If you notice a problem with the water pressure in your home, it could mean that you have to make a few adjustments to the water pressure regulator. Most homes do not have a pressure regulator installed, but if you have one and it is not adjusted properly, you could easily have either too much or too little pressure in your faucet or shower. With the right tools, you will be able to adjust the water pressure regulator by yourself instead of calling in a plumber.
Step 1 - Locate the Supply Line
The first step is to locate the supply line that provides water to your house. This will allow you to then find the water meter that is generally installed in the basement near the supply line. If you live in an apartment or a house on a crawl space in colder climates, the meter is usually not in the crawl space as it could freeze; it may be under the kitchen sink or in a utility room.
Step 2 - Find the Valve
Once you have found the water meter, locate the valve. The valve is made of brass and has a bell-shaped midsection with a medium-sized screw at the tip. Make sure that your supply line has sufficient pressure before adjusting the pressure valve itself.
Step 3 - Adjust the Screw
Now that you have located the valve and the screw, you need to loosen the locknut all the way with the wrench or pliers. The screw is your adjuster and it can be maneuvered only by loosening the locknut.
As you tighten the screw, the water pressure will become greater and as you loosen it, the water pressure will lessen, so turn the screw clockwise to increase the pressure, or turn it counterclockwise to decrease the pressure. Do not be too hasty. You need to adjust the screw little by little, in slow increments, and check the result each time you tighten or loosen it. If the water pressure is too high, it could result in leaks and toilets running all the time.
Step 4 - Check the Pressure
Once you have adjusted the screw, the water pressure should be regulated. Check the faucets in the house to see if there is a change in the pressure compared to before. Also, once you have successfully adjusted the pressure valve, make sure there are no problems with leaks.
If you find that there is no significant improvement after adjusting the pressure valve, your valve might be faulty and will need to be replaced. Changing a valve can be a bit challenging, so it is usually best to seek help from an experienced, professional plumber.
Mark Vander Sande, professional plumber, contributed to this article.