PRVs: What they are, why you need one

Pressure reducing valves (PRVs) are a recommended part of a standard plumbing system. A PRV helps prevent high water pressure from damaging fixtures and appliances in your home.

Modern plumbing codes recommend a PRV in each house, although some older homes in Draper may not have them. In the past, homes in some areas of Draper had such high water pressure that longtime residents remember turning on the tap and having the water pressure blast a glass out of their hand. Nowadays, a house in an area with very high pressure might have more than one PRV installed in a series.

How do you know if you have a PRV installed in your home? The valve is bell-shaped and is usually situated next to the main shutoff valve for water service into your home

The water pressure in the main line coming into your home might be around 100 PSI (pounds per square inch), but the best operating pressure for the fixtures and appliances in your home is around 50 PSI.

Like any mechanical object, a PRV can wear out. Some signs might include:

  • The T&P (temperature and pressure) valve on the side of your water heater begins to leak and you are unable to shut it off completely.
  • Your dishwasher or washing machine makes a slamming sound when the water stops flowing.
  • Water flow dwindles to a trickle.

A bad PRV (or no PRV) can damage your appliances or fixtures, so it’s important to maintain it.

Because a PRV is part of the home’s individual plumbing system (that is, it is installed on the home side of the main shutoff valve), it is the responsibility of the homeowner. If you suspect that your PRV needs attention, or if your home lacks one, contact a qualified plumber.