How To Adjust A Water Pressure Regulator (Step-by-Step Guide)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

Your home’s water pressure is not something you typically notice until it’s off. It’s only when you get into the shower and see that you’re barely getting water that you realize there’s a problem. In some cases, the issue may also be excessively high water pressure.

That’s obviously not a problem you can leave unaddressed. You must act quickly to adjust your water pressure regulator and put things back in order.

Begin by finding the regulator on the main water line that often looks like a bell. Look for the lock nut positioned atop the regulator and turn it counterclockwise with a wrench until it’s loose. Find the adjustment screw next and either turn it clockwise to increase pressure or counterclockwise to decrease the pressure.

As you’ll see, knowing how to work on your home’s pressure regulator is very important. See what that particular component does for your home and how you should work with it by reading on.

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What Is a Water Pressure Regulator?

Do you know what the incoming water pressure is from your municipal water supply? They vary from one place to another, but the range is usually from 80 to 150 pounds per square inch (psi). In spots where water needs to climb to high places, the pressure could go as high as 200 psi.

There’s a very good chance that you’ll never see that kind of high water pressure in your home. The regulator keeps the water pressure from going that high. In essence, the regulator or pressure-reducing valve is responsible for normalizing the pressure as the water reaches your home.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Water Pressure Regulator?

If you don’t have a water pressure regulator, it’s time to seriously consider installing one. Included below are some of the benefits provided by water pressure regulators.

You Are in Complete Control of Water Flow in Your Home

Remember how the water pressure from the municipal source is usually recorded within the range of 80 to 150 psi? Well, it turns out that you don’t want that kind of water pressure in your home.

There’s a recommended range for the water pressure level inside your home. According to PlumbingSupply, modern homes can function well enough with water pressure in the 45 to 75 psi range.

On some days, the pressure level may rise excessively or you may need to increase the low pressure for cleaning. You may have to tweak the regulator a bit to get the pressure exactly right. The regulator helps you make those adjustments faster.

Simply put, a water pressure regulator puts you in control of water flow inside your home. You’ll be thankful for that in the long run because the alternative can prove costly.

You’ll Prolong the Usefulness of Pipes, Fixtures, and Appliances

Leaving high water pressure unaddressed is bad for your home because it can cause significant damage. Let’s highlight the reasons why high water pressure can be damaging.

Starting with the pipes in your home, you should know that they are not designed to withstand high pressure. Subject them to excessively high pressure on a regular basis and they will spring leaks or possibly even burst. You’ll have to pay for costly repairs because of that.

Your fixtures are not safe from the high water pressure either. Faucets and sprinkler valves are just some of the fixtures that could start malfunctioning due to the elevated water pressure. Even your toilet could eventually sustain damage if the high water pressure remains constant.

The appliances you have at home that are connected to the water supply in some way are also vulnerable. Washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators are just among the different appliances that can be damaged by high water pressure.

You Can Save a Significant Amount of Money

Installing a water pressure regulator is a money-saving move. The cost of purchasing and installing one will be more than worth it in the long run.

The first way in which a pressure-reducing valve saves you money is simply cutting down on repair costs. You won’t have to address the damage high water pressure has inflicted on your pipes, fixtures, and/or appliances.

You’re also cutting down on expenses because less water is going to waste. With no fixtures or pipes leaking, you won’t be paying for water that you’re not using. If you’ve long wanted to install low-flow fixtures at home, you can do that since the water pressure is under control.

On top of all those potential savings, notes that even your energy bills could be reduced. Your heater has to work more if plenty of water is pouring out due to the high pressure. Installing a regulator reduces waste as well as the amount of energy needed to heat up the water.

How to Adjust Your Water Pressure Regulator

Depending on what you need, you may have to reduce or increase the water pressure in your home. While this may seem like a complicated task, it’s one you can handle pretty easily on your own.

You don’t need specialized tools for this job. A simple wrench is all you’ll really need.

Step 1: Find the Water Pressure Regulator

Go to your main water line and look for the main shutoff valve. That’s typically where the water pressure regulator is. If you have a water meter, you may also see the regulator located close to that.

For those having a hard time, look for the bell-shaped component on the main water line because that’s the regulator. You can also tell it’s the regulator if you see the lock nut and adjustment screw.

Step 2: Loosen the Lock Nut

Take your wrench now and start working to turn the lock nut loose. You can do that by just turning the lock nut counterclockwise. Stop turning as soon as the lock nut feels loose.

Step 3: Tweak the Adjustment Screw

Move the wrench to the adjustment screw next and start to turn it. If you want to increase the pressure, turn the screw clockwise. Turning the screw counterclockwise will decrease the water pressure.

Step 4: Test and Return the Lock Nut to Its Original Position

Ask someone to turn a faucet on to see if the water pressure is now adequate. Continue to make adjustments if the water pressure level is not right yet. As soon as you’re happy with the water pressure, grab the wrench again and tighten the lock nut. Turn it clockwise to secure it back in place.

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Related Questions

How Can You Determine the Current Water Pressure Level in Your Home?

In some homes, the main water line already comes equipped with a water meter. If your home has one, just look at that to get an accurate reading of your current water pressure level. Other homeowners may not be as fortunate and their main water lines may not have meters attached. Don’t worry if you’re one of them because you can still use a pressure gauge.Screw the pressure gauge onto a laundry faucet and then turn the water on. The gauge will give you a reading of the water pressure after doing so.

Where Should the Water Pressure Regulator Be Installed?

The main water line is where you should position the water pressure regulator, but you cannot pick a spot at random. The best spot for the pressure-reducing valve is just after the main shut-off valve.You want to install the regulator there because doing so gives you better control over water flow throughout your water home. One adjustment to a regulator installed in that spot means the pressure will be altered throughout the plumbing system.Installing the water pressure regulator in that spot also makes it easier to turn off the water supply. That should come in handy whenever you need to make repairs or want to install new fixtures.

How Do You Maintain a Water Pressure Regulator?

In order to maintain the water pressure regulator properly, you’ll first need the water meter or pressure gauge. They will take the guesswork out of measuring water pressure and let you know faster if there’s a problem.You should also regularly check on the water pressure regulator’s performance. At least once every year, adjust it and see if it still works. Failing to check on the regulator consistently could lead to water pressure in your home spiking without you knowing.Eventually, the water pressure regulator will succumb to wear and tear. Don’t bother with trying to repair the regulator. In this case, you’ll have to purchase a replacement regulator.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

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