Nicolette Forbes

By: Nicolette Forbes on May 9th, 2022

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Pressure Regulators: What Are They?


Knowing the ins and outs of your plumbing system can be a daunting task. There are so many different components, devices, and names. Plus they all perform different tasks that it can be hard to keep up sometimes. 

One of the parts that are key to getting water in your home is a pressure regulator. While we are aware that a pressure regulator is not exactly necessary (and we’ll get into that later), we here at Monkey Wrench Plumbing believe that you should still know what the valve is and how it works because it could ultimately increase the longevity of your plumbing.

In this article, we are going to discuss all the ins and outs of a pressure regulator as well as costs for the valve. So whether you are in the market for a pressure regulator or just want to know more about the different parts of your plumbing system, we are going to give you all the information you need. 

Let’s get started! 


What is a pressure regulator?

A pressure regulator is a valve part of your plumbing system that reduces the pressure of incoming water from the city. The valve is typically installed after the main water shut-off and is highly recommended in homes with high water pressure. When your plumbing system is protected by a water pressure regulator, there is less stress on the inner valves of appliances, faucets, and shutoff valves. That means those fixtures and appliances will be less likely to leak or become damaged. 

You typically want to have your water pressure coming into your home at 75 pounds per square inch or PSI to avoid any problems with your plumbing system.

A pressure regulator


What are the costs involved with a pressure regulator?

The costs of a water pressure regulator vary. Our technicians say the price range to install a water pressure regulator can begin at $575 and go as high as $1,900. The overall end price, however, depends on several factors, including: 

  1. If you never had a water pressure regulator installed 
  2. How many pipes you have
  3. If the technician has to reroute other pipes around the home to install the pressure regulator
  4. Size of the regulator 

If you were looking to replace the water pressure regulator for a “straight swap out,” it could cost you anywhere between $575 to $1,550 depending on the modifications needed. That would include the size of the pipes, the size of the water pressure regulator, and how much work the technician would need to do.


Why is a pressure regulator important?

Deciding which water pressure regulator is right for your home depends on many factors. For starters, how old the home is can determine which pressure regulator is right for you. Since every home is different, how old the plumbing system is can determine which water pressure regulator you need. Older homes are more suitable for a single-union water pressure regulator, while newer homes will work well with a double-union water pressure regulator.

Additionally, the size of the pipe and the size of the home will also determine which water pressure regulator is right for you. A bigger home will typically require or have more pipes to deal with, which would call for a double union water pressure regulator. While having a water pressure regulator is not necessary, it can help the pipes in your plumbing system and the fixtures in your home. Both are not meant to handle the amount of water pressure coming in from the city mains. 

Diagram showing how a pressure regulator works

When to replace your water pressure regulator?

Like every other device in life, a water pressure regulator will not last forever. But how do you know it’s time to get a new pressure regulator? A few signs to look out for if your water pressure regulator is experiencing issues are: 

  • Leaks on faucet
  • Toilet starts running 
  • Fluctuation in water. One minute, you will have good water pressure, and the next, you have weak water pressure
  • Pinhole leaks due to high water pressure

Maintenance is not required for a water pressure regulator. However, we do recommend that you check your water pressure regulator every three months to avoid any of the issues listed above. Now, of course, there can be device malfunctions that are out of your control but to make sure your pressure regulator is functioning properly, you can always check a gauge, which you can purchase yourself at places like Home Depot or Lowes.


Consider Your Pressure Regulated 

City water mains do not all have the same pressure. A water pressure regulator can alleviate the pressure coming into your home. As previously mentioned, the fixtures and appliances in your home are not meant to withstand the water pressure coming in from the city. Too much pressure causes water-heater relief valves to leak, toilets to keep running, and faucets to pulse and pound when turned on and off. While there is no necessary maintenance required for a water pressure regulator, we recommend that you at least check to see if your regulator is working every three months with a gauge. 

We know that with the information we’ve just provided, you can make the right decision for your home.

Want to know what high water pressure does to your tankless water heater and how to protect your home?  Read the articles below to learn more about the top reasons why tankless water heaters leak (hint: it’s high water pressure) and how to protect your home. 

Home Protection Plan (How to Protect Your Home)

Top Three Reasons Tankless Water Heaters Leak 

We here at Monkey Wrench Plumbing want to make sure that you are prepared to handle any of the “pressures” that you may face with the water coming into your home. Since 2007, we have been dedicated to providing the best service to thousands of customers. If you have any further questions about a pressure regulator or any plumbing-related issues, call us at (310) 853-8690 or request an appointment by clicking the “Book” button below.