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Pressure Reduction Valves Saving Your Plumbing Fixtures

By:Darrell Young

The basic operation of a pressure reduction valve is to reduce the incoming water pressure in your home. You may ask "why do I need this?"

It's up to the water company to provide good water pressure to your home. The minimum they are obliged to provide at least 150kpa of pressure to your home. Now to most homes that would be considered extremely low.

In many areas water pressure is a lot higher than 150kpa. The water pressure varies on average from around 700kpa can be up to 1400kpa. Pressure at 1400kpa is usually for water being pumped up to water reservoirs in elevated areas when your home is in low areas. Every 1 meter of head pressure is approximately 10kpa, so if you water towers are located at 100 meters elevation you will get 1000kpa to your home.

Most households don't have pressure reduction valves which is quite amazing because extremely high water pressure dramatically increases the wear and tear on your pipes and plumbing fixtures.

If you refer to the rules and regulations associated with water for Sydney water board, for example, they actually recommend that 500 kpa should be the maximum supplied to domestic homes.

So they recommend that if any house is over 500 kpa, you should install a pressure reduction valve.
If you randomly picked a suburb in Sydney, and choose a thousand houses, you would say that probably around about 900 of those homes water pressure would be over 500 kpa, possibly even 950. It's amazing, no one has pressure reduction valves.

Let me explain in more detail how it works
The water board have a water main that runs up and down the street which has a certain pressure. There is a copper line that runs from the water main in the street towards the house and to a water meter. The water meter is located approximately one metre off your boundary line and has a handle to shut off your water for your house.

I think most people out there would know what a water meter is. It actually reads how much water you use so that the water company can charge you.

Now coming from the water meter, your water line runs up the side of your house and branches into certain sections to your bathrooms, laundry, toilet, then goes into your kitchen sink, taps etc. It basically links up all the water points throughout your home.

If you think about it, if you received 1000 kpa, which is double the legal requirement, through your house and there are thousands, probably millions of houses out there like this, it puts a lot of strain on your pipes, it is one of the main causes of water hammer and can really affect the life span you get out of your hot water tank, tap washers, dishwasher hoses and toilet inlet valves because of the extra pressure.

These days there are a great deal of mixer taps installed in many homes. These have cartridges inside them. If you read the rules and regulations on 99% of those, they will say they can't have pressure over 500 kpa. This yet again highlights the importance of a pressure reduction valve to the home.

Washing machine and dishwasher's hoses for example are where real problems can arise. The bursting of these hoses due to high water pressure is responsible for thousands of insurance claims every year.

Say you have 1000 kpa running to that dishwasher 100% of the time. You never ever turn that tap off. So what happens if that hose bursts and you not home, it floods your house and causes massive damage.

There is more than likely a statistic out there on insurance claims due to water damage, all linked to dishwasher and washing machine hoses bursting, the statistic would be surprisingly high.

So really, it doesn't matter what it is within the house, your washing machine hose, your dishwasher hose, any new products out these days, the flexible connections, any connection. Plastic valves, your tap ware, you name it, it's not made to be able to handle high pressure and you will need a pressure reduction valve installed on your homes water supply.

This is a huge concern for many home owners,there have been too many properties in the past where they've had this exact issue with water damage and are looking at an insurance claim, and it's all been from burst hoses due to high water pressure. So it is very important to test your water pressure now and if it is high put a Pressure Reduction Valve on your property.

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Article keywords: plumber, plumbing, bathroom pipes, water pressure

Article Source:

Darrell Young is a third generation master plumber running his own plumbing
company since 2001. For more information and plumbing tips visit his web site at

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