Up close view of a pressure relief valve (PRV) on a countertop

Homeowners looking to reduce their water and power bills have the perfect solution in a pressure water regulator. This gadget is pretty useful if you experience irregular water pressure or your water source is a high-pressure municipal line.

This article will explain how a water pressure regulator (or pressure reducing valve, PRV) works and then expound more on all the above ways mentioned to save with the PRV. You will also find helpful tips on saving water and reducing your energy bill. 

How a PRV Works

A water pressure-reducing valve and an outdoor hose faucet work in a similar manner.

The PRV is installed near the water main and features an adjustment screw to control water flow through the valve. You only need to tighten the screw to reduce water pressure, thus restricting water flow.

Municipal water usually comes in at high pressure, at times reaching up to 150 psi (pounds per square inch). However, most residential plumbing fixtures perform best at about 50 psi.

When water passes through the PRV at high pressure, its inner mechanism reacts by narrowing the flow area, thereby reducing the pressure to between 50 and 80 psi. The PRV also permits more water to flow if the incoming water pressure falls.

A PRV thus helps lower the pressure of water getting into your home by moderating the flow. In this regard, it protects your plumbing and fixtures from unnecessary wear and tear. 

A closeup of a blue-painted pressure relief valve (PRV)

However, messed-up pipes and fixtures are not the only things to contend with when you have high water pressure and water surges. The intense pressure can also cause you to spend lots of money on repairs. You may also face additional problems, such as:

  • Dripping faucets
  • Leaking sprinkler valves
  • High water bills
  • Broken or burst pipes
  • Running toilets
  • Banging pipe sounds (water hammer) – a sure sign that your water pressure is excessive
  • Damaged appliances, including washing machines, water heaters, refrigerators, and dishwashers

This short video explains what a water pressure regulator is and what it does.

Ways To Save With a Pressure Relief Value

Here are several effective ways to save with a home water pressure regulator:

  1. Reduce your water consumption.
  2. Stabilize your water pressure.
  3. Protect your household appliances.
  4. Save money on energy and water bills.
  5. Protect your water heater.
  6. Minimize water leaks.

How a PRV Can Save and Regulate Water Pressure

Below are several ways a PRV can help you save and regulate your water pressure. It can:

1. Reduce Your Water Consumption

To reduce water wastage, you should avoid your water pressure going beyond 50 psi. A PRV comes in handy if the city water entering your house comes in at high pressure (above 80 psi). 

You could also experience high water pressure if your water heater has a faulty expansion tank or you live close to a fire hydrant.

The water pressure regulator helps lower this pressure and regulates water flow, helping you conserve water. Besides, reducing your water pressure by 10- 20 psi could result in thousands of water gallons per year in potential savings. 

To put this in perspective, reducing water pressure from 100 to 50 lbs (45.35-22.68 kgs) results in savings of up to 33%. Likewise, the water flowing at this lower pressure will also reduce by a third. This drop results because water at 100 lbs experiences a higher push than water at 50 lbs. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a typical American family consumes 300+ gallons of water per day. Most of this water usage occurs indoors. And that translates to thousands of dollars annually in water payments.

Below is a chart showing the results of a survey conducted on average American household water usage by the Water Research Foundation. It breaks down the average daily consumption per household.

2. Stabilize Water Pressure

By controlling the amount of pressure in your incoming water, a PRV helps to stabilize the water pressure. What’s the effect?

Stabilization helps you have a relaxing shower instead of enduring a jet stream. You can also wash dishes in comfort, without water splashing all over you. 

You can get a plumbing contractor to perform a test (using a pressure gauge) to confirm whether your water pressure is higher than necessary. 

3. Protect Your Household Appliances

Household appliances suffer damage when forced to handle high water pressure since it puts a heavy strain on them. With a PRV, you are assured of steady, regulated water flow that allows your appliances to perform optimally, thus prolonging their life. 

4. Save Money on Energy and Water Bills

More water runs out every time you shower, flush a toilet, or turn on a faucet with high water pressure. Eventually, you end up paying more for this excess consumption.

Also, according to the EPA, American households heat approximately 30% of their water. And heating uses energy. 

