DS Pipe and Steel Supply

Pressure Regulators

A pressure regulator, also known as a pressure-reducing valve (PRV), reduces water pressure as it passes into a home. When water enters a home through the main water line, its pressure is typically too high for the building’s plumbing. Pipes and water-reliant appliances that experience high water pressure can deteriorate over time. A PRV prevents pipes and appliances from damage caused by constant high water pressure.

How Do Pressure Regulators Work?

Pressure regulators contain an internal diaphragm and spring that water must travel through before entering a plumbing system. The higher the pressure that enters the regulator, the greater the pressure on the spring. This causes less water to pass through the regulator, effectively reducing the water pressure entering the pipes. The water pressure allowed into the system can be changed by adjusting the tension of a screw on the exterior of the regulator.

Without a PRV, the pipes are subject to constant strain that deteriorates them over time. This can cause cracks in the pipes and lead to water damage. In situations with high water pressure, regulators are essential in keeping the pipes and appliances running smoothly. 

Types of Pressure Regulators

There are many types of pressure regulators for residential and commercial applications. Some common ones include:

  • Direct-acting Regulators: These regulators use the force of the downstream pressure to control the valve mechanism directly.
  • Pilot-operated Regulators: These regulators use an additional control mechanism (pilot) that senses the downstream pressure and adjusts the main valve accordingly.
  • Pressure Reducing Regulators: These are designed specifically to reduce the incoming pressure to a lower, set pressure.
  • Back-pressure Regulators: These maintain a set pressure in the upstream system by controlling the pressure in the downstream side.
  • Relief Regulators: They are designed to release excess pressure from a system to prevent damage or over-pressurization.