Liquid News

Pressure Relief Valves – Quietly Doing Their Job

Water moving by gravity through pipes in the Irvine Ranch Water District distribution system creates water pressure. Because elevations within the IRWD service area range from sea level to 1,700 feet, the water system is engineered to provide a normal water pressure range of 50-100 pounds per square inch to homes and businesses in most areas.

“The water pressure at your home depends on the elevation of your home and its proximity to the nearest reservoir,” says Dave Pedersen, IRWD Executive Director of Operations.

Certain events such as a pipeline break, fire, or local construction activity can cause low water pressure in the system. If, however, you have been experiencing low water pressure in your home for a prolonged period of time, it may be the result of a problem at your residence.

In some areas of the District, pressure regulators were installed on homes in compliance with local building codes. These areas typically experience high water pressure. The regulators provide protection for household plumbing fixtures that can be sensitive to high water pressure.

The pressure regulator is a bell-shaped device and is typically installed on the inlet pipe, next to the hose bib and house valve. The regulators are preset by the manufacturer at about 80 psi. In most cases, they do not need to be adjusted. Incorrectly adjusting the regulator could cause water pressure that is too low or too high inside the home.

IRWD cannot make repairs or adjust pressure regulators because they are considered part of a homeowner’s private water system. Only a qualified plumber should make these adjustments.

Maintaining the correct water pressure throughout the system keeps the water supply safe. Any severe or prolonged drop in water pressure should be reported immediately to IRWD’s 24-hour service number: (949) 453-5300. Please check out our website for more information.

Contact: Shannon Reed, Public Affairs Manager
reeds@irwd.com, (949) 453-5500

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