Pressure Relief Valves in San Antonio

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What is a Water Pressure Reducing Valve?

A water pressure reducing valve (PRV), or pressure regulator, is a valve that automatically reduces the flow of water to a certain pressure. Plumbers use PRVs to bring high-pressure water supply lines or tanks to safe and/or usable pressures.

Why is the water pressure so high?

To ensure practical, safe working water pressures, municipal and private water supply companies in San Antonio use pumps and pumping stations to boost water supply pressures in supply mains. Higher water pressures are needed for firefighting. High rise buildings require higher water pressure to overcome loss of pressure as the elevation increases. And, high water pressure is necessary to maintain water supply in water towers and supply tanks.

What does a Pressure Reducing Valve do?

Pressure in San Antonio water supply mains can exceed 200psi. The Uniform Plumbing Code requires a pressure reducing valve on all plumbing systems where pressure exceeds 80 psi. Higher pressures could rupture pipes or damage fixtures and appliances. Irrigation systems may also require a PRV if pressures exceed 70 psi, to prevent damage of the piping system.

Pressure Reducing Valves & Water Conservation

High water pressures waste water. Municipalities in San Antonio charge homeowners and businesses high rates for water consumption; but there is also a charge in most locations for the disposal of wastewater. Reducing water consumption reduces the energy required for heating additional hot water, as well. Note the cost reductions using a PRV can achieve:

  • Twice as much water flows through a system at 150psi pressure than at 50psi. This additional water is not needed for most applications, and is a 100% increase in water cost.
  • When less water flows through the system, less energy is needed to heat domestic hot water. A pressure reducing valve can save as much as 30% on domestic water heating costs.
  • When a municipal wastewater treatment load is reduced, benefits are seen in both the environment and your water bill, since municipalities typically base sewer usage fees on the water meter reading.

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City Code Requirements for Pressure Reducing Valves

When pressure in your San Antonio home rises above 80 psi, City Code requires that you install both a Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) and Expansion Tank. Uncontrolled high water pressure is considered to be a health and safety violation, because excessive water pressure can lead to bursting pipes or an exploding water heater, with a risk of burns or other injuries. Failure to install this necessary equipment may make a homeowner liable for a citation. If cited for a violation, the homeowner will also be required by the City to install the PRV and Expansion Tank.

If your plumbing technician informs you that your water pressure is above 80 psi, following his advice concerning installation of a Pressure Reducing Valve and Expansion Tank will keep you within safe and legal boundaries with your plumbing.

Give TPD, your San Antonio plumbing repair company, a call today!