Low Water Pressure

Highland City receives many phone calls each year from residents who are experiencing a reduction in the water pressure inside their home.  A majority of the time, it is due to the pressure regulating valve located inside the home that has gone bad.  The role of the regulating valve is to help shield your appliances from any extreme fluctuations in water pressure.  While effective, this plumbing component may develop problems as time goes on. 

1. Blockages

A pressure regulator valve works the same way as an outdoor hose faucet. A screw at the top allows you to increase or decrease the flow of water through the valve. Tightening the screw restricts water flow and hence places a tighter limit on the maximum water pressure.

Unfortunately, over time, a regulator valve may develop blockages that restrict flow beyond the intended amount. Such blockages often stem from high mineral content in the water supply. These mineral deposits accumulate inside of the valve body, leading to lower-than-intended home water pressure.

In most cases, a plumber can resolve this issue by disassembling and cleaning out your regulator valve.

2. Damaged Internal Components

Pressure regulator valves come in two main styles: direct acting and pilot operated. The majority of residential water systems use direct-acting valves. These valves contain a heat-resistant diaphragm attached to a spring. When water pushes on the diaphragm with enough force, the pressure causes the valve to close more tightly.

Over time, the moving parts of this mechanism experience a significant amount of force. Eventually those components degrade, making them less responsive than they should be.

The older a pressure regulator valve gets, the more prone it becomes to failure. Generally speaking, most regulator valves have a life-span of between 7 and 12 years. If you have recently noticed an abrupt changes in the water pressure in your home, an internal component in your pressure regulator may have failed.

3. Incorrect Pressure Setting

At the top of a water regulator valve sits an exposed screw. This screw allows a for the tension to be alter by the pressure exerted on the spring inside of the valve body. Tightening the screw makes it more difficult for water pressure to move the diaphragm, thus raising the maximum pressure. Loosening the screw has the opposite effect.

When faced with insufficient pressure, don't immediately jump to the conclusion that your regulator valve has failed. You may simply need to have your valve adjusted. 

A professional plumber can help you resolve any problems that you may be having with your pressure regulating valve.