For the conditions of the intended use, a regulator with an oversized valve will be more sensitive to variable intake pressures and may induce excessive droop. "Lockup pressure" is the pressure above the set-point necessary to completely close the regulator valve and ensure no flow. The lockup pressure depends on design factors such as size of the valve orifice and material strength. Designing for safety requires selecting a lower lockup pressure than desired operating pressure. For example, if the desired operating pressure is 100 psi, then the regulator must withstand 150 psi before it shuts off flow.
How do pressure regulators work? Pressure regulators use a spring-loaded mechanism to open and close a circuit that allows fluid to flow through them. As pressure increases, the force of the fluid acts on the diaphragm or other mechanical component, which compresses the spring. This compression forces the stem attached to the diaphragm into the body of the regulator, closing the valve and preventing more fluid from flowing through it. When pressure drops below the set point, the diaphragm or other mechanical component relaxes, allowing the spring to open the valve again.
What are the advantages of using a pressure regulator? Pressure regulators can reduce the high peak pressures found in some systems. They do this by reducing the flow rate into the next component in line.
A water pressure regulator valve functions similarly to an outside hose faucet. Regulator valves, however, can acquire obstructions that limit flow beyond the specified quantity over time. These obstructions are frequently caused by the high mineral content of your municipal water supply. The particles tend to collect in the opening where they can restrict fluid passage.
If you observe excessive dripping or if your washing machine no longer spins out clean clothes, then there is likely an obstruction in the line between the tank and the washing machine. Turn off the main water supply at the meter (if you have one) or pull out the stopcock on the side of the house. Look for any debris in the lines leading to the washing machine. If you find anything obstructing the pipe, use a pair of needle-nosed pliers to remove it.
For external pipes, check all connections to be sure they are tight. A loose connection may allow water to leak into an underground area where it can cause erosion and damage to landscaping or foundation materials.
If you employ unlicensed repairmen or do work on your own property, you should know that doing so could result in serious injury or death. Hiring a professional plumbing company ensures that you will not be responsible for negligent workmanship.
The regulator is externally placed and has the potential to leak if the diaphragm ruptures or one of its seals breaks. A malfunctioning fuel pressure regulator can cause excessive fuel pressure and a rich operating state. This may occur during engine start up, when cold oil does not fill the clearance between the valve stem and the guide hole in which it rides.
A fractured push rod or loose connecting rod pin can allow the regulator's spring to force the valve open. This creates an open circuit that allows fuel but no air into the intake manifold, causing a rapid rise in pressure that could damage the engine.
Diagnosing a faulty regulator requires visual inspection and tests of various components including the diaphragm, spring, and valve mechanism. A broken push rod or bent connecting rod pin can indicate a need to replace the regulator altogether.
Regulators are available from several manufacturers including Coleman, Dyna Technology, Morriss, and Prestige. They are easy to install and remove, usually requiring only a hex key to do so. Make sure to follow the instructions for your specific unit but generally they are straightforward to replace.
If you're experiencing high engine repair costs or have other concerns about your vehicle, contact Ortonville Auto Repair today for expert service and maintenance.