Pressure reducing valves work directly to slow down the pressure of water flowing into our home. They are mainly installed on the main water line next to the shut-off valve. On one side, water from the main goes into the valve. As the water moves through the vale, it passes through spring and diaphragm which causes resistance and lowers the pressure to the desired level as the water leaves the valve through the other side.
The best feature of pressure reducing valves is that they’re set to regulate your water flow to a specific pressure. It means that if there is a sudden spike in the area’s municipal water pressure, the spring and the diaphragm in the valve will tighten and users will still have a consistent amount of pressure in their home. Some municipal water mains pump water at extremely high pressures sometimes well over 100 psi. Local water companies will often crank up the pressure to deliver water to hard-to-reach places like high rise buildings or high elevation neighborhoods. Water pressure above 80 psi can cause significant wear and tear to pipes, fixtures, and appliances over time.
Every fixture, appliance, and pipe inside residential units were built to withstand a certain level of water pressure, typically between 60-80 psi. Showerheads, toilets, faucets, appliances, water heaters, and pipe joints can all start to wear down and eventually malfunction if they’re constantly subjected to high pressures.
Direct-acting pressure reducing valves are spring-loaded spool valves that are used to control the pressure of consumers in hydraulic systems. The outlet pressure to the consumer is kept constant, even as the inlet pressure and/or the load situation fluctuates. Inlet pressure is bigger than the outlet pressure, different pressure ranges enable an optimal system adjustment.
Pilot operated regulators consist of the same essential components of direct-operated units with the addition of a pilot which separates P2 and the diaphragm loading force (PL). By doing this, PL can be controlled in relation to changes in P2 which indicates that PL can be increased from P2, which allows the regulator to be more responsive to condition changes. The pilot requires an external sense line connected to the downstream piping. Measuring pressure farther downstream of the valves allows for more accurate sensing of the true outlet pressure conditions as it moves the sense point away from the flow turbulence generated by the plug and seat.