PRV before the water meter

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DanaMac, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    If the PRV is beore the water meter, and it has failed, will you replace it? Both myself and SprinklerGuy #1 had this happen recently and told them no, find a plumber. I know my customer was a little irritated that we wouldn't. We could have as there was a ball valve, then PRV, then water meter, then a nother ball valve. But if it is before the water meter I always tell them call a plumber or their water district. If it's after, usually will replace it.

    Funny thing was it happened on Thursday, and my tech that was there called his brother who is a master plumber. He said he would do it Saturday, but that wasn't fast enough for the guy, even though it's been raining every afternoon.

    Come on Tony, tell your good story about this.
     
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,035

    Seems easy enough to replace a pressure reducer, especially one connected to a water meter. Just curious, what's the actual street pressure at that location? I see a number of before-the-meter PRV installations in neighborhoods that have no need whatsoever for any PRV in the first place.
     
  3. br549oicu8

    br549oicu8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,230

    As a Building Inspector and a Commercial Lawn Care Company owner I have an opinion that fits our jurisdiction but I know it varies by area. The service up to and including the meter belongs to and is maintained by the water purveyor..in other words the water department. After that is it the responsibility of the property owner. Licenses are required for all plumbing. The irrigation contractor may take over at the discharge point of the backflow and go from there....
     
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Yes sometimes it would be easy enough to replace it before the meter. BUT I don't want to take the risk of the water district jumping down my throat for doing it without a plumbers license. Withing my working area, we have about 10 different water districts. And of course they all make their own rules.

    Well since it failed and allowed full street pressure, it was at 125 psi. All our homes here need PRVs. Range from 100-150 psi. When I worked for someone else about 12-13 years ago, we had installed a system with Rainbird DV-100s, and they had no PRV before the meter. There was one set up after it though and regulated the irrigation. DVs shut down hard usually. Well I was manually advancing thru the controller and then turned it off. I heard water running in the basement. The bottom plate for the water meter burst open and was flooding the basement. Shut it off before the meter and called the water district to come install one.
     
  5. My story is as of now, still unfinished.

    Long story short....replaced a pvb due to cracked ball valves and poppet/bonnet...after replacing it, I manually checked the valves and the pvb would NOT seat...unless i manipulated the downstream ball valve to get it to fill the pipes and slowly opened it. Hardly an automatic system eh?

    After some research, I found the PRV to be adjusted all the way "in", as in, "give me more pressure". The homeowner complained also of no pressure at the kitchen sink when the outside water was running. He wasn't kidding, just a trickle from the sink faucet when the hosebibb outside was running. I told him to call a plumber and tell him to replace the prv just before the meter, all should work fine at that point.

    He called me the next day to tell me the plumber had been there and when could I come pick up a check and finish with my start up. I asked him what the plumber said and he quoted him: "Your pressure is way too high, so instead of replacing the PRV I'm going to add one after the meter..." WTF????

    The pressure wasn't too high...and the PRV was surely damaged and restricting the more important problem...VOLUME!...The plumber must have been too lazy to go turn the water off at the street?

    I explained one more time to the homeowner that the problem wasn't pressure..it was volume..and the damaged PRV was surely the culprit as it wasn't just the sprinkler system but the volume was compromised throughout the home. He told me the plumber said "that sprinkler guy is crazy, most of them are, the pressure is just fine, have him come check his pvb installation"....AAAARGGHHH!

    I told him that he could have 200 lbs of water pressure but if it was coming through a hole the size of a straw, it still won't work when trying to operate 12-16 gallons per minute of sprinklers.

    Why are plumbers so stupid? Or are they just lazy?
     
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,035

    While a purveyor might claim territorial rights over anything from the meter back to the main in the street, I don't see much in the way of their willingness to replace anything that goes wrong in between the meter and the curb stop. Something like "It's on private property, so it's the homeowner's headache." is what I'm likely to hear. On some occasions, I've bought a few needed psi by swapping the meter and the PRV (when the street pressure was well under 100 psi) and teeing off a sprinkler supply connection before the relocated PRV.

    I like the Wilkins BR-4 reducers, with their extended pressure range capability.
     
  7. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    hmmm, It was jerry w/ his Tx wit that mentioned the 4 things (and I had always only heard 3) one needs to know to be a plubmer.........after that, it is all just in the bonus :)

    The leak is ALWAYS the sprinkler guy. The sprinkler guy is ALWAYS the stupid one. And hey, they must be right! any of you getting 80 and hour w/ a 2 hour min?? I know I'm not, but I sure do fix and find thier mistakes often enough.
     
  8. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Had one more of these yesterday, and one last Wednesday. 7 total now. PRV damaged and restricting flow. Poppet would bounce up and down until zones had enough water in them.
     
  9. blkberry

    blkberry LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    My understanding here in Colo. is before the meter water districts prob, after meter home owners prob.
     

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