How Well Do You Know Your PRV (Pressure Reducing Valve)?

Building codes typically require PRVs in houses, although older homes sometimes don’t have them. Most commonly, your PRV is installed near the main shutoff in your home. which is usually in the basement.

Why homes need a PRV

It is important to note that water pressure in the mainlines within the system are much higher than what is typically desired in the home. PRVs reduce the pressure of water entering the home, which helps protect plumbing and water-using appliances from the excessive wear caused by high-pressure water. Your PRV can also help conserve water. PRVs often soldier on for years with no maintenance – but as with any mechanical device PRV’s will eventually fail.

How to tell if a PRV is failing

One sign of impending PRV failure is “water hammer,” a repetitive knocking or consistent humming in the pipes when using water. A failing PRV can also cause fluctuations in water pressure, or no water pressure at all. Leaks can also occur, often at the temperature & pressure (T & P) valve on the side of a water heater.

What to do for a failed PRV

If you suspect your PRV is faulty or failing, call a licensed plumber to diagnose and fix the problem. Remember, any water fixtures installed on the house side of the meter are the responsibility of the property owner, and it is important that you protect your system with a properly functioning PRV.