Every time I do an inspection I try to take a lot of pictures for my customers that I can include in their inspection reports. One picture I include in every report is of the main water shut off. Sometimes after getting their report, my Charlotte Home Inspection customers will call and ask what the brass, bulb-looking thing above the actual shut off does. I figured I’d talk about that today. The brass, bulb-looking thing is actually a pressure reducing valve or pressure reduction valve (PRV). Here’s a photo of what one looks like.
If your house doesn’t have a pressure reducing valve I recommend having one installed. They can save you money and headaches. Below are four ways that pressure reducing valves can help you save.
THEY REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF WATER USED
If you’ve ever taken a physics or chemistry class then you know that as water pressure goes up, so does the volume of water being used. Pressure reducing valves regulate the pressure thereby controlling the volume of water being distributed throughout the home. Even though Pressure Reducing Valves reduce the amount of water pressure in your home, a plumber should be consulted if you have abnormally low water pressure. There are several things that could be a result of this including old Galvanized Plumbing Pipes. Now that’s Riviting!!!
THEY REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF ENERGY USED
About 30% of all water used in a home is hot water. Heating water requires energy. If pressure reducing valves decreases the amount of water used, then they will also decrease the amount of water needed to be heated. This reduces the amount of energy used. Lower energy bills means more money to buy tacos.
BETTER FOR SEPTIC SYSTEMS AND WASTE WATER
Septic tanks can often become overloaded if the amount of water entering the tank is less than the amount draining into the drain field. This can often happen in the wintertime when evaporation rates are lower than during the summer months. Since pressure reducing valves decrease the amount of water used, they naturally lower the amount of water draining into the septic tank. Even if you’re not on a septic system, PRVs can decrease sewage bills since less wastewater is being produced.
THEY REDUCE MAINTANENCE COSTS
It’s a well-known fact that appliances, fixtures and water lines that are more have a lower life expectancy than those whose loads are at a lower pressure. Pressure reducing valves decrease water pressure in your home and therefore increase the life space of your appliances, fixtures and water lines.
So that’s it for pressure reducing valves. Now you know what that brass, bulb-looking thing is that’s attached to the main water shut off in your home. If you have any questions about your pressure reducing valves, call Howdy Home Inspections!
Be Happy & Be Kind,