If you have high water pressure in your home, it can cause damage to the pipes and fittings. It can wear away the piping and can also cause water leaks due to the sheer pressure of the water. This can leave you with pipes that clang and bang, taps that drip, and can even cause your water heater to leak. Water flowing at a stronger than necessary rate to satisfy normal appliance demands can be damaging. This can reduce the life expectancy of the equipment in the system. Most important to the average homeowner, it can add to the cost of water, energy and waste water bills. Installing your own water pressure reducer valve is fairly easy with the right tools, and will save you a lot of money.
Things You'll Need
- Plumber’s gloves and eye protection
- A water pressure gauge
- Plumber’s sand cloth
- 1 Measuring tape
- Teflon paste
- Mini pipe cutter
- 2 aAjustable wrenches
- Pair of locking pliers
- Soldering kit
- Copper pipe and fittings
- Deburring tool and sandpaper
- 1 Water pressure reducing valve and water hammer arrestor
- Manufacturers installation instructions
Protect the entire house by installing the pressure reducer valve as close as you can to the main water shut-off. Double check to make sure that the water pressure is high in your home. The gauge can either be put on what is known as a sill cock or on the water heater. Because of the amount of water in the water heater, the gauge that you install may read a little bit higher than normal, but not enough to throw the reading completely off.
Shut off the water at the main valve. Turn off the water heater at the breaker if electric, or if gas, turn the switch to the pilot position. Drain your homes plumbing system by opening the highest and lowest faucets.
Install the valve in an in-line application; the line goes in one side and out the other. If the space is to small for the fittings and the valve, you'll have to do what's called a loop back installation. Start by using a pipe cutter to remove a section of pipe from the main water line. Be sure to have a bucket close by to catch any water in the line.
Remove the pipe and make sure all the water is out of the line. Clean both ends with a plumber's sand cloth. Clean both the outside and the inside of the 90 degree elbow, the coupling and the male adapter. Use a tool used for deburring to remove any burrs that you may find on the inside of the fittings.
Apply flux to the fittings as well as to each end of the cut section of the main water line. Attach the elbow, the coupling and the adapter.
Heat the fittings with a torch, and then add solder to each joint. Apply Teflon paste to the mounted fitting. Unscrew the union from the reducing valve, mount to the fitting, and then screw into place. Use plumber's wrenches to tighten.
Mount your pressure reducer valve. One end of the valve will have a threaded connection. Put an extension piece on, solder the whole assembly away from the valve, and then screw it back into place.
Clean, flux and attach the adapter to the extension piece. Heat the fittings and apply solder. Make sure the fitting is cool before picking it up.
Apply Teflon paste, and then screw the pressure reducing valve into the union, making sure the fitting marked "in" is attached to the main water line. Tighten with plumbers wrenches.
Clean and flux three 90 degree elbows and a coupling. Attach one elbow to the extension piece from the reducing valve, and then a coupling followed by the second elbow.
Clean and flux a measured section of copper pipe, and then attach the prepared elbow to the copper pipe. Mount the fitting to finish the loop to the water line. Make sure the assembly is securely fastened, and then solder all the joints to complete the installation of the water pressure reducing valve.
Let the joints cool, then turn the water on. You can start by turning on your water heater again, and then slowly opening up the main valve. Be sure to check for leaks.
Tips & Warnings
- Be sure to keep safe and wear protective plumber’s gloves and eye protective gear.
- Do not attempt to do this plumbing job without a complete set of the tools mentioned.
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