Installing a PRV helps you save money by reducing your energy bills, water bills, and even wastewater bills considerably. By cutting water consumption by up to a third, the PRV minimizes the energy needed to heat water.

In other words, saving water translates to increased energy conservation. You will also experience fewer appliance repairs or replacements. 

Consider swapping your faucets, showerheads, and toilets for water-efficient models designed to deliver excellent water pressure with minimal water use to increase your savings even further.

Doing so could result in a 20% reduction in water usage, allowing an average family to save around $130 in water bills and 13,000 gallons of water every year.

Here are additional tips on how to conserve your water:

  • Attend to household leaks as soon as they occur.
  • Turn off the water between washing dishes while brushing your teeth or soaping yourself ( in the shower).
  • Run your dishwasher when it’s full—eliminating a load of dishes each week can save your family almost 320 gallons of water per year.

5. Protect Your Water Heater

Consistent high water pressure can mess up your water heating system. While water heaters usually contain a thermal expansion tank to handle water expansion upon heating, the expansion space might run out if your water pressure is always high.

This buildup can seriously damage your water heater. A PRV can prevent such damage.

6. Minimize Water Leaks

Excessively high pressure poses a significant danger to your pipes. Heavy water flow can lead to leaks or hairline cracks in the pipes, resulting in a massive blowout.

Even worse, water leaks often result in extensive damage to floors, walls, drywall, and cabinets that entail huge reconstruction and restoration. Mold infestation is also highly likely in moisture-laden environments.

To prevent a severe plumbing disaster or structural damage, you might want to consider regulating your water pressure sooner rather than later.

Fortunately, you can do the installation on your own by following basic guidelines. Alternatively, you have the otion to call in a plumber.

Watch this short video to learn how to install a home water pressure regulator:

Where Can You Buy Water Pressure Regulators?

Any big-box or hardware store will (usually, if in stock…) have them, or you can buy them online as well on Amazon. You can find them anywhere, but feel free to use our affiliate links here if you’d like to support the blog! Every little bit helps us continue our research and to get more content up for readers.

Here is the link to Home Depot’s PRV’s

Here is the link to the PRV’s available at Lowes.

You can also buy these on Amazon. For reference, here are the top 5 bestsellers in the PRV category:

