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  • pressure regulating hose bibb?

    so i was at an apartment complex this morning on a call for low water pressure. last night the owner called the city as some of the tenants were complaining about low pressure. they go out and read 55# at the main before the 1.5'' regulator.

    i show up this morning and read 18# before and after the regulator. i check at a couple buildings next door and they have no regulators and 55#.

    i check the meter and all looks good. call the city water dept. and they they try explaining water pressure, volume and static pressure to me over the phone of course they come out to the job in 20 minutes and their 1 and only pressure gauge on the truck is broken. so i let them use mine. they were stumped.

    they were going to pull the meter from the box, until i suggested that it might just be a false reading at the high pressure hose bibb with vacuum breaker. so i wrench off the added on vacuum breaker and get 55#.

    so the real question is how does a hose bibb with an screwed on vacuum breaker cause much lower reading on my pressure gauge under static conditions i already knew it was a bad and unnecessary regulator.

    stumped or confused maybe a few pictures will help?

    rick.



    18# with vac. breaker at high side of regulator.



    55# with vac. breaker removed. sitting on top of gauge.



    screw on vac. breaker.



    1.5'' wilkins 600 with rusted out spring. that's why no pressure to the building.



    all fixed as seen by the 55# at building.



    replaced the hose bibb with the newer style with integeral vacuum breaker. they actually flow more gpm than a standard hose bibb.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by PLUMBER RICK; 06-20-2012, 01:22 AM.
    phoebe it is

  • #2
    Re: pressure regulating hose bibb?

    Thats just weird? If you have an answer let me in. does it have something to do with atmospheic pressure ?

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    • #3
      Re: pressure regulating hose bibb?

      I am guessing it was completely fouled and did not have enough time to equalize.
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      • #4
        Re: pressure regulating hose bibb?

        Originally posted by Gettinit View Post
        I am guessing it was completely fouled and did not have enough time to equalize.
        no, the hose bibb flowed fine and delivered plenty of water with and without the vacuum breaker installed.

        rick.
        phoebe it is

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        • #5
          Re: pressure regulating hose bibb?

          Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
          no, the hose bibb flowed fine and delivered plenty of water with and without the vacuum breaker installed.

          rick.
          I fold....
          AllurePlumbing.com
          • leak detection
          • drain cleaning
          • utility locating
          • conductor fault locating
          • and other specialties.

          Greensboro NC, Winston-Salem NC, High Point NC, Thomasville NC, Kernersville NC

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          • #6
            Re: pressure regulating hose bibb?

            You said you read 18# before, and after the regulator?

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            • #7
              Re: pressure regulating hose bibb?

              Originally posted by stolen View Post
              You said you read 18# before, and after the regulator?
              yes. that's why the city was ready to change the meter as they were stumped at the reading before the regulator.

              rick.
              phoebe it is

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              • #8
                Re: pressure regulating hose bibb?

                Rick, why would you have suggested taking the vacuum breaker off the bibb and testing for pressure again if you didn't already suspect something? You're holding back on some secret info...

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                • #9
                  Re: pressure regulating hose bibb?

                  good question and simple answer.

                  static pressure doesn't matter if it's a 1/4'' ice maker line or a 4'' fire hydrant. they both will read the same static pressure.

                  i know a water meter is not a pressure regulator. and neither is a vacuum breaker i thought. but it takes under a minute to remove the vac. breaker and well over an hour to dig out the meter and test before and after it.

                  so, 1 minute wins out over the hour. surprised the 2 water company guys. in this particular city, we are not allowed to touch the meter or service stop. but they do show up real quick to turn It off for you.

                  rick.
                  phoebe it is

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                  • #10
                    Re: pressure regulating hose bibb?

                    But how would a pressure regulator change the static pressure on the supply side? That's impossible for it to do that. Right?

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                    • #11
                      Re: pressure regulating hose bibb?

                      correct. that's the whole reason for this thread. it was the vacuum breaker that was causing a false reading on the high pressure side. i already figured they had a bad regulator and never needed it in the first place. the city water pressure is 45-55 at this location. there are no pumps in this cities water distribution system. it's all gravity fed.

                      the city inspector that does cross connections is 1 of the sharpest inspectors i've ever delt with. he also teaches back flow classes. i was going to run it by him, but the city water guys were already to call him and pick his mind.

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

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                      • #12
                        Re: pressure regulating hose bibb?

                        Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                        correct. that's the whole reason for this thread. it was the vacuum breaker that was causing a false reading on the high pressure side. i already figured they had a bad regulator and never needed it in the first place. the city water pressure is 45-55 at this location. there are no pumps in this cities water distribution system. it's all gravity fed.

                        the city inspector that does cross connections is 1 of the sharpest inspectors i've ever delt with. he also teaches back flow classes. i was going to run it by him, but the city water guys were already to call him and pick his mind.

                        rick.

                        Couldn't sleep and surfing I just saw this thread. Interesting.

                        I'm guessing the pressure the gauge read on the outlet of the hose bibb while the vacuum breaker was attached is equal to the inlet water pressure to the hose bibb minus the spring pressure of the vacuum breaker. (The gauge side is a closed system.)

                        So if there was a little nub sticking out of the end of the vacuum breaker that you could put a pliers on and pull to overcome the spring and let water drain out. The pressure to overcome that spring (in pounds) plus the 18 pounds reading would equal inlet pressure of 55 pounds. If so spring pressure = 37 pounds.

                        The spring pressure sounds on the high side to me but I've never measured the tension, in pounds, of a vacuum breaker spring tension so who knows. I know some of them I've really had to pull.
                        Time flies like an arrow.

                        Fruit flies like a banana.

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                        • #13
                          Re: pressure regulating hose bibb?

                          geno, where were you 2 weeks ago when this was going on

                          excellent diagnosis. sounds good, but i don't think the spring is that strong.

                          i still have the parts and will have to test it on my house.

                          now get some sleep before i put you in a ball and roll you down the hill

                          rick.
                          phoebe it is

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