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I've just purchased a new home (new to me; the house was built in 1994), and I've noticed that the water pressure is pretty low. Not low enough to be a serious impediment (it passed inspection), but it's significantly lower than the house I lived in previously, which is less than a mile away from the new one.

One thing that concerns me is that the inspector noted that I have polybutylene plumbing (but with copper fittings, which evidently makes it less of an issue), and so I'm wondering if a pressure reducing valve (PRV) has been installed in order to protect the plumbing. Is this something that would have been done specifically because of polybutylene plumbing, and am I playing with fire if I do find a PRV and adjust it higher?

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Do you actually have a PRV? It would most likely be located on the main pipe where water enters your house. Higher pressure definitely increases the demands on your pipes and fittings, but I don't know enough about polybutylene specifically to know whether pressure is a common failure cause or whether PRVs are effective at reducing the likelihood of failure. –  Shimon Rura Sep 7 '12 at 21:26
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@ShimonRura: Actually, it turns out I don't; when I heard hoofbeats, I should have thought horses and not zebras...turns out the kitchen faucet was just bad. The pressure was much better after replacing the sprayer handle. D'oh! –  Adam Robinson Sep 7 '12 at 21:52
    
Just FYI, I thought polybutylene use was discontinued in the 80s, but it wasn't actually outlawed for use until 1995. Looks like you were one of the last unlucky ones! –  joshdoe Mar 7 '13 at 15:51
    
It appears you've solved your problem. You should post a self answer and accept it so this question no longer shows as opened. –  BMitch Apr 21 '13 at 0:24

2 Answers 2

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When I heard hoofbeats, I should have thought horses and not zebras...turns out the kitchen faucet was just bad. The pressure was much better after replacing the sprayer handle. D'oh!

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Check your pressure before the regulator and after the regulator goes to the home and you will have your answer.

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You should include more details in the answer, e.g. how to check the water pressure before the main shutoff where PRV's are frequently located. –  BMitch Apr 21 '13 at 0:24

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