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  • Pressure regulator installation

    I purchased a water pressure regulator, a Watts U5-Z3. It will be installed on 3/4" copper pipe. The regulator has a NPT threaded female union inlet and a NPT threaded female outlet. I was wondering what is the best way to connect the regulator. I puchased 2 3/4" copper male adapters to solder to the pipe however when I was checking the fit, the copper fittings don't seem to fit right, almost like there being cross-threaded. I don't want to wrench them in there only to find that the threads were chewed up and end up with a leak. Are the copper fittings to soft for the brass regulator? There is a variant of this regulator that has solder union inlet, would this one have been better?

    [ 10-16-2005, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: Chandler35 ]

  • #2
    The threaded kind is best for future replacement. When it goes bad in 20-30 years, it can be easily screwed out and the replacement screwed in without any torching. As far as your threads go...they should be a little difficult to get in if they're dry. You may only be able to hand turn it in the fitting two or three rotations. Once you put some teflon tape and pipe dope on there it should be easier to thread in there. Test this connection before you install it. If the male adapters were dropped at any point the threads can be goofed. Check for little brass burrs in the PRV.

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    • #3
      Should I just use pipe dope on the threads and tighten them down? I've seen some posts that some will use the dope and teflon tape at the same time. How does that work out? One more thing that I've seen some conflicts on is whether to charge my expansion chamber to the static pressure of the system or dynamic pressure. The instructions that came with the tank say to set it at the psi the systems at with a faucet open, dynamic. But I see alot say static because the heater can still build pressure even if theres no water usage. Just wodering your opinion. Thanks for the help!

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      • #4
        Those tanks usually come from the factory set at 40psi if it's a precharged tank. As far as I know you just install it - i've never messed with changing the pressure of the air bladder inside the tank. Pipe dope is a lubricant only - not a seal. This is a common misconception about dope. First use teflon tape about four or five rotations around the male fitting in the direction you will be tightening the fitting. Second - apply the dope to help get the fittings as far together as possible, but not too tight or it could crack the prv or strip the threads or something else bad. You'll want to solder on your fittings before putting on the prv otherwise the heat from your torch will melt the gasket in the prv, and melt the teflon tape and dope. Burning the tape can create a toxic fume that you don't want to breath in. This fume won't kill you, but it can kill small animals and cause you to have flu-like symptoms.

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        • #5
          It almost makes you wonder how they sealed IPS joints decades before the invention of teflon tape
          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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          • #6
            Straw and mud is what they used back in the "Dark Ages" I think.

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            • #7
              Flare fittings used to be pretty darn popular. Lard was probably the lubricant of choice [img]tongue.gif[/img]

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              • #8
                As not to confuse anyone pipe dope is both a pipe sealant and a lubricant. I often use pipe dope on rubber components as a lubricant and an anti-seize when a sealant is not needed. That being said Teflon tape can also be used as both.

                Mark
                "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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                • #9
                  I use pipe dope as follows:

                  ...Both sides of a flange gasket.
                  ...The female side of a 2 1/2" of larger fitting.
                  ...Along with thephlon tape, the threads of any threaded piping I use.

                  Call me old fashioned, but hey, I got to be me.

                  the dog
                  the dog

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                  • #10
                    I agree with Dog except I begin the application of dope on the female threads at 1 1/2 inches and sometimes 1 1/4 inches when the fittings are of questionable origin or quality.

                    When using the combination of teflon with pipe dope be careful not to over torque your fittings. They will slide together very smoothly and it is easy to take it too tight.

                    Chandler35, I strongly reccomend using Static pressure for your reference point regarding the proper air charge in your expansion tank. Your water heater will cycle whether you are running a faucet or not.

                    Utah and Bob,
                    We just dug holes and moved the box back in the day. J/K. We had to torque our fittings more and we also had higher quality material to work with.
                    Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

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                    • #11
                      Are you guys having different tanks that what i have around here? or am i doing something wrong? All our tanks come with an air bladder in them precharged from the factory at 40psi. I usually leave that alone and just install it. Should i be changing that?

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                      • #12
                        theron, if you read the installation manual that comes with the expansion tank, it will explain this important step. if you leave the pressure set to 40#, it's like installing shock absorbers meant for a small car onto a truck.

                        the air bladder will be compressed by the higher water pressure and will not have enough space, volume to properly do the job it was intended for.
                        sure, it's better than having no expansion tank, but an extra couple of minutes worth of time and a bicycle pump will correct this to a factory spec.

                        rick.

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                        • #13
                          I had no idea. The last master i worked for before roto rooter just said to leave it be. And the two masters i spoke to in the shop just said it wasn't really necessary and that if you put too much air in you can pop the bladder. I'll have to read the manual next time i get one. I keep a small air compressor on my truck for air tests, so it's not like it would take any more tools or time. So what is this static pressure business? what it the proceedure for properly setting it up? I assume i install it just like regular and just adjust the air in the tank to a specific level based on the water pressure, but you mentioned earlier about a faucet or hose bibb being open.

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