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Question DetailsAsked on 3/21/2017

In GA. What should water pressure be coming into house? What would be normal/reasonable cost to replace PRV?

I am senior citizen and feel I am being duped. If i feel that water pressure is actually rather low in house, how can gauge on outdoor faucet read it is very high coming into house, doesn't make sense to me. What should cost have been to rebuild toilet tank? Had that done, toilet still runs, plumber returns to tell me (suddently) it is bad PRV, again doesn't make sense.

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OK - if you hook on a pressure gauge (about $10-15 at plumbing, hardware, box stores) at a hose bib or hose-threaded faucet in the house (washing machine hose connection, house side of sprinkler system box, hose-threaded faucet like at a laundry tub, or a hose connection in garage most common place - drain valve on hot water heater too but I would not do that unless you have turned it to pilot and let it cool down or turned to pilot then taken shower or such first to cool it down, espeially with a gauge with plastic parts), making sure the pipe for that connection comes off AFTER the pressure reducer (inside the house side of it) as in some cases an outdoor hose bib will come off BEFORE the pressure regulator to give higher watering pressure - which might be your case. Anyway, find a hose bib connection on a household pressure line, screw it on (with the hose washer inside the fitting so it does not leak) and check the pressure.


Note - when you are done with the test, turn faucet off of course - but wrap the connection of the gage with a rag or towel when unscrewing it, because it will still have full pressure in it, so will spray a bit and release a tablespoon of water or so when you unscrew it. Not dangerous - just might get things a touch wet in the area as it releases the pressure in the tubing between the valve and the gauge body.


Below about 30 psi causes problems with a lot of appliances (or takes way too long to fill) and makes for low shower effect - about 40-60 is the normal recommended range. For a normal person, you can stop the water at a hose or faucet with your thumb over the opening at 30 psi, up to 40-50 is you really put some pressure on it, over about 60 most people cannot hold a thumb tight enough to stop the spraying.


I do not like over 50 psi for normal residential uses, especially in houses with older piping - though you sometimes get it in at the lower levels in buildings over 3-4 stories, or at various levels (in increments of about 3-5 floors) in tall buildings with segmented water systems (each group of 3-5 floors comes off one pressure regulator on a higher-pressure system). Over 70 psi is generally considered risky and is the manufacturer's warranty / safe limit for many household appliances like water heater and washers and dishwashers and reefers with water connection, and is commonly the design opearating pressure for faucets and hoses and such, over 90-100 is definitely into the dangerous range where you can start causing leaks or blowouts.


Doing that test will tell you if you actually have high inside pressure or not - which should tell you if he is putting you on or not. If unable to do yourself, do you have a home-handy friend or relative who can ?


Over about 60-70 psi will sometimes cause slight leakage at faucets and toilet fill valves and such.
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To rebuild the guts of a normal tank-type toilet - WITHOUT changing out the wax seal underneath where it connects to the sewer line (which requires removing the toilet, but is not part of a normal tank parts rebuild), commonly about $25-50 parts (more like $50-100 if the plastic column-type flush valve rather than the rubber flapper type) plus typically one hour minimum service call charge - so from $75-350 for the labor for lowest to highest cost areas respectively, most commonly around $100-200 for the labor in most of the country - and unless in more well-to-do parts of Atlanta or a vacation town, I would expect you to be in the lower half of the price range. Additional $0-100 labor (depending on how easy it comes off and if pipe within the wall has to be replaced due to corrosion) and $10-25 parts if the shutoff valve at the wall or the flex line from it to the toilet was corroded up and has to be replaced too because it broke, could not be opened/disconnected without breaking it, or leaks.

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To replace PRV - below are a bunch of links to previous similar questions - but in reading note some have individual PRV replacement costs, some are for that PLUS an expansion tank to protect the water heater or boiler, which you should have if a PRV or backflow preventer is between that appliance and the incoming pipe. (Typically, at least for replacement, the "football" or "soccer ball" size tank, typically sits on cold water line close to water heater.)


http://answers.angieslist.com/cost-in...


http://answers.angieslist.com/350-lab...


http://answers.angieslist.com/How-I-e...


http://answers.angieslist.com/What-re...


http://answers.angieslist.com/when-in...

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On the toilet still running - if the inlet valve is running, meaning the water is trickling/running into the tank continually so it is coming out of the little tube leading from the inlet valve assembly into the overflow tube, or the water in the tank is constantly overflowing into the overflow tube (the about 1" diameter tube sticking up vertically usually at the back near center of the tank), and he replaced the inlet assembly (the float-controlled valve at the left which control the water inflow), then high pressure could cause that to continue to be a problem - though I would suspect would have to be around 90 psi or more to do that on a new valve. If he did NOT replace the inlet valve assembly (which these days commonly has a float canister as part of it) then that would be the normal solution.


If it is instead dribbling into the bowl from the flapper (or vertical tube type discharge valve) which is connected (by chain commonly but sometimes by rigid linkage) to the flush lever, especially if it stops when you put a little down pressure on that flapper or valve tube, then incoming pressure is NOT the issue - it is a leaking discharge valve or the gasket between the tank and the overflow tube is leaking, which in the latter case means removing the tank from the toilet to replace that gasket/seal. Just flapper/flush valve replacement can usually be done from inside empty tank without removing the tank.


If you still have qualms, then you would need to get another plumber out for typically $75-150 minimum service charge to diagnose and then quote whatever repair is needed - so depending on how much the first plumber is quoting might or might not be best to take what he is offerring versus getting a second quote which might or might not be better. Some plumbers, if you tell them what you expect the problem is (replace toilet guts, replace PRV, etc) will give an estimate over the phone - to be confirmed once they get there (if you choose them to do the work) and can actually look at the issue.


Certainly, if the costs he is quoting are out of the ranges in the questions and answers above, then a second plumber bide would be in order - I have heard of plumbers quoting $1000 to replace a PRV and $500 to replace ordinary tank type toilet parts (tankless types ARE more expensive to fix commonly), so it may be he though he found a sucker and is trying to scam you.


After all is said and done, might be ann appropriate Review on Angies List would be in order, especially if it turns out the first one is trying to milk the job or if you get a second plumber in to work on it.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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