high pressure shower head

Pressure Limiting Valves and Why You Need One

If you’ve tried to build a home or extend your existing one recently, you’ll most likely have heard about pressure limiting valves (PLVs). What is a PLV, and why do Australian plumbing standards require its installation?

What Are Pressure Limiting Valves?

While many of us enjoy a high pressure shower head, if your water pressure is too high, your water might be damaging your pipes and fixtures. PLVs have become the Australian standard to protect homes from the potential damage from high pressure water.

These valves work by only allowing water below a certain pressure to be used in a home. While water pressure is below the pressure limit, the valve remains open. If pressure exceeds this, the valve shuts and water can no longer flow through it. This prevents high pressure water from damaging your pipes and fixtures.

What Happens If Water Pressure Is Too High?

Unlike the inconvenient, but completely safe low water pressure, high water pressure can do a number on your home if not seen to.

When your water pressure is too high, you might experience water hammer. This is a loud banging noise that occurs when you turn taps off and stop fast moving, high pressure water suddenly. The noise you hear is the pressure shockwave hitting a closed valve or joint with great force. Water hammer may only be an unpleasant noise for some, but in more serious cases it can cause and leaks and burst pipes.

On top of water hammer, high pressure water puts strain on your pipes and fixtures. This can cause them to wear out faster than they would otherwise. As a result, you’ll be needing to replace them more often. If your fixtures are being worn down due to a pressure that exceeds the manufacturer’s recommendation, any warranty on the fixture might not apply and you could end up footing the bill.

To top things off, high water pressure means your normal 5 minute shower now goes through more water than when you had normal pressure! Add a bigger water bill to the list of costs thanks to high water pressure.

PLVs are a great way to prevent high water pressure from damaging your plumbing, and skyrocketing your water bill.

What Is The Maximum Water Pressure For A Home?

Any new plumbing work is required by law not to exceed a water pressure of 500 kPa. While older homes are exempt from this standard, they are not exempt from the potential damage of high pressure water! It would be wise for owners of older homes to have their water pressure measured and a PLV installed.

Contact Metropolitan Plumbing for more information about our water pressure services.

Published: 19 Jun, 2020

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