Drip, drip, drip. The sound can be irritating. But it's more than that; it can be costly. Some Birmingham Water Works customers have seen unusually high bills in recent months. Fingers are being pointed. And the word "leak" is coming up in the squabbles
Leaks can happen without any visible signs. And a major cause of leaks is a failing water pressure regulator. What is a water pressure regulator and why is it needed?
You may not think much water pressure, but if you ever saw a busted water line spewing water, you saw the effects of pumps that are pushing the water through the pipes, a high water pressure. This is needed to get the water into those water tanks, up the road, and over the hills; so you and I can turn on the faucet and have water come out.
Imagine how much pressure is needed to get the water moving away from it's source. But that's too much pressure for our needs and too much for household pipes. So houses have a regulator, a pressure reducer, if you will. But they don't last forever. In time, they don't work as well. And it can happen so gradually that you won't notice the symptoms.
Possible noticeable signs you need a new water pressure regulator:
Bulging plastic or rubber lines
Pop-off valve of hot water heater keeps coming off
Water comes out strong, making the faucet bounce, when turned on
Bad effects of a failing water pressure regulator:
Appliances wear out more quickly or weaken
Plumbing fixtures wear out more quickly
Higher water bill than what you should be paying for your use
Busted pipes (especially washing machine lines) causing indoor flooding
What can you do? Have a licensed plumber check your regulator to make sure it's working. It's quick and easy and can save you lots of chronic or sudden troubles.
Check out these other helpful plumbing tips.