The Regulator of Water Pressure

Plumbing relies on water pressure to function. Without water pressure, water would just stay stagnant in the pipes. If pressure is too low, water may not reach all the required faucets and applications throughout a building. On the other hand, if water pressure is too high it can result in eroded washers, banging pipes, leaks and potentially explosions. To monitor and regulate incoming water pressure, buildings are equipped with a water pressure regulator. Multistory buildings will most likely have more than one pressure regulator because more pressure is required to reach the higher floors.

Incoming water pressure can range from 80 to 150 psi. To bring that down to desired levels, water pressure regulators reduce the pressure somewhere between 40 to 60 psi. In the event of a pressure surge, some regulators have a valve that will release extra pressure. It is helpful for individuals to know where the water pressure regulator on their building is if they want to adjust pressure levels. At one of my old apartments I had very little water pressure in my shower. It’s very difficult to wash oneself under something that is practically just a leaky faucet. If I knew then what I do now I could have adjusted pressure levels to something that could have sufficiently wash the shampoo out of my hair.

Building plumbing systems are not the only application for water pressure regulators. The agricultural industries use pressure regulators to determine when there is enough pressure to effectively water the field. Most pressure regulators have three parts; a loading, restricting and measuring element. The restricting element refers to the valve that opens and closes to allow the correct rate of flow and pressure in the system. When to open and close is determined by the measuring element and the spring-like element (aka the loading element) applies the needed force to the valve.

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