4 Common Water Pressure Regulator Problems

A pressure regulator is being adjusted with a wrench.

A water pressure regulator is designed to control the water pressure in individual houses. It acts as a synchronizer between the extremely high pressure of the supplier's water, and the low pressure requirements of the customer. Regulators can be added to a home's water supply in order to limit damage to faucets, showers, and other devices in the house. Sometimes, however, the device itself can develop problems. The repair will often require a new regulator, but knowing what kind of problems can occur with the machine can help users to minimize the cost of the eventual collapse.

1. Pressure Set Too Low

One of the most common problems with the regulator is that the water pressure is set too low to begin with, or the water pressure regulator cannot match the expectations of the household with the low pressure setting. When installing your regulator, make sure that the low pressure can maintain all of the family's requirements, i.e., that the shower and the dishwasher can be run at the same time. If the water does not maintain a suitable pressure, you may find the hot water tank can't supply enough water, or the heating will fail when water-using machines are running.

2. Blockages

Another big problem is the risk of blockages or debris jamming the mechanism. If you notice a sudden dip in pressure, this could be the cause. Debris comes in from outside, perhaps through a leak in the garden pipes, or a problem at the supply side, through the pipes until it reaches the water pressure regulator. Since the pipes on the regulator need to be small in order to let the device function, even a small amount of sediment can hinder the flow of water enough to cause problems, such as short cycling, loss of water pressure, or even complete failure of the regulator.

3. Short Cycling

Sometimes, the pump will begin to turn on and off at random intervals and pressure in the water system will be either too low or too high. This is most often caused by a loss of air in the water tank, and is found in older tanks which are suffering from corrosion. Other causes may be a defect in the pressure control switch on your regulator or perhaps a short circuit or damaged wire. Blockages such as the ones described above can also interfere in the control of the pressure switch, as sediment prevents the switch from moving as it needs to.

4. Pump Loss

Another serious problem for the regulator is loss of the pump, which helps the machine to control the water. Loss of this pump, either through sediment buildup or machine failure, is often followed by an increase in pressure. If you turn on the regulator, and the pump cannot be heard, then the pump may need to be replaced. Tapping on the side of the pressure control switch may help to regulate low pressure, but it will not help high pressure if the pump has failed.