Pressure regulator output is 70psi regardless of setting

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cannonfodder
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#1: Post by cannonfodder »

I have run a new water line for my Faema. It is a ½ inch line with a carbon can filter inline. I have a pressure regulator I got from ChrisCoffee and use to have installed on my ¼ line. I now have it installed on my ½ inch line with a ¼ NPT adaptor, on the out side I go from the 1/4NPT to a 3/8 ID barb fitting and a 3/8 line up to the machine.

The gauge is marked 0-25 PSIG, which I believe is the output pressure range. The problem, I believe my input pressure is too high for the regulator. I get 70psi out regardless of my setting. I do not get 0 pressure, there is always a bit of flow from the output. Once the pressure is increased, I can set the gauge on, say 30psi (which is interesting because the regulator max is 25psi). The gauge then slowly climbs to 70. Purge the line, rebound to 30 and slowly climb back to 70.

I assume that my line pressure is to high and I need a heavier regulator. Can anyone confirm or deny my suspicion?
Dave Stephens

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HB
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#2: Post by HB »

cannonfodder wrote:I assume that my line pressure is to high and I need a heavier regulator. Can anyone confirm or deny my suspicion?
Not really, but I saw the same "bleeding" pressure behavior when the pressure regulator on our house gave it up after 15 years. An input pressure of 70PSI sounds high for residential plumbing. Ours is regulated to 60 PSI then I further reduce it for the espresso machine using this regulator:

Image

I think you may be right that you're exceeding the spring resistance of such a small pressure regulator. Have you tried reducing the pressure for the whole house to 50PSI then retesting?
Dan Kehn

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cannonfodder (original poster)
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#3: Post by cannonfodder (original poster) »

Quick update. I just looked up the spec on the regulator. It is a Watts P50. According to Grainger,

Water Pressure Regulator,1/4 In,300 PSI
Water Pressure Regulator, 1/4 In Female Inlet/Outlet, Shut Off 40 PSI, Max Operating Pressure 300 PSI, Gauge Port FNPT 1/4 In, Max Temp 150 F, Diaphragm, Disc And Seal Are Rubber And Consist Of FDA Grade Elastomers, Thermoplastic Body Material, For Use In OEM And Irrigation Applications To Regulate Pressure In Systems That Require A Constant Downstream And Accurate Flow Performance, Features A Bottom Clean Out Plug For Service, Height 3 In, Width 1 9/16 In

Correct me if I am wrong, but that looks like the regulator tops out at 40PSI, but has a max input of 300psi. I do have some pretty beefy water pressure, but it is not over 300psi. I will remove the clean out plug and check it for scale

Suggestions, please.....
Dave Stephens

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cannonfodder (original poster)
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#4: Post by cannonfodder (original poster) »

My home pressure is around 100psi. Before someone jumps in and shouts, NO WAY. The city water tower is less than a half-mile away and I am on the main line that feeds the surrounding neighborhood. I filled a 20,000-gallon swimming pool in about 24 hours with one garden hose.

There is no regulator on my main so I would need to add one to the house (which the wife would not like, she likes that shower pressure) or I add a second inline to step it down. However, I would prefer to do it all in one regulator.
Dave Stephens

lino

#5: Post by lino »

NO WAY!!

:wink:

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HB
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#6: Post by HB »

cannonfodder wrote:My home pressure is around 100psi.
I'm with Lino... NO WAY. You'll reduce your water bill, prolong the service life of the plumbing, and reduce the risk of a failure by adding a house pressure regulator. And I bet your $20 espresso machine regulator will stop leaking too. ;-)
Dan Kehn

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cannonfodder (original poster)
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#7: Post by cannonfodder (original poster) »

If you get to close to the water tower, you can blow up your washing machine.

I figured that I was going to need a much heavier regulator in front of this little guy. On a side note, I took the service plug out; there was a little Teflon tape and a very small pebble that probably came from the new copper. The pipe probably got a spec in it as we cut and soldered it although I purged the line prior to putting on the regulator. The regulator adjusts much smoother now, what a surprise.

That 70psi, if I take the regulator off the line and direct connect a pressure gauge, I get around 77psi, and that is after the filter, which will bleed off several PSI.
Dave Stephens

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cannonfodder (original poster)
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#8: Post by cannonfodder (original poster) »

I upgraded my regulator, now this will do the trick.
Image

I have it adjusted to 40psi static, when the pump is running I get about 25psi on the gauge.

I pulled the top and side off the machine and adjusted my brew pressure, I get 9 bar with nothing in the PF and 9.5 bar with a blank basket. It operates nice and smooth, so I am now ready to pull my first shot after all of the adjustments.

I reach over to the Mazzer to grab my PF, AAAARRRR!!! :evil: The espresso gods have smitten me once again. I took my Isomac to work, my Isomac PF's fit the Faema (I have a real Faema PF on order) but I only have one double basket. While I have a double spout PF here, my double basket is at work on my Isomac. So I now have a properly adjusted and heated machine and no basket to pull shots. My PF and two double baskets will not be here until early next week. Until then I have to remember to take my basket back and forth from work to home.

Owe the humanity of it all.
:cry:
Dave Stephens

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Psyd

#9: Post by Psyd »

So, my line pressure at the house is is about 6 BAR (used to be 4, but the city finally did something. Musta been an accident!)
adn I don't have a regulator leading up to my machine. I have a commercial two-group, getting fed staight out of the softener. Am I asking for trouble? I've not heard of pressure being too high (other than something over 9 BAR!) before...
Espresso Sniper
One Shot, One Kill

LMWDP #175

Fred

#10: Post by Fred »

Cannonfodder:

I have a very similar situation to yours, although the genesis of the problem differs. We have an auxiliary variable speed pump to boost input pressure into the house as it is too low on its own (bad city engineering when the street was first developed). I just installed one of Chris' regulators and it seems to have no impact on the pressure at all, registering 70psi with no adjustability.

What model regulator did you buy, for how much, and from where?

I'm also going to look into whether or not the variable speed pump can be adjusted down at all.

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.