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Old 05-25-2008, 06:03 PM   #1
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City Water Regulator - How Common a part?

Hello All,

My 1970 Sovereign has a city water regulator that has a hideous crack in it. I assume the P.O. did not drain it before winter. How common are these? Can I just go to the home improvement store and pick one up, or is this a special "Airstream only item???

Any information will be grately appreciated,
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:22 PM   #2
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Both of mine have them. They are an ordinary improvement store item. My land lord installs them at each space and was surprised to see an identical one already built in to my '67.
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:19 PM   #3
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Probably a stupid question, but is the water pressure regulator the same as what is called the water inlet valve?

Thanks.
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:13 PM   #4
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They are two different things, at least on my '86 Sovereign and my past '77 Excella 500. The city water inlet valve on those trailers has a check valve incorporated in it so that when the onboard water pump is used, water does not drain back out. The pressure regulator is just downstream from there. Look up Watts water pressure regulators on yahoo or google and you can see the different types available with variations such as fixed vs. adjustable, different inlet sizes, etc.

I believe the newer Airstreams use a combination of the two for their city water inlet. I've seen the same type used on a number of SOB trailers with Airstream models looking chrome-like and the SOB models white or off-white.

I forgot to mention that if you go to Lowes Home Improvement or Home Depot, it may be listed as a water pressure reducing valve. I think that the one on my '77 was sweated on with solder but I can't remember for sure.
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Old 05-26-2008, 12:17 AM   #5
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Yes, pressure reducing valve or PRV for short. Our house has one too, after our plumber discovered 100+ PSI pressure (we're in a lower part of town, folks up the mountain make do with 25 or 30 PSI). He commented that it wouldn't do the trailer plumbing any good when we had the hose connected; I'm sure he didn't realized the Airstream already had one!
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbertF
Yes, pressure reducing valve or PRV for short. Our house has one too, after our plumber discovered 100+ PSI pressure (we're in a lower part of town, folks up the mountain make do with 25 or 30 PSI). He commented that it wouldn't do the trailer plumbing any good when we had the hose connected; I'm sure he didn't realized the Airstream already had one!
You can get one that threads right onto the city water faucet, so not even the fresh water hose has to put up with the pressure. They cost about $15, the one we have includes a pressure gauge.
If someone wanted to, they could eliminate the regulator, and install this on the water inlet, and not have to worry about replacement. The P.O. of our trailer did this, and it works the same as if the original was still in place.
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Old 05-27-2008, 05:52 PM   #7
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Chasing Leaks...

Found a valve at the third Lowes I checked. The first one had a valve in 1 inch, which was too big, the second store didn't stock any, and the third one had about 15 (literally) 3/4 inch valves. If ever I need another one, I know which store to hit. Thanks to all for the advice/help. Now I just found a split water line under the right twin bed. I am off to Lowes again, this time for a couple of compression fittings to repair this leak. I will eather run out of money or leaks - the line has been drawn in the sand! The P.O drained the water system, but the copper line dipped down where this split and swollen area was found.

I have to admit, there is no better tutorial on where to make sure the antifreeze goes, that going through a water system that was not properly winterized.

Thanks again all for the advice,
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:55 PM   #8
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My first experience with water settling in a low point was on my way back from AZ. through N.M. where I hit a snow storm and temp drop. While I bought the '77 Excella from someone on ebay, an RV service went through all the electric and plumbing. Unfortunately, they didn't follow up with antifreeze for my trip back. I stayed at a truck stop in N.M. on the way back to TN. and this is probably when the 90 degree plastic elbow coming off the hose reel froze and cracked. When I replumbed this area the following week, I eliminated the elbow by using a gently bend of the gray plastic line and always made sure the hose on the reel always had antifreeze in it. I never used the hose reel anyway, just the city water connection by the rear bumper. I learned to never rely on blowing out lines but rather run antifreeze through all fixtures and lines repeatedly.
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:39 PM   #9
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I've packed away my manuals. Can anyone tell me what the pressure regulator should be set at (maximum pressure) for a 72 Tradewind?
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:19 PM   #10
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Pressure regulator

As a rule of thumb the older the trailer the higher the pressure. However most pressure regulators are set at 45 to 50 lbs. Which is a good setting this will keep the lines in the trailer in good shape whether copper or plastic. I use an external with a gauge so if the one in the trailer doesn't work I am still protected.
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:40 PM   #11
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Thanks Andrew. I have an external one that is screwed on at the water intake, but I'm not certain that it is callibrated properly. I think I may go get a new one just to be safe.
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:46 PM   #12
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Get one with a gauge. We were with friends and he told me my hose looked like the pressure was high . I laughed and told him I had a regulator on the hose. The laugh was on me when I checked the gauge 3 or 4 hours later the regulator had failed and the pressure was 85 psi. Needless to say I now carry two regulators and keep an eye on the gauge at all times.
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:49 PM   #13
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Most municipal governments require a "back flow prevention valve" for any connection to the system. This is a valve that allows water to flow to a user but NOT back into the system. Normally, the system pressure "pushes" water into your home, business or vintage Airstream. When there is a loss of pressure in the system (and no back flow prevention), water can get sucked from customers back into the system (think "siphon effect"). If your neighbor has a nasty pool with a hose sitting in it, do you really want that water sucked back into your drinking water?

The second device (and the one I think you are talking about) is a pressure reduction valve (PRV). Normally, municipal water systems try to maintain 50 to 60 psi of water pressure. Due to differences in elevation, this isn't always possible. The easist thing to do is just call the local water department. They should be able to tell you what the water pressure is (or should be) in your area and give you more information on PRVs.

By the don't, don't feel bad about replacing a PRV. They are a mechanical device that will fail over time... even without hideous cracks.
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:18 AM   #14
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Watts Regulators

I meant to add this to my earlier post but failed to do so. Here is a good site to compare some of the different Watts products.
RV Water Filter Store: Water Pressure Regulators for RVs
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