My water pressure is only about 25 PSI both inside and outside. The water district told me they are supplying 115 PSI to the house and advised that my Pressure Release Valve (PRV) is probably broken. The problem is, I can't find it. It's supposed to be within 5 feet of my water meter, which is buried outside near the curb, about 20 feet from the house. The water district can't help me find it. It doesn't seem to be near the clean-out for my sewer lines. Any suggestions how to find the valve?

  • 3
    I think you mean Pressure Reducing Valve, not Pressure Relief Valve. – Tester101 Mar 24 '15 at 0:43

Your pressure relief valve (let's stop using acronyms) is probably located on your water heater, it is actually a temperature/pressure relief valve. Sometimes a "pressure only" relief valve will be located on supply piping also. They are designed to open up and relieve pressure due to an unplanned temporary high pressure event, they both look something like this:

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A pressure regulator is different. It is designed to regulate (control) your water utility company pressure before that pressure can damage your plumbing. This is the device you need go find. It should look something like this:

enter image description here

You will notice by a close look at the pictures that these two valves look very different.

  • it, Thanks a lot for your post and for the pictures. This helps a lot. Your descriptions of the Pressure Regulator and Pressure Relief Valve are kind of similar. From your explanation, my understanding is that both of the items are used to prevent damage to pipes and water heaters due to too much pressure. If I am experiencing an issue with not enough pressure, which one would I want to adjust? Thanks, Brandon – Brandon Dec 16 '16 at 16:46
  • Adjust the pressure regulator (lower picture). The "bolt" you can see in the picture is the setpoint adjustment mechanism. You loosen the locknut then turn the bolt clockwise (normally CW, brands and styles may differ) to raise the pressure setpoint, then secure the adjustment bolt position by tightening the locknut back down. Be careful and make small adjustments, you do not want to increase the pressure too much. To learn a bit about them and how they work you could read this article- watts.com/pages/learnAbout/… – Jimmy Fix-it Dec 16 '16 at 21:22

It is not your pressure relief valve (PRV), the PRV is there to protect your system from high pressure. It's not installed "in-line" where it could affect your water pressure unless it was open. When it opens it releases to atmosphere (or maybe a drain) but you would know because either you would see/hear water or have an astronomically high water bill.

What you should look for is a pressure regulator, which regulates the pressure delivered downstream. These are often located outside on the supply piping upstream of your house and most often have a pre-set delivery pressure (although the pressure on most can be manually adjusted). The regulator is also there to protect your home from high pressure.

enter image description here

Where I live, the water meters are out by the frontal property boundary and these regulators are never located there. They are most often close to the house near the point where the incoming water pipe enters.

  • In freezing climates they are usually inside the house. – Ecnerwal Mar 24 '15 at 1:33
  • I live in Seattle, where it rarely gets below freezing. The house was built in 1962 & I've been in touch with the original owner about his. If I understand you correctly, you say there are usually 2 valves, 1) Pressure Release and 2) Pressure Regulator? I probably had the "R" words mixed up but I can't find either one of the valves. My neighbor has a Pressure Release valve about 2-3 feet from his water meter located near the street. He said that controls it so he doesn't have too MUCH pressure. I have the opposit problem, not enough pressure. – Sue Mar 24 '15 at 17:48
  • Your pressure relief valve (let's stop using acronyms) is probably located on your water heater, it is actually a temperature/pressure relief valve. Sometimes a "pressure only" relief valve will be located on supply piping also, they both look something like this: – Jimmy Fix-it Mar 24 '15 at 18:05

protected by Community Jul 3 '17 at 3:23

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