Over Pressure Protection

Are you experiencing frequent plumbing problems, screeching or vibrating pipes or short life of plumbing appliances?

If so it may be due to high water pressure that is wearing out all of your plumbing fittings, taps, fixtures and appliances.

The plumbing Australian standards AS3500 and ACT Planning and land authority (ACTPLA) state that when water is entering into a building the water pressure must not exceed 500kpa

Below is an extract from the AS/NZ 3500.1:

3.3.4 Maximum pressure within buildings

Provision shall be made to ensure that the maximum static pressure at any outlet, other than a fire service outlet, within a building does not exceed 500 kPa.

NOTE: Pressures above 500 kPa can cause damage from water hammer, reduced life of appliances, taps and fittings, and cause excessive noise in the system.

In a recent Master Plumbers ACT Newsletter senior plumbing inspector and deputy register Andy Ives made the below statement:

As you can see this clause even goes to the extent of supplying an explanatory note as to why the clause should be adhered too. When pressure is found to be excessive the licensed plumber needs to make provision (i.e. pressure limiting valve) for the installation to be in compliance.

It is expected this should happen before a final inspection takes place on site with the ACT Government Auditor (plumbing inspector).

FAQ’s on Water Pressure in Canberra:

  • Why is my water pressure higher than my friends and families in Canberra?Answer – Canberra has 47 reservoirs that supply the domestic household water. Pending on what reservoir your property is fed from, and how far below the reservoir your house is will change the supply water pressure.
  • Is Icon Water (formally ACTEW) responsible for supplying me with the correct water pressure?Answer – No, Icon Water are responsible for supplying you with high quality drinking water and with a minimum usable pressure. It is the home owner’s responsibility along with a licensed Canberra plumber to ensure your water pressure is below 500kpa within the building.
  • What is the number one threat of high water pressure?Answer – From my experience the number one immediate threat is a burst plumbing flexible hoses that connect most toilet cisterns, taps, or washing machines and dishwashers. These burst pipes can cause thousands of dollars of damage in a short period of time, and have a habit of blowing when home owners are away on holidays.
  • Will my warranty be voided on your tapware, hot water heater, washing machine, dishwasher and other plumbing fixtures be voided if the supply pressure is too high?Answer – Yes, all plumbing products will have a maximum water pressure inlet, often 500kpa, and if water pressure protection valves are not installed where required to ensure the pressure is kept below their maximum water pressure the warranty will be void.
  • What can be done to reduce high water pressure and protect my plumbing infrastructure?Answer – A pressure liming valve (PLV) can be installed on the pipework prior to it entering the building, normally at the water meter or under the house.
  • Will installing a Pressure Limiting Valve reduce the pressure in my shower?Answer – Yes – Having a PLV installed will reduce the shower pressure and may be noticed particularly when your water pressure is closer to double. 500KPA is still plenty of pressure and more than the standard ACT household and should be plenty to massage your shoulders.
  • Will installing a PLV get rid of my water hammer and screeching pipes?Answer – 90% of the time the answer is Yes, a PLV will eliminate water hammer. The other 10% the PLV will reduce water hammer, although some further work may be required to remove it 100%.

If you would like a free pressure test done at your property use the below book online button, and write Free Pressure Test in the Detailed Description field.

Please Note – Free pressure tests are done when we are in the area from an accessible tap, therefore you will not be required to be onsite and there is no need to lock in a timeslot.

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