to replace is evident with this valve.  Both sides show previous leaking, and mineral build up.  The green is from oxidation of the copper (even from humidity), and the solder reacting to what is in the water.  Seeing such a green hue is not a problem.

My recommendation:  when it looks old and leaky it probably is!  Better safe than sorry is the old motto.  Pay attention to the fittings in the house, everywhere - all valves and handles.  If they are leaking, or show build up, replace them!  Basic maintenance is just that.  Maintain when needed!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 9 commentsJay Markanich • August 29 2016 02:58AM

Comments

Good morning, Jay Markanich this is great advice and now I'm going to my basement to look at the pressure relief valves on the furnace....I have a forced hot water heating system that is serviced every year...but I think I'll go look at this myself.

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) almost 3 years ago

Those would be similar Barbara, and have similar problems.  Check all valves.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

Good morning Jay. Something we seldom consider! Thanks for the heads-up! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) almost 3 years ago

Good thing there is a shut off valve installed.  Wonder if it still works?

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) almost 3 years ago

Wayne - this is something that goes bad often and when it does it's a biggie big problem.

Stephen - if it didn't I would have noted it on the report.  I don't remember!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

We are having a water pressure issue on a soon to be listed  house...come on over !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 3 years ago

You-o needo plumbero.  That's perfect Spanish.

It could be mineral build up in the aerators and shower heads too.  Screw one or two off to see.  The most used faucets are kitchen and master bath.

A bad pressure valve can also cause a whine when the water is turned on.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

Jay Markanich Yep them will die at some time. I have them also fail to maintain pressure. 

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

Don - I find that when they start losing pressure there is a whine that happens in the pipes.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 3 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments