Have you ever wondered how water pressure is the same throughout the different floors of an apartment or condominium building? If you want to have good water pressure on the top floors, wouldn’t that cause much higher pressure on the lower floors? PRV’s (pressure reducing valves) are part of the plumbing system and help control and balance the water pressure in a high-rise buildings.
What is a PRV?
Pressure reducing valves are commonly installed in high rise residential buildings to help keep consistent water pressure at the water fixtures throughout the entire building, from top to bottom.
As buildings are being built taller and taller, plumbing systems need to supplement the municipal water supply to create good water pressure on the top floors. Booster pumps are used to create this additional water pressure, and PRV’s are used on the lower levels to make sure that the water pressure isn’t too high there.
Supplying such high pressure to the lower floors would cause water to jet out of taps and showers, something that residents wouldn’t be happy about. Also, constantly having high back pressure on fixtures and such a high flow rate when they are turned on can damage the fixtures over time.
PRV’s are considered when a building is built. The builder’s engineers will assess how many floors there are, how many fixtures there will be and the pressure from the incoming city supply to determine if booster pumps and PRV’s are needed. Generally, if a building has fewer than 10 floors then there is enough pressure from the city supply and booster pumps and PRV’s aren’t necessary.
Do You Need to Maintain Your PRV’s?
Pressure reducing valves are mechanical devices, so like any other mechanical devices they need to be maintained.
We recommend an annual inspection and service program for PRV’s in high rise residential buildings. This consists of disassembling each device and removing any debris that may have come in through the city clean water supply. A licensed plumber will thoroughly inspect the valve and replace any worn parts. The unit is reassembled and tuned for optimum performance.
Servicing PRV’s is done inline and on-site. If there are multiple PRV’s within the building plumbing system, the residents water supply will not be affected – the plumber will simply divert the water supply away from the valve being serviced. Once the valve has been checked, the water supply is rediverted and other PRV’s can be checked in the same manner.
Regular maintenance will extend the life of a PRV, making a maintenance program cost effective and allowing you to pass cost savings onto your board. Eventually, the maintenance cost will exceed a replacement cost, so sometimes PRV’s will need to be replaced.
Trust Dacord Plumbing to Maintain Your PRV’s!
Dacord Plumbing provides professional plumbing services throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Property managers depend on our fast, reliable and affordable service to keep their buildings in good working order! If you’re looking for a plumbing company to service your PRV’s or for any other plumbing needs, give us a call and get a no-cost quote!