At RWC, we are constantly developing new technologies to transform the speed and simplicity of installations. That’s why we have launched our first ever Reliance Valves range that features push-fit connections from JG Speedfit to enable faster, easier and tool-free connections.
The valves available in this new range include the Easifit Thermostatic Mixing Valve (TMV), the 312 Compact Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) , the Nickel-Plated Ball Valve and the Automatic Air Vent. However, in this blog we’ll focus specifically on PRVs, the role they play in safeguarding homes, how they work and how our new push-fit version simplifies installation.
Why PRVs are important?
The first and foremost purpose of a PRV is to take high inlet pressure and lower it down for safe usage and consumption. This protects the property’s plumbing and heating system from leaks and bursts. Secondly, they ensure there is enough pressure to serve all the required outlets in the property and provide a stable, comfortable supply for occupants.
For domestic properties, typically, water authorities will install their own PRVs in the road to regulate safe pressure for each home. This is because the water supply pressure in the UK can vary from 1 bar to 20 bar (or even higher in some low usage areas), so it needs to be lowered for safe usage. And usually, the mains pressure for a property is maintained between 1 bar and 3 bar to serve all outlets and protect homes from water damage.
Although water authorities regulate water pressure for domestic consumption, it is still a good practice to install an additional PRV at the point where the mains water supply first enters the property. This provides added protection to the water system, appliances, and fixtures in case the PRV in the road fails for any reason.
How do Pressure Reducing Valves work?
A Pressure Reducing Valve takes high inlet water pressure and reduces it to a lower outlet pressure. When it does this under both flow and no-flow conditions, the type of control is known as ‘drop tight’.
Under no-flow conditions, the downstream pressure puts force on the seat and diaphragm of the valve, which in turn overcomes the spring pressure. This means the seat moves up, forcing it to seal against the diaphragm, therefore preventing the downstream pressure from increasing.
Under flow conditions the back pressure against the seat is reduced thus allowing the seat to open and water to flow through the valve.
Importance of sizing the PRVs correctly
For domestic properties, a general rule of thumb is to size the valve to fit the mains water pipe entering the property. This should provide enough flow for all normal activity in a dwelling.
It is crucial that PRVs are sized correctly, as otherwise, they can cause several problems. If oversized and the flow rate is constantly low, the valve seat can erode over time. This means the PRV will not be ‘drop tight’ and would allow the downstream pressure to ‘creep’.
However, if undersized, the valve can become very noisy every time the outlets are opened and shut. This is due to the large volume of water squeezing through the valve, causing the internal spring to vibrate under strain, and also creating a ‘water hammer’ effect in the pipework.
Why choose a PRV from Reliance Valves?
- Stops water pressure from creeping
Reliance Valves PRVs use a balanced spring and diaphragm to control the downstream pressure. This ‘drop tight’ feature is one of the most important feature for any PRV, as this stops the pressure from ‘creeping’ – a term which is used when an increase in the downstream pressure occurs under no-flow conditions.
A valve that allows this ‘creep’ cannot be classified as ‘drop tight’, or in fact a true PRV, as it will eventually allow the downstream pressure to creep up to equal the upstream pressure. This can cause significant problems and essentially negate the point of using a PRV in the first place.
- Easy to install
The 312 Compact Series PRV from Reliance Valves is the most suitable option for domestic applications. It can be fitted in any orientation to suit the space requirements, which is especially handy for retrofit applications or in tight areas. Adjustable to pressures between 1.5 bar – 6.0 bar, the valve’s compact design makes it easier to install.
- Faster to service and repair
Reliance Valves’ PRVs feature a single cartridge design for efficient servicing, and two test points either side to test the downstream pressure. They also feature an integral strainer that protects the seat from corrosion and can be serviced to ensure optimum performance.
Additionally, with the 312 Compact Series PRV available with push-fit connections it is much faster to demount the valve without the need for tools and reinstall once it has been serviced.
Simplifying PRV installations with push-fit
It needs no saying that we are all heavily reliant on our water systems. Keeping them safe and stable is paramount for protecting homeowners from costly remedial works such as pipe bursts and flooding. And at a time where installers are pushed for time and need to speed up jobs, simple, easy to fit PRVs are a must.
That is why alongside integrating the JG Speedfit push-fit technology in our Easifit TMVs, we have done the same with our Reliance Valves 312 Compact Series PRV. Available in 15mm and 22mm versions, our world-leading PRVs and push-fit technologies enable fast, simple and tool-free fitting and maintenance.
To find out about our wide range of PRVs, including options with push-fit, union and compression ends, click here.