Pressure Limiting Valves

Is Your Home’s Water Pressure Too High?

Understanding the need for pressure-limiting valves.

Water pressure is a critical yet often overlooked aspect of our daily lives. High water pressure can lead to a range of issues within our plumbing systems.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the potential problems associated with high water pressure and explore using pressure limiting valves (PVLs) to maintain optimal pressure levels in your home’s water supply.

Ash burst pipe 3 scaled

Understanding Water Pressure in Your Home – Pressure v’s Flow.

Water pressure and flow rate often get confused or misunderstood. Pressure is the force pushing water through pipes, while flow rate is the volume of water coming from the tap. A number of factors can effect flow with pressure being one of them, however water pressure is set by the network operator.

In Brisbane, Urban Utilities operates of our water mains network and controls the water pressure within the system. Urban Utilities maintains a minimum standard of 210kpa (See Urban Utilities news post on Water pressure standards) however, most areas are much higher than this with the average pressure across Brisbane of approximately 700kpa.

Symptoms of High-Water Pressure

Due to the nature of supplying a city with water, in some areas, water pressure can be very high. This can create unwanted risks and as such, in March 2006, changes to the Standard Building Regulation 1993 came into effect which calls for all new houses and renovations to have pressure limiting devices fitted to ensure the water pressure within the house does not exceed a safe level of 500kpa.

Water pressure above these safe levels may result in

  • Inconsistent hot water and temperature balance in showers
  • Intermittent leaks within tapware and mixer bodies
  • Burst pipes
  • Excessive noise when water is flowing through pipework
  • Water hammer
  • Reduced lifespan of appliances

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The Role of Pressure Limiting Valves (PLVs)

The main purpose of a pressure limiting valve is as a protection device. Lowing the water pressure to your property to a safe level and protecting taps and pipes from excessive wear or premature failure. They also help as a water-saving device by reducing the amount of water coming out of taps.

There are 2 main types of valves used, Pressure limiting valves and Pressure reduction valves. Both work in the same way to reduce incoming water pressure to a safe level with a couple of differences.

  • Pressure reduction valves are adjustable and generally a little more accurate.
  • Pressure limiting valves come at a set pressure and are best used for individual appliances.
Pressure Reduction Valve 2

Water Pressure – Impact on Product Warranties and Recommended Pressure Ranges

Modern tapware manufactures have become increasingly strict when it comes to warranties. With flow rates set for water saving and internal components becoming more and more precise, it’s important to stress the need for correct operating pressures. Since 2005 AS/NZS 3500.1: Water services, clause 3.3.4 states that provision must be made to ensure the maximum static pressure to the building is no greater than 500kpa. As such warranties from all major tapware and appliance manufacturers have adopted this into their warranties.

While calling for 500kpa some tapware is made somewhat more robustly. Having recommended operating ranges high than this.


Tapware Pressure range (KPA) Maximum Operation Pressure (KPA) Links
Posh Bristol Mixer “For best performance and longer life we recommend 150 – 500″ “Maximum continuous operating pressure 1000” Technical-Guide-Posh-Bristol-MK2
Oliveri Venice Mixer “150 – 500” (Refer to Oliveri Venice mixer webpage) “Oliveri Warranty will be voided if any of the events detailed below arise: • problems caused by water supply (including silt, thread tape, silicone, copper shavings, corrosion and excessive water pressure over 500kpa” (Refer to Oliveri Warranty pdf)

Oliveri – Venice Goose Neck Mixer


Nobili Balance Mixer “For best performance and longer life we recommend 150 – 500″ “Maximum continuous operating pressure 1000” Specification-Sheet-Nobili-Balance-Gooseneck
Caroma Cirrus Mixer Static inlet pressure range : 150-1000 kPa : New Regulation:- 500 kPa maximum static pressure at any outlet within a building.  (Refer to Installation Guidelines) “This Caroma Warranty shall be void for the following reasons: If any of the following circumstances apply: Note: AS/NZS 3500.1-2003 (Clause 3.3.4) specifies 500kPa maximum water supply pressure at any outlet within a building for new installations.” (Refer to Caroma warranty pdf)

Caroma InstallationGuidelines_63516_orig-pdf

Caroma Warranty PDF Update v6_1.pdf

Please note that warranty exclusions may apply. Refer to the manufacturer guidelines for full warranty conditions.

When selecting new tapware or appliances, the warranty is important to consider. Look for a long warranty period that offers a wider pressure range.

When to Call a Professional?

If you think your pressure is high or you’re concerned about potential problems arising from higher-than-normal water pressure, now is the time to call your plumber. Installing a pressure limiting or reducing valve can be a very straight forward job and your plumbers will be able to advise on the best valve and location for this to be installed.

Typical pressure reduction valve to a house

While always a great idea, there are a few possible issues that could be created by lowering water pressures.

  • Fluctuating hot water temperature
  • Incorrect pipe sizing causing lower than expected flowrates
  • Irrigation system coverage reduced

While problematic, your plumber will be able to talk to you about these potential risks and work through solutions to best avoid them.


In conclusion, understanding and managing water pressure is essential to maintain a correctly functioning plumbing system in your home. High water pressure can lead to costly damage, including leaks, burst pipes, and premature wear on appliances. By taking proactive steps to monitor and regulate water pressure, you can mitigate these risks and ensure a more efficient and durable plumbing system.

A pressure limiting valve is a simple yet invaluable device that acts as a guardian for your plumbing, preventing pressure spikes and maintaining a steady flow within safe limits. Consult with a professional plumber to assess your water pressure levels and determine if a PLV is needed in your home.

Yours in keeping the good life flowing!


The Conrad Martens Team

(07) 3878 4444

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