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Why You Need a Water Pressure Regulator in Your RV

A water pressure regulator is an insurance policy for your RV's fresh water plumbing system

Why You Need a Water Pressure Regulator in Your RV

By:  Alan Wiener
Editor Everything About RVing

The question is should we use a Water Pressure Regulator on our RV's city water connection The answer is a resounding yes.  If you connect your RV to a city water connection that has a very high water pressure, you are gambling on the possibility of bursting the fresh water pipes in your RV.  Bursting water pipes can cause significant damage to your RV if the leak is not caught quickly.

When you arrive at a campground, you really do not know what water pressure they are running in their city water system.  It is not unheard of for some campgrounds to have water pressures exceeding 150 psi.  a water pressure regulator is an insurance policy for your RV's fresh water plumbing system. 

Depending on the Manufacturer and the year, make and model of your RV, you may already have a water pressure regulator that was installed on your RV's city water connection at the factory.  The best way to find out is to refer to your RV's owner's manual.  If yours does not have a factory installed water pressure regulator, than keep reading.

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that you want the water pressure in your RV to be in the neighborhood of 50 – 60 psi to be on the safe side.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Regardless of what type of water pressure regulator you use; the water pressure regulator should be connected directly to the campgrounds City water connection. Any in-line water filter and your drinking water hose should then be connected to the water pressure regulator, this will prevent them from being damaged.

Types of Water Pressure Regulators 

In-line barrel type water pressure regulators: This type of water pressure regulator is usually fairly inexpensive and has been manufactured to restrict the water pressure to around 40 – 45 psi. These types of water pressure regulators do not allow you to adjust the water pressure and are also known for not only reducing the pressure of city water but also restricting the flow of the water, which can result in weak shower flow and weak flow in bathroom and kitchen sinks.

In-line barrel type high flow water pressure regulators: These types of water pressure regulators are more expensive than the ones mentioned above and they are also not user adjustable, but they do have a higher flow rate which results in a better shower and sink water flow.

Valterra Adjustable Water Regulator

Adjustable water pressure regulator with a gauge: Again these type of water pressure regulators are more expensive than the ones mentioned above: My personal recommendation for this type of water pressure regulator is the Valterra Adjustable Water Pressure Regulator (pictured above). It is set at the factory at 45 psi, but you can easily increase or decrease the pressure by adjusting a set screw. For even more information on the importance of having a water pressure regulator on board your RV, take a look at the video below by Rving Expert Mark Polk from RV Education 101.

To instantly download the RV Education 101 Videos available from RVing Expert Mark Polk visit the RV Education 101 Video Download Store

More information on water flow: Let me take a moment to explain that weak water flow in your RV's shower or sinks should not always be blamed on your RV's water pressure regulator. Some other accessories listed below can also affect the flow of water getting to your sinks and showers:

  • Drinking Water Hose: If your drinking water hose has kinks in it or is beginning to collapse due to prolonged exposure to the elements, it will cut down the flow of water going to your RV and should be replaced.
  • In-Line Water Filter: The in-line water filter connected to the city water connection on your RV can also severely restrict the flow of water getting in your RV, especially when the filter is starting to get plugged up by the sediment that it is filtering. If you have a replaceable in-line water filter, a good rule of thumb is to replace it at lest once a year. If you use a filter that can be cleaned, you should follow the manufacturers guidelines on how often to clean it.
  • Under Sink Filtration Systems: If you have an under sink water filtration system, you should also follow the system manufacturers guidelines on replacing or cleaning the filters.
  • Low Water Pressure at Campground: Some campgrounds just have low water pressure and no matter what you do, you may not get sufficient water flow to your RV.

Hopefully I have convinced you that using a water pressure regulator on your RV's fresh water system is a cost-effective way of preventing water damage to your RV bursting pipes.

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