Bestseller No. 1
RVGUARD RV Water Pressure Regulator Valve, Brass Lead-Free Adjustable Water Pressure Reducer with Gauge and Inlet Screen Filter for RV Camper Travel Trailer
3,457 Reviews
RVGUARD RV Water Pressure Regulator Valve, Brass Lead-Free Adjustable Water Pressure Reducer with Gauge and Inlet Screen Filter for RV Camper Travel Trailer
  • FUNCTION: Prevent water pipes from being damaged due to high pressure, suitable for camper, trailer, RV plumbing system.
  • SAFETY: Class C46500 lead-free brass treated by hot casting process technology. Each regulator is tested to contain less than 0.13% lead, well under the NSF lead-free requirements of 0.25%, giving you safe and healthy life.
  • COMPATIBLE: Designed with 3/4" garden hose thread & NH thread.It is compatible with all American water sources, easy to use. RVGUARD regulator inlet screen helps to filter out impurities in water.
  • ADJUSTABLE: Factory Setting: 45 PSI, adjust pressure up to 160 PSI, water pressure setting can be easily adjusted whatever water pressure you need by turning screw driver. Turn clockwise to increase pressure, turn counterclockwise to decrease pressure.
  • GAUGE DISPLAY: The water pressure can be clearly seen on the gauge, it's necessary for RV, camper, travel trailer.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Camco (40055) RV Brass Inline Water Pressure Regulator- Helps Protect RV Plumbing and Hoses from High-Pressure City Water
18,192 Reviews
Camco (40055) RV Brass Inline Water Pressure Regulator- Helps Protect RV Plumbing and Hoses from High-Pressure City Water
  • Helps protect RV plumbing and hoses from high pressure city water
  • Attaches easily with 3/4" garden hose threads
  • Durable brass construction that is drinking water safe
  • Reduces water pressure to a safe and consistent 40-50 pounds of pressure
  • CSA low lead content certified. Complies with California's AB1953 and Vermont Act 193, Maryland HB 372, and Louisiana HB 471 low lead content laws
Bestseller No. 3
Renator RV Water Pressure Regulator for RV Camper. Brass Lead-free Adjustable RV Water Pressure Regulator with Gauge. RV Water Regulator for Camper Travel Trailer, Reducer Valve W Filter. M11-0660R.
10,848 Reviews
Renator RV Water Pressure Regulator for RV Camper. Brass Lead-free Adjustable RV Water Pressure Regulator with Gauge. RV Water Regulator for Camper Travel Trailer, Reducer Valve W Filter. M11-0660R.
  • EASY TO INSTALL, EASY TO USE. Effortlessly adjust and monitor your water pressure, and enjoy strong showers and good water flow, while having the peace of mind knowing your RV is protected from high water pressure. This brass RV water pressure regulator also comes with a 1-year warranty and local phone and email support. Installation is as easy as attaching a water hose (each product comes with an illustrated guide).
  • 1-YEAR WARRANTY AND U.S.-BASED PHONE AND EMAIL SUPPORT. Renator is one of the only companies based in the U.S.; we do both secondary quality control in our Florida warehouse, and offer lifetime local phone and email support because we stand behind our product. The regulator is made out of heavy duty, rust-free brass, the gauge is made of stainless steel and contains silicone oil to reduce friction of internal components and significantly increases the life of the product.
  • LEAD-FREE. This regulator was modified to contain lowest amount of lead of any regulator on the market. Each batch of regulators is tested to contain less than .13% lead, well under the NSF lead-free requirements of .25%. Email us for a copy of our testing certification. The regulator's inlet screen also helps to filter out debris and other impurities.
  • READY TO USE AND UNIVERSALLY COMPATIBLE. The regulator is compatible with all U.S. water sources, including 3/4" garden hose threads and NH threads, and is preset at 45 PSI. It is adjustable up to 160 PSI- we recommend referring to your RV’s manual for optimal settings. Contact us for any questions by clicking on our store name, "Cartlee", and clicking on the ask a question button.
  • QUALITY PACKAGING. The regulator arrives in a durable padded cardboard box that can be used for long-term storage, and for handy access to our phone and email customer support. An illustrated installation guide is also included.
SaleBestseller No. 4
Zurn Wilkins 3/4' NR3XL Pressure Reducing Valve with double union FNPT connection
1,244 Reviews
Zurn Wilkins 3/4" NR3XL Pressure Reducing Valve with double union FNPT connection
  • Designed for installation on potable water lines to reduce high inlet pressure to a lower outlet pressure
  • Integral strainer makes this device most suitable for residential and commercial water systems that require frequent cleaning of sediment and debris
  • Direct acting integral by-pass design prevents buildup of excessive system pressure caused by thermal expansion
  • Balance piston design enables the regulator to react in a smooth and responsive manner to changes in system flow demand
  • Provides protection from inlet pressure changes
SaleBestseller No. 5
Hourleey Water Pressure Regulator Valve, RV Brass Water Pressure Regulator with Gauge and Inlet Screened Filter for Camper Trailer
978 Reviews
Hourleey Water Pressure Regulator Valve, RV Brass Water Pressure Regulator with Gauge and Inlet Screened Filter for Camper Trailer
  • Note: gasket failure or missing gasket may cause leakage. Temperature changes or shaking may cause bubbles in the pressure gauge, which is normal.
  • Material: Made of lead free brass, the lead content is less than 13%, far lower than the lead-free standard required by NSF
  • It can be raised from 0 to 160 psi. You can easily select the required pressure to protect the piping system by adjusting the screw on the top of the regulator
  • 3/4 inch threaded joint is compatible with all American water hose.
  • The water pressure can be clearly seen with a pressure gauge, which is necessary for RVs, campers and travel trailers.

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to saving money, preventative maintenance is crucial. Using a home water pressure regulator prevents high water and power bills, water wastage and damage, costly appliance repairs, and replacements. 

Most of these issues begin as minor problems, but if not addressed quickly, they become serious concerns. 

While you can perform regular tests to check your water pressure, automating the process is the easiest and most effective solution. Install a water pressure regulator, and you’ll no longer have to worry about creeping power and water bills or banging pipes.